The Bahamas has become the first premier Common Law jurisdiction to introduce Foundations, and this article represents the second in a series of reports on this new product in The Bahamas’ toolkit.

The Bahamian foundation, with its flexibility and unique advantages, is an important tool for the jurisdiction’s expanding wealth management capability.

The registration process for a Bahamian foundation is comparable to that of a company registration as it is a legal entity which must be filed with the Registrar General of the Bahamas. Like a company, the name of the Bahamian foundation must be reserved at the Registrar General’s office prior to submission of the necessary documentation. The Registrar will confirm that the proposed Foundation name is valid for use and that the name has been reserved for a period of 90 days.

The following information must be filed with the Registrar:

* The name of the foundation;
* Date of Charter and Articles (if any);
* Summary of the foundation’s purpose;
* Name and address in the Bahamas of the founder;
* Name and address of the Secretary;
* Name and address of the foundation council (if any);
* Address of registered office;
* Value of initial assets; and,
* Period for which the foundation will be active.

The Foundation charter must contain a statement that the value of the assets of the foundation may not be less than B$10,000 or US$10,000 or the equivalent in any other currency.

A foundation can only be established by a licensed bank or trust company, or a financial service provider. It is anticipated that in many cases these service providers will also serve as the founder of record.

Online registration is available. The fee for the registration of a Bahamas Foundation is US$ 500; however, the fee can be prorated by each calendar quarter to take into account that foundations are registered at different times of the year.

See below for a link to Part I of the series – which provides a direct link to our Foundations Guide. Comprehensive information on Bahamian Foundations also is available on our web site under **"Foundations Review"**.