Guernsey foundations
Produced in partnership with Gavin Ferguson of Ogier
Guernsey foundations

The following Private Client practice note produced in partnership with Gavin Ferguson of Ogier provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guernsey foundations
  • What is a Guernsey foundation?
  • Regulation of Guernsey foundations
  • Frequently asked questions
  • How are Guernsey foundations incorporated?
  • What are the Charter and Rules?
  • What powers can the founder retain?
  • What information will be publicly available?
  • What are the on-going regulatory requirements?
  • What duties do the various parties have?
  • More...

The foundation is originally a civil law concept and, unlike the common law trust, a creature of statute. This Practice Note is a summary of the Guernsey foundations regime, which took effect in 2013. It describes the main features of a Guernsey foundation and briefly addresses the incorporation process, the key persons involved in a foundation and their respective rights and duties, the uses of a foundation and the migration of a foreign foundations to Guernsey. The regulation and taxation of foundations in Guernsey is also discussed.

What is a Guernsey foundation?

The Foundations (Guernsey) Law, 2012 (Law), which came into force on 7 January 2013 (and which was amended by the Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law, 2017 (Beneficial Ownership Law)), enables the establishment of foundations in Guernsey. The flexibility that is afforded by the Law permits Guernsey foundations to be used for a myriad of purposes ranging from traditional private client wealth structuring to commercial and financial transactions.

A Guernsey foundation is an incorporated entity with separate legal personality but, unlike a company, it does not have shareholders. Instead, it holds assets in its own name on behalf of beneficiaries, or particular purposes, or both, and it operates in accordance with a constitution comprising a Charter and a set of Rules. Unlike a company, a foundation cannot carry out commercial activities except those necessary

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