Jersey foundations
Produced in partnership with David Dorgan of Appleby, Jersey
Jersey foundations

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with David Dorgan of Appleby, Jersey provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Jersey foundations
  • What is a Jersey foundation?
  • Use of foundations
  • Foundation documents
  • Regulation and incorporation
  • Parties
  • Firewall protection
  • Migration or continuance
  • Merger
  • Winding-up
  • more

For general information about Jersey, see Practice Note: Private Client jurisdictional guide—Jersey [Archived].

What is a Jersey foundation?

The foundation is a civil law concept and is a creature of statute under Jersey law introduced by the Foundations (Jersey) Law 2009 (as amended) (Law).

A foundation can best be described as a hybrid having the characteristics of a company, but operating for a similar purpose to that of a trust. It is similar to a company in that it has separate legal personality and has a council to administer its business, just like a board of directors. However, unlike a company, a foundation does not haveshareholders and, unlike a trust, there are no beneficiaries who havean interest in the foundation’s assets or who are owed a fiduciary duty. Consequently, a foundation does not haveany owners and is regarded as an ‘orphan entity’.

Use of foundations

A Jersey foundation can be utilised for virtually any legal purpose, save for two which are specific to Jersey’s public policy and jurisprudence. Typical uses of foundations include:

Asset protection/succession planning

Families looking to ring-fence certain assets or wishing to avoid forced heirship rules and making provisions for how family wealth should be disseminated.

Maintenance of corporate control

Family businesses are often lead by elder members of the family and it can be beneficial for succession planning purposes to ensure the continuity of the family businesses that they be held by independent vehicles, such as a foundation.

Ownership of private trust companies

As an alternative structure to family businesses being owned and directly held in a foundation, the foundation could instead own the shares in