News / 09.12.2015

Recognition of Liechtenstein companies in Germany

In its decision IV ZB 9/14 dated 3 December 2014, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (FCJ) had an opportunity to conduct a very thorough examination of Liechtenstein company law. The Federal Court of Justice's basic assumption is that both the establishment (Anstalt) and the non-registered foundation (Stiftung) must in principle be recognised in Germany. The FCJ emphasises the significant advantages of Liechtenstein's membership in the EEA, which benefits Liechtenstein's legal company structures. Misuse of the law can only be assumed in extreme exceptional cases, it states. In this decision, the Federal Court of Justice also rules that the ordre public reservation only applies to Liechtenstein structures in very rare cases. The decision is a milestone in the unequivocal recognition of Liechtenstein foundations under German civil law in this regard. The decision thus provides valuable arguments for establishing legal entities in Liechtenstein instead of other jurisdictions.

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