Generally, a Panamanian Corporation owned by a Panamanian foundation that has a banking account is considered the last strategy for assets protection. It is stronger than the former numbered bank accounts in Switzerland. Many persons ask why they need a Foundation instead of a Corporation.
A Panama Private Interest Foundation is a type of entity that is between a Trust and a Corporation; however, is neither. The Foundation is a different entity from any other known in the Anglo-Saxon laws because it is not a legal personification of a person or group of persons (as a corporation), but is a legal entity that has no owners (shareholders, participants or associates) and traditionally has a specific purpose for the benefit of a large group of individuals.
The Foundation of Private Interest in Panama offers clear advantages for the planning of international assets, being the best option in privacy, anonymity and security to the protectors, founders and beneficiaries of the Foundation. The Panamanian Foundation is a solution to a global need of accessibility, anonymity, flexibility and wealth planning that may be used to keep assets such as corporations, trusts, bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate or any other type of assets.
In Panama, the private interest foundation is valid since the moment it is recorded in the Public Registry. No approval from any public authority is required. The Law 25, of 12th of June, 1995 governs the private interest foundations in Panama.
Overall, the private interest foundations in Panama are used by individuals that want to control and keep the ownership of Offshore Corporations; however, they do not want to take ownership of them directly, due to the control policies for offshore companies in their own countries. Several countries such as United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, etc. have control regulations for Offshore Corporations that require from their holders a declaration (report) to the pertinent authorities in which they declare to be the direct shareholders of such offshore corporation.
Instead of keeping a holding company for the corporation’s shares, shares issued to individuals or to the bearer, they establish a Private Interest Foundation in Panama, that keeps or is the owner of the shares of an offshore corporation, thus avoiding the reports for the regulations over the control of foreign companies. So, the advantage of using a Foundation as a shareholder of your Corporations is to avoid the direct ownership of an offshore entity, which has no owners and, besides, names the beneficiaries privately, which are anonymous. In this way, there is no doubt of who is the owner of the company, since the company shares are issued on behalf of the Foundation.
The only tax payment for the foundation is the annual Government tax of US$400.00.