The Bahamas is the first premier Common Law jurisdiction to introduce Foundations. Wendy Warren, CEO & Executive Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board, says that in launching its Guide to Foundations, The Bahamas as a Common Law country has looked beyond its boundaries and traditions to be of greater relevance for estate planning by persons from civil law countries. This bold move is consistent with The Bahamas’ long history of establishing legislation that is attractive to international clientele and which encourages the continued growth of the country’s financial services sector.

Foundations, introduced in December 2004, has served to complement and enhance the vibrant wealth management industry in The Bahamas. The Foundations Guide provides a useful overview of the recently enacted legislation while a digital Foundations Review provides detailed examination of the legislation. Practitioners indicate that the establishment of foundations in The Bahamas is efficient and a useful addition to serving the needs of clients.

In crafting its foundation legislation, The Bahamas took careful steps to bridge the common and civil law worlds, ensuring that civil law features have been properly incorporated into the jurisdiction’s Common Law environment. This environment includes a long history of political stability and democratic traditions and a well-respected judiciary. The strength of the financial services platform, including a large pool of committed professionals and wide range of financial institutions and service providers, is complemented by the absence of direct tax on Bahamian and non-Bahamian persons, respect for privacy and the rule of law.

The Foundations Act addresses all the key issues regarding the formalities, administration and juridical nature of Bahamian foundations. BFSB will cover various aspects of the Foundations Act in upcoming newsletters.

You are invited to peruse the Guide to Foundations available in print and on the website. *(see link below)*

Comprehensive information on Bahamian Foundations including legislative summaries in five languages is available in the Review at