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Set Up a SICAV in Liechtenstein

Set Up a SICAV in Liechtenstein

A Liechtenstein SICAV company is an entity with a variable share capital which is split between the investors’ and company’s shares. Another particularity is that its assets are the only ones that can be used to cover its liabilities, while its main goal is to invest in capital.

The SICAV is used to set up various types of investment funds in Liechtenstein, so if you want to create one, you can rely on our local consultants.

The main forms and features of the SICAV in Liechtenstein

A Liechtenstein SICAV can take the form of a public limited joint stock company, or a European company. It can be founded as an investment company with the intent of managing and investing its assets in the name of its investors. Other characteristics include:

  • in Liechtenstein, the SICAV can be run by an external administrative body or it can be run internally;
  • unlike limited partnerships and trusts used to set up investment funds, a SICAV must be incorporated with the Trade Register;
  • every Liechtenstein fund structure that takes the form of a management company, including a SICAV must apply with the Liechtenstein Financial Market to be granted a license.

From a management point of view, it can be administered internally or externally. Its only goal is to oversee its funds and sub-funds.

If you want to open a company in Liechtenstein to take the form of a SICAV, you can get more information about its features from our local advisors.

Management particularities of SICAV companies in Liechtenstein

As mentioned above, the SICAV can be externally managed, namely it can outsource both administration and portfolio management tasks or can be self-managed, namely it manages its own administration and may delegate portfolio management activities.

It is important to distinguish between SICAVs that are externally managed and those that are self-managed. The former may appoint only licensed management companies to handle their administration, while the latter may only forward investment decisions to authorized management entities.

Our company registration consultants in Liechtenstein can offer more information on the management of such a structure.

Licensing requirements for a SICAV

One of the main conditions to have a SICAV company operational is to obtain a license from the Financial Market Authority in Liechtenstein. It also needs to get approval for its Articles of Association and investment laws, which are its constitutive documents.

For Liechtenstein SICAVs, the following authorization and approval criteria must be met:

  • it must bear the acronym “SICAV” or a description of the company’s legal form in its name;
  • the shares of the company and investors that are freely transferable and have no nominal value must be paid in full and in cash;
  • they must define their investment regulations;
  • they must appoint a custodian bank.

Our company formation agents in Liechtenstein can offer more information about the licensing requirements for this type of company.

Taxation of SICAVs in Liechtenstein

A SICAV investment company is fully liable for the corporate income tax on its whole taxable income in Liechtenstein if it has its management or registered office there. It is required to pay an annual flat income tax rate of 12.5% on its income.

The investment funds market in Liechtenstein

According to the Investment Funds Association, at the beginning of 2023:

  • the total volume of assets administered by Liechtenstein funds was CHF 71 billion;
  • out of these, CHF 23 billion is attributed to mixed funds;
  • equity funds managed CHF 14.9 billion;
  • hedge funds administered assets worth CHF 2.1 billion.

For guidance in opening a SICAV in Liechtenstein, please contact our local advisors.