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PANAMA Features of Panamanian Private Foundations Foundations have certain legal advantages that make them attractive: 

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They are not subject to any form of taxation, assessment or levy in the Republic of Panama (except for an Annual Franchise Tax of $350.00 for the first year, $400.00 thereafter). Consequently, they are exempted from income tax, estate tax, real estate tax, inheritance tax and sales tax. The Private Foundation Law mandates that members of the Foundation Council (who are also known as "Council Members"), Protectors, supervisory bodies or any persons or institutions who on account of their duties become aware of information relating to the activities, transactions or operations of a Private Foundation are required to maintain strict confidentiality, even after its termination. Failure to do so may result in imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to US$50,000, not precluding the corresponding civil liability. The Law does not require the names of the real Founders, Beneficiaries or Protectors to be revealed. Not required to file annual income returns or financial reports. The Law does not require annual meeting of the Foundation Council, Founders, Protectors or supervisory bodies. Expeditious formation procedures. Easy administrative procedures. Reasonable incorporation and maintenance fees. No restrictions on maximum assets allowed. The contributions to the Foundation Assets do not need to be deposited as a requirement for the constitution of the Foundation, and there is no maximum period of time for the endowment to be made. There is no limitation whatsoever as to perpetuities, accrual of capital and other restrictions that are enforced in similar legal entities of other jurisdictions such as Anglo-Saxon type trusts. The Foundation may (non-habitually) carry out any kind of civil or commercial transactions, anywhere in the world and in any currency. Founders, members of the Foundation Council, Beneficiaries and Protectors or Supervisory Bodies may be natural persons or corporations of any nationality domiciled anywhere in the world. Founders need not be Foundation Council members. Founders, Protectors, Supervisory Bodies and members of the Foundation Council may be Beneficiaries of the

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Foundation. There are no limitations as to the maximum number of Founders, Council Members, Beneficiaries or Protectors allowed. Founders and Foundation Council Members may hold their meetings anywhere in the world and may be represented thereat by proxy. Foundation books and accounting books (if any) may be kept in Panama or abroad. Foundations from other jurisdictions may change their domicile to Panama Foundations, or vice versa, by following

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an easy continuation procedure. The U.S. Dollar circulates freely as legal tender in Panama which has rigorous laws regarding bank secrecy. Panama is currently considered a strong and stable democracy.

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No taxes levied on banking transactions.

No taxes on business transactions conducted outside of Panama.

No exchange control regulations.

Political and economic stability.

Serviced by major world airlines.

Excellent hotel accommodation.

Excellent worldwide communication facilities.

Skilled personnel.

No capital gains, income or any other kind of tax.

Conveniently located close to the largest Latin American markets.

This country is one of the most important Financial Centres of the region with many international banks.

Panama is one of the major gateways for trade investment and finance into Latin America.


Latin America, joining North & South America


75,517 square kilometers


3,460,462 (2011 est.)



Official Language:

Spanish (official), English


Constitutional Democracy

Living Standard:



International banking centre. Major worldwide banks operate from Panama.

Legal Tender:

Balboa (at par with U.S. Dollar which is the only paper currency in Panama)


Financial Services, Panama Canal, Colon Free Zone and Tourism


Panama Private Foundations feature - English  

MF&Co. - Panama Private Foundations feature English. Last Update May 2012

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