Generalities of a Private Interest Foundation in Panamá

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The Private Interest Foundation (from now on PIF) is a structure which endows assets for a certain purpose. This type of organizations are created and organized by a Foundational Act that is subscribed in the Public Registry Office of Panamá and it is complemented by a set of rules, which is an internal and private document, like the statutes of a commercial business, which is usually characterized by its strict confidentiality.

Normally, the objective of a PIF consists in planning ahead, by the rules we mentioned before, that concerns the succession of the assets of the founder.

To create a PIF, you must first designate the Board of Direction, nominated as the Foundation’s Council which is in charge of achieving the goals of the foundation. The founder will be able to name himself member of the board of the PIF and require that certain decisions be taken unanimously.

The PIF has been called the “perfect life testament”. If the founder dies, there will not be any necessity of public processes and the use, transfer and final destinations of his goods can be managed privately by the Foundation’s Council.

The PIF can be used as some sort of “holding” company where the same can make sporadically certain commercial acts but only if the income of the acts are dedicated exclusively to the goals or purposes non commercially of the PIF, for example; a person can use the PIF as a “holding” company of its banking accounts, property titles, basically any assets the person possess. The PIF are used to structure the assets of a person or family. The PIF lets you have control of all the assets a person possesses in just one juridical entity, eliminating risks and creating a platform of control more personalized, convenient and effective.

As every other legal entity, the PIF can acquire and be the owner of assets of any type, incur in obligations and be part of the administrative and judicial processes. As well, it can act through a trustee achieving even greater confidentiality.

We reiterate that the assets of the PIF will constitute a separate asset than the personal assets of the owner, guaranteeing the legal autonomy of the assets mentioned. This being said, eventual creditors of the founder will not be able to attack the assets of the foundation because of the personal obligations of the founder. Once created (the PIF), the creditors will only be able to attack the foundation debts, obtained by the foundation, and not the ones that the founder possesses.

To establish other additional dispositions that guarantee the correct control or supervision of the foundation’s assets during its life, the founder can name protectors, auditors or any other specifically to supervise the Foundation’s Council before its death.

The social initial capital of the PIF cannot be less than Ten Thousand Dollars of the United States of America (US$10,000.00), for which there is no need to show the voucher of the subscription. The Panamanian Law says that the PIF can receive, subsequently, and in a private manner, additional assets ported by the founder or thirds.


This law firm is willing to assist in the creation of a PIF. For this purpose we count with the full support of the Panamanian law firm, Morgan & Morgan (www.morimor.com), of whom we represent, for which you will have the most optimized service with a guaranteed quality.

Our professional services cover the initial fase of the legal structure, revision and redaction of the documents, including the incorporation of the PIF through Morgan & Morgan and the redaction of the Foundation’s Rules, according to the directions provided. For more information or consults contact Dr. Marcos Bisonó Haza (mbisono@oficinabisono.com), Mariel Taveras A. (mtaveras@oficinabisono.com) or info@oficinabisono.com.

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