What is the main difference for the property owners between the 2 types of ownership?

There are three main differences:

  1. The owner of the leasehold should be mindful of the need to extend the right to use the land.
  2. When the property is owned under leasehold form of ownership, that leads to certain additional expenses in connection with the property. An owner of the leasehold has to pay annual “ground rent,” which is basically an amount payable for the rent of the land on which the property is located.
  3. A leasehold owner is also responsible for the payment of the “service charge”. This is a fee payable for the maintenance of the land on which the property is located or maintenance of the common areas in a case where the property purchased is in an apartment block.

What are the benefits of setting up a trust/foundation?

  • Mitigate taxes, in particular, in jurisdictions with high personal taxes (UK, France, Italy)
  • Find an efficient solution to complex family circumstances and for those who are unable to manage their own affairs
  • Protect your assets from claims of third parties (creditors, business partners etc.)
  • Consolidate your assets
  • Preserve your assets in the event of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership
  • Avoid succession laws that restrict the freedom to dispose your assets by will (so-called forced heirship laws)
  • Create a long-term dynastic structure for the benefit of present and future generations of your family
  • Preserve your confidentiality
  • Conduct pre-emigration tax planning
  • Avoid any litigation in relation to the assets that you transfer to the Trust/Foundation as they will no longer be associated with you

How long will it take for me to establish the company and to receive the corporate documents?

Every jurisdiction has its own incorporation time-frame. Once the company has been incorporated, it will generally take about 2-6 days for the corporate documents to reach you.

What documents will I be required to provide when purchasing property?

Under the laws of the United Kingdom would you have to provide your identification documents, as well as proof of your address. As a proof of address you may use either your utility bills or a bank statement, which would contain your full name and address. All documents shall be translated into English, if they are in another language. If you are not able to provide any of the above-mentioned documents, please consult one of our advisors, and they will be able to advise you what documents you may provide based on your individual circumstances.

There may be instances when the purchase price for the property is payable by a third party, in such instance you would need to provide certain documentation with respect to such person making the payment. If the payment is made a physical person, then such physical person would be required to provide identification documents (such as passport, drivers license or any other form of identification issued by government), and also proof of address, the documents that may be used as proof of address were outlined above. In the event where a legal entity is transmitting the purchase price we would be required to receive a number of documents with respect to such legal entity: all organisational documents of such legal entity, identification documents of all directors of such legal entity and proofs of address of such directors. We would, further, require identification documents and proofs of addresses of all the beneficial owners of such legal entity. Without receiving such documents regarding the legal entity, under the laws of the United Kingdom, no solicitor would have the ability to accept the moneys for the purchase of the property.

Do I need to speak English to apply for a visa?

This depends on a type of visa you are applying for. Such visas as investor visa and intra-company transfer visa do not require any English proficiency. All other types of visas require various levels of knowledge of the language. Please note, however, that when making an application to extend the intra-company visa, you will have to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency.

Why and when do I need a shareholders agreement?

  • If the company has more than 1 shareholder, than you should give serious consideration to putting a shareholders agreement in place. This agreement between the shareholders helps protect the investment in the company by managing the relationships between various parties within and by setting out the procedures by which the shareholdings are to be managed and controlled.
  • The agreement will also set out how disputes between shareholders are to be resolved; how a sale or part sale of the shares shall take place; what is to happen on the death, bankruptcy or incapacity of a shareholder; and how the company is to be managed and operated.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal document whereby the initial owner of the assets, Settlor, agrees to transfer its assets to the specially appointed people, Trustees, on the instructions that the Trustees shall hold such assets for the benefit of the Beneficiaries. Depending on individual circumstances, formation of a Trust may take a couple of weeks.

Parties to a trust relationship:

Settlor – a person who sets up a Trust and transfer its assets to the Trust
Trustees – professionally appointed people or a corporate entity that manages and distributes assets, provided by the Settlor, to the Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries – a person or persons in whose benefit trust assets are managed and distributed by the Trustees
Protector – a person (entity) that can be appointed by the Settlor to direct or restrain the Trustees in relation to their administration of the Trust.