Panama Private Foundations

from Maritime International Ltd.

Panama Foundations are a popular structure for holding offshore companies, as well as an alternative asset protection and estate planning structure to an offshore trust.
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Panama is a Spanish speaking country located in Central America. It is a stable democracy well known as a thriving International Financial Center, offering offshore companies, offshore banking, Trusts and Private Foundations to clients worldwide. While Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken in business and international commerce. All offshore documentation is usually provided in both Spanish and English. The US dollar is the official currency.

The Panama Private Foundation came into Law in 1995, modeled after the Liechtenstein legislation.


A Panama Private Foundation is formed by a Founder creating and filing a Foundation Charter with the authorities. The Charter sets out the Purpose of the Foundation, appoints Council Members, and provides other details of the Foundation. The Charter is a public document but nominees may be used to provide privacy.

A separate private document, usually called the Regulations, provides details on the running of the Foundation, and names the Beneficiaries. A Protector may also be named but this is optional. If a Protector is named he/she usually has full powers over the Founder and Council Members.

The Panama Private Foundation is a legal judicial person and its assets are separate from those of the Founder or the Beneficiaries. It’s assets cannot be seized to satisfy any claims against the Founder or Beneficiaries.

Transfers to the Foundation can be challenged by creditors if the transfer constitutes an act of fraud, but only if the challenge is made within three years of the transfer of assets to the Foundation.

Panamanian Anti-Money Laundering laws aimed at the proceeds of drug trafficking; apply to the Foundation.

The Panama Private Foundation is exempt from all taxes in Panama. Further, there are no shares issued to the Founder or other Foundation parties and therefore the parties do not own the Foundation. This may have some valuable application in tax reporting and planning.

The Foundation is a non-profit organization, not engaged directly or habitually in business activities. It can however, own the shares of a company engaged in business activities as well as own real estate, open bank and brokerage accounts and engage in other activities designed to grow its assets.

The Panama Private Foundation may be used as an Asset Protection vehicle and/or to hold an offshore company or companies, engaged in business activities.


Location of Jurisdiction Panama
Political Stability Excellent
EU Savings Tax Directive Applies No
Foundation Taxes None - Read More
Disclosure of Foundation Charter Yes, it is in the public record.
Disclosure of the Founder Yes, but nominees can be used. Read More
Disclosure of Foundation Council Members Yes, but nominees can be used. Read More
Disclosure of Beneficiaries No - Read More
Disclosure of Protector No
Requirement to File Accounts with Government No
Privacy Excellent - Read More
Continuance May be moved to another country at any time.
Time to Form 5 Business Days
Shelf Foundations Not Available

Type of Entity Private Foundation
Type of Law Civil Law
Language of Name & Documents Can be in any Latin alphabet language. Read More
Allowed Foundation Activities Details
Duration of the Foundation Can be limited or unlimited. No Perpetuities rule.
Registered Office/Agent Required by Law - Read More
Domicile Can be anywhere. Panama is recommended. Read More
Annual Meetings Not Required
Initial Patrimony (Contribution) Minimum US$10,000 but can be contributed at any time. Read More

Eligibility Any person or company of any nationality.
Number of Founders Usually one
Disclosure to Authorities Yes, but nominees can be used. Read More
Residence Requirement May reside anywhere.
Local Founder Required No
Nominee Founder Available Yes (Provided by Maritime International Ltd.) Read More

Eligibility Any person or company of any nationality. Read More
Number of Members Minimum of three persons or one company.
Disclosure to Government Authorities Yes, but nominees may be used. Read More
Residence Requirement May reside anywhere.
Local Members Required No

Eligibility Any person or company of any nationality.
Number of Beneficiaries Minimum of one - Read More
Disclosure to Authorities No
Residence Requirement May reside anywhere.
Nominee Beneficiaries Available Yes (Provided by Maritime International Ltd.)
Beneficiary Entitlement Percentage share - Read More

Eligibility Any person of any nationality.
Number of Protectors Usually one.
Disclosure to Authorities No - Read More
Residence Requirement May reside anywhere.
Nominee Protector Available Yes (Provided by Maritime International Ltd.)

Keep Accounts/Books Yes - Read More
Audited Accounts Required No
File Accounts with Government No

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Panama foundations, offshore companies, asset protection trusts & offshore banking since 1990.

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