The Principality of Liechtenstein is a typical Central European mini-state. It shares boundaries with the Swiss canton of St. Gallen as well as the Austrian region of Vorarlberg. Although German is the official language, its residents speak their own dialect. The country has 11 municipalities, and as the name implies, Liechtenstein is still a monarchy, with Duke Hans-Adam II as the head of state.
Liechtenstein has long been regarded as one of Europe’s most secretive and efficient financial centers. Liechtenstein was able to maintain its entrepreneurial traditions while simultaneously becoming one of the first low-tax countries to accept international taxation standards.
Liechtenstein did not become a pivotal entrepreneurial and wealth management hub by chance. After the country’s industry, the financial sector generates the highest revenue. Famous banks handle 195 billion Swiss francs in customer deposits from all over the world. Furthermore, the principality is a vital hub for the insurance, asset, and investment management businesses, as well as nominee services. Financial services employ around 5,000 individuals, accounting for 16% of all employment in the country.
If you too are attracted to the advantages that Liechtenstein serves its entrepreneurs and investors then you may consider starting a business and reading the steps to register company in Liechtenstein. In this article, Tetra Consultants has provided the ultimate guide on how to open a company in Liechtenstein so that you may better understand this business phenomenon and make a more informed decision before you jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey.
Steps to open a company in Liechtenstein online
- Tetra Consultants’ team of business set-up consultants can assist with the remote registration of a company in Liechtenstein. In order to proceed as your representative, you need to authorize us to initiate the engagement by signing a power of attorney in our favor.
- We will send you the document to be signed through e-signature. Once done, our team will immediately prioritize your business expansion project.
Step 1: Choosing the types of company structure
- To begin with, you need to determine the type of entity structure to be utilized. The primary type of entity structure that can be established by an investor who decides to open a company in Liechtenstein is a Limited Liability Company. It is often referred to as GmbH, which is the most frequently established form of entity structure by the foreign entrepreneur.
- This form of business structure is intended primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises. This kind of corporation may be established for either commercial or non-commercial reasons, and it needs a minimum capital share of CHF 30,000 to do so. In order to form a Liechtenstein LLC you need to have a resident director and a local registered office. Our Liechtenstein company formation experts can assist with the provision of nominee director services and the local registered office address.
- Companies Limited by Shares are a different kind of business structure. They go by the names Aktiengesellschaft or AG and are equivalent to publicly listed businesses in other nations. To be allowed to form this kind of company structure, you must have a minimum share capital of CHF 50,000. An LLC and this type of corporation are both formed identically, with the primary distinction being that the latter allows the easy transferability of shares and a higher amount of share capital.
- For foreign businesses desiring to open a company in Liechtenstein, there are options to form a subsidiary (an independent entity) or a branch office (an offspring of the founding company). All foreign companies wishing to establish a business in Liechtenstein will select the structure that best matches their business activity. The branch office and the subsidiary are the business structures that are employed the most, with the degree of independence between them being the key distinction. While the subsidiary is a separate company structure, the branch office is not. The subsidiary may provide additional services, whereas the branch office is confined to selling its services to satisfy the parent company’s obligations on the Liechtenstein market.
Step 2: Reserve company name and fulfill other requirements
- Company Name: During the preparation stage, you need to reserve a company name with the Liechtenstein Registry of Company. The company name may be in any language and must include the suffix acronym depending on the type of company formed. Words that allude to a state, nation, or any connection thereof are forbidden, while words like “banking” that are connected to regulated operations are restricted.
- Registered office: It is a requirement that a Liechtenstein company must have a registered address where all official correspondence will be sent and where company records and accounts must be kept. Tetra Consultants can assist with the provision of a local registered office as part of our services for Liechtenstein company incorporation.
- Directors: A Liechtenstein company requires at least one person to act as a director who need not be a resident of the nation.
- Shareholders: A Liechtenstein company typically mandates the requirement of having at least one shareholder without any restriction on nationality. Additionally, the corporate entities are allowed to be positioned as a shareholder and there is no upper limit to the number of shareholders.
- Company Secretary: It is highly suggested to have a company secretary when registering a company in the Principality of Liechtenstein who can represent your entity to the regulatory authority for any compliances to be taken care of.
- Share Capital: For an Aktiengesellschaft (AG) minimum share capital is CHF 50,000 and this must be fully paid up during incorporation in either a bank in Liechtenstein or an international bank account.
Step 3: Draft of articles of association
In order to have the new Liechtenstein entity incorporated, you need to provide the below-mentioned documents to the Liechtenstein Chamber of Industry and Commerce:
- The original or certified copy of the articles of association,
- The minute of the meeting where the decision to register a company was taken,
- The date and information on the acceptance day of the articles of association,
- The name and the registered address of the entity,
- Company’s business plan,
- The amount of share capital,
- Details regarding the shares and the payment made by the shareholders,
- Details regarding the members of the board and the representatives.
Tetra Consultants’ legal team will prepare the articles of incorporation and other relevant documents required to register company in Liechtenstein. We will additionally get it notarised for you with the Notary Public’s Office, in the region of your registered office address.
Step 4: Corporate bank account opening
- Tetra Consultants will leverage our extensive banking network and assist you with corporate bank account opening for your business.
- We will courier all the documents including your banking token and access code, to your preferred address. You will then be required to transfer the initial paid-up capital to this corporate bank account.
- Generally, the owners of the entity are not required to travel to Liechtenstein to open their corporate bank account. In case it is required, Tetra Consultants’ banking team will negotiate with the bank on your behalf to have the bank meeting virtually instead
Step 5: Register company in Liechtenstein
- Tetra Consultants will proceed to register your company with the Liechtenstein Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
- Once approval is granted, we will courier all the documents, including the Certificate of incorporation, Articles of Association, and other incorporation documents to your preferred address.
Timeline and cost to register company in Liechtenstein
- Tetra Consultants will complete the incorporation process within a period of 2 weeks upon engagement. Within a period of 4 weeks, after the company registration is completed, we will open a corporate bank account with a reputable bank. All in all, the process should be completed within a period of 6 weeks.
- The total engagement fee depends on the services you require from Tetra Consultants. This fee includes the incorporation costs of your business, which depend on multiple factors including the choice of business entity, your business activity, and more.
Navigating the country of Liechtenstein’s complex business climate as an entrepreneur planning to register a company in the nation might be a challenging process – a hassle to say the least. As such, Tetra Consultants hopes that this article has provided you with a much better understanding of the business culture of Liechtenstein so that you can truly decide whether you should do so yourself. So, what are you waiting for?
Contact us to find out more about the process of starting a business in Liechtenstein, and our dedicated and experienced team will respond within the next 24 hours. Tetra Consultants will not only empower you by helping to navigate the different regulations of Liechtenstein but also aid in facilitating the registration of your company there while providing invaluable, nuanced insights into any potential challenges.