Establishing a company in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is one of the world’s smallest countries, defined officiously as the Principality of Liechtenstein and situated between the Alps, Switzerland to the west and Austria to the east. Its area is only 160 km2 and its population is only 35,000. The capital is Vaduz, and the head of state is a prince of the Liechtenstein dynasty for which the miniature state is named. The official language is German, and it gained its independence from the German Confederation in 1806. It is situated entirely within the Alps and so characterized by towering mountains that encase green and fertile valleys, providing luxury appeal to winter sports lovers.

Liechtenstein is a member in several international and European economic organizations, but not of the EU. Its major economic activity centers on its financial sector, and it is considered a tax haven due to its unobtrusive and inviting tax policies for companies setting up business there. It does not have a large airport due to its tiny size and mountainous topography. It can be reached via flight from Zurich (115 km from Liechtenstein) or by car.

  • A full third of its population are registered as active athletes in various sports clubs. Despite its tiny demographic, the state has earned no less than 9 Olympic medals, all in Alpine sports.
  • Liechtenstein’s central and most prestigious ski site is located in Malbun. The infrastructure is excellent, and visitors can find a few hotels alongside private luxury cabins. The ski slopes are at a comfortable height of 1,600 m.
  • Anyone living or working in Liechtenstein receives free medical insurance from the state, and the medical system is extremely modern and advanced.
  • McDonalds has been active in the state since 1996 and has only one branch there, the only branch in the world to also serve wine. 
  • Liechtenstein has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and local police also take meticulous care to enforce speed limits. There are speed cameras everywhere and the tickets for fines are very expensive, so when in Liechtenstein – slow down and enjoy the view!

Due to its size and lack of natural resources, the economy of the state has evolved as a free enterprise economy, which is extremely industrialized and advanced. The currency is the Swiss franc. GDP of this petite country is 3.5 billion USD and per capita income is the astonishing sum of 98,000 USD. There are over 70,000 foreign companies registered in Liechtenstein – more than twice the number of Principality residents. The financial services sector is undoubtedly the most significant revenue generator to local economy. The standard of living is particularly high, even compared to its successful neighbors of West Europe, and unemployment extremely low (only 2%). In terms of foreign companies, the state offers low personal and corporate tax rates, as well as easy and convenient registration procedures.

General Information


Type of company

Anstalt - commercial and non-commercial without shares

Relevant Companies Law

Law on Persons and Companies (termed 1926 PGR Code)

Offices

Law requires appointing local representative

Language of original incorporation documents

German

Finance and Taxation


Currency

CHF

Corporate tax rate

12.5%

Standard share capital

30,000 CHF

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
Obligation to appoint company secretary

Not required

Obligation to appoint local secretary

Irrelevant

Type of entity that may function as company secretary

Irrelevant

Director

 
Obligation to appoint company director

Required

Obligation to appoint local company director

Required

Minimum number of directors

1

Type of entity that may serve as company director

Individual and/or company

Shareholders

 
Obligation to register shareholders

Not required

Obligation to register local shareholders

Not required

Minimum number of shareholders

Not required

Type of entity that may register as shareholder

Not required

Type of shares

Irrelevant

Accessibility of Information


Company registrar

Information regarding office holders accessible to the public

Annual Assembly and Reporting


Obligation to hold annual assembly

Not required, in any location

Obligation to prepare financial reports

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Required

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