Control of a foundation in Liechtenstein

The founder has a wide range of efficient instruments at his disposal for administrative supervision and control over the actions of the foundation’s bodies, such as the auditor, protector, Advisory Board, collator, trustee and Supervisory Board.


In addition to the Board of Trustees, the foundation may also have an auditor. The auditor checks annually whether the foundation’s assets have been managed and utilised as intended.

Note: The setting up of an auditor is generally voluntary. There is only a legal obligation for foundations that are subject to the supervision of the foundation supervisory authority (charitable foundations). In this case, the auditors is appointed by the Liechtenstein District Court; however, the founder has a right of nomination.

The auditor cannot sanction complaints or identified irregularities themselves, but must apply to the Vaduz District Court for the necessary orders through the ordinary courts (out-of-court proceedings).

Supervisory Board as a private controlling body of the Liechtenstein family foundation

If the foundation is not subject to foundation supervision, the founder can also set up a Supervisory Board as a private supervisory body in addition to an auditor.
The tasks correspond to those of an auditor.

Note: The Supervisory Board must be independent of the foundation and may not belong to any other foundation body, be employed by the foundation or have any family ties to foundation bodies or beneficiaries of the foundation.

In practice, the founder appoints named representatives with appropriate expertise to fulfil the supervisory tasks. If the founder is not a beneficiary of the foundation, he can also assume the control function as a Supervisory Board. However, as with the auditor, complaints or irregularities can only be sanctioned by the ordinary courts.

Protector | Advisory Board | Collator | Trustee

The founder can also provide for or define further bodies in the foundation deed, such as a protector, Advisory Board, collator and trustee with the following areas of responsibility: Determining a beneficiary from the group of beneficiaries, determining the time, amount and condition of a distribution, managing the assets, advising and supporting the Board of Trustees, monitoring the administration of the foundation, safeguarding the purpose of the foundation, reserving consent or issuing instructions and safeguarding the interests of the foundation’s stakeholders.

Note: The protector, Advisory Board, collator and trustee may not only assume supporting and controlling functions, but may also have decision-making powers, approval or veto rights.
These bodies are not authorised to represent the company.

Legal comparison of Advisory Board in DE, CH, AT

DE: Under German law, the establishment of an Advisory Board is optional.
CH: In Switzerland, the Advisory Board functions are assumed by the auditor. Auditing obligation with exceptions. Exceptions include family foundations.
AT: In Austrian private foundations, the Supervisory Board is generally optional. The mandatory second body is a foundation auditor appointed by the court.

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