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Liechtenstein as a Financial Centre


With a land area of 160 km2 the Principality of Liechtenstein is the fourth-smallest state in Europe and despite its smallness one of the most attractive, innovative and stable business locations in Europe. In addition to the Customs and Currency Union with Switzerland in 1923 and the introduction of an innovative and constantly modernized company law in 1926 Liechtenstein as a financial centre benefits in particular from its accession to the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1995. Liechtenstein thus not only enjoys full freedom of services in all countries of the European Union (EU), but due to its privileged access to the Swiss economic area is also an ideal location for Swiss businesses, particularly as an economic bridge into the European Union.

For many years the Liechtenstein Financial Centre has adapted to the changing international standards. However, it continues to advocate the legitimate protection of privacy. To fulfil the needs of clients, the financial centre disposes of a wide range of internationally accepted products and services and is governed by an efficient and internationally recognised independent Financial Market Authority which monitors the financial services providers in a purposeful and solution-orientated manner.

In the course of the modernisation of the Liechtenstein financial centre a series of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) and Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) have been concluded in the last few years. The latest information and details on this subject can be found at the following links:

Integrated financial centre strategy
Development of international tax agreements

Moreover, in addition to modern due diligence legislation and other measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, further relevant legislative projects have also been implemented in line with the international standards and new standards have been set in the last few years. In particular due to the reform of the Foundation, which came into effect on 1 April 2009, it has been ensured that the institute of the Liechtenstein foundation, which has been in existence for approximately 90 years will continue to be a unique and attractive instrument for the holding of participations, estate planning and asset protection as well as for charitable and philanthropic purposes. Additionally, with the introduction of the revised Tax Act on 1 January 2011, which complies fully with the international standards the attractiveness of Liechtenstein as a business location was consolidated.