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Liechtenstein: Offshore Business Sectors

Trade, Marketing and Distribution

Situated in the centre of the EU, but not being part of it, and with a well-developed banking sector, not to mention the presence of Switzerland alongside, Liechtenstein's offshore taxation regime is very inviting to companies with cross-border European trading, marketing and distribution operations.

The 'domiciliary' entity is suited to external trading operations. It is not a separate corporate form as such, but is a status that can be adopted by any of the corporate forms permitted by the PGR Code, including the company limited by shares, the private limited company, the foundation, the trust enterprise (not the trust) and the establishment (see Forms of Company).

Domiciliary companies are defined as 'juridical persons. . . . . which have only their domicile in Liechtenstein whether an office is kept or not and carrying on no commercial or trading activities in the country'. They are largely exempt from local taxes. See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for further details of their taxation.

In practice, the tax authorities intepret the legislation very flexibly, as long as a domiciliary company doesn't use its tax advantages to compete against local, more highly taxed companies. Thus, the domiciliary company can have an office from which it manages import/export operations, purchase services, employ free-lance agents who act as local sales-people for foreign customers, etc.

Along with other offshore jurisdictions, Liechtenstein is a suitable place in which to base e-commerce services for retail or wholesale distribution of material or non-material goods: see Offshore-e-com.com for extended descriptions of how such businesses can take advantage of the combination of offshore and e-commerce.



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