Common-benefit foundations & trusts in Liechtenstein
Within Europe, Liechtenstein foundation law is considered “state of the art”. In recent years, Liechtenstein has developed into a philanthropy centre at the heart of Europe.
The strategic objectives of the Liechtenstein government have identified the promotion of philanthropy as an important pillar. They see this not just as an element of the financial centre, but also as a social need with a long-term impact.
Facts and Figures of Liechtenstein charitable foundations
Thanks to the internationally competitive conditions, the number of common-benefit foundations in Liechtenstein has risen steadily in recent years. At the end of 2019 there were 1,379 common-benefit foundations in the Principality. A voluntary survey conducted in the year 2019 on the level and areas of support these provided was answered by 340 common-benefit foundations. In the year 2018, these 340 foundations distributed support worth CHF 190 million to common-benefit projects and institutions in Liechtenstein and abroad. The supported sectors are wide-ranging and include education and training, development cooperation, research and science, health and medicine, art and culture, social affairs as well as environment and climate protection. The survey underscores the positive contribution made by common-benefit foundations towards social solidarity and the country’s international reputation.
Optimal conditions for common-benefit foundations in Liechtenstein
Today, philanthropy offers room for innovation and commitment. Common-benefit foundations often contribute new impulses and new ideas to society. Liechtenstein has a liberal foundation law. This creates ideal conditions for philanthropic activities. What makes Liechtenstein foundation law so effective is the clear definitions and boundaries it imposes, in particular in respect of foundation governance provisions. For this reason it enjoys an excellent international reputation. During the course of the amendment of foundation law, an effective supervisory instrument was also established in the form of the Liechtenstein Foundation Supervisory Authority (STIFA). In addition, the University of Liechtenstein has a professorship specialising in foundation law. This consequently helps to disseminate and develop know-how across the Liechtenstein financial centre.