Foundations and associations
Flick Gocke Schaumburg is one of the leading advisory firms in association law, foundation law, and the law of not-for-profit organizations. Our clients include foundations and registered associations with legal capacity, bodies responsible for foundations and associations without legal capacity, and private individuals, companies and public sector entities that plan to establish or support a foundation or an association.
We advise our clients on setting up foundations and associations, and designing and implementing governance systems. We understand the particular requirements of the various legal forms and their differences to other legal forms under corporate law. We advise on the liability of foundation and association bodies. We also support foundations on the investment of assets, including regulatory issues, and associations and foundations on amendments to their articles of association and structures, for example in mergers, spin-offs and changes of legal form. Our experts regularly assist associations, foundations and their bodies in connection with board meetings and the adoption of resolutions. We represent clients before the registry courts and the authorities supervising foundations, and before courts in defense of members of foundation bodies, either for foundations or in administrative court proceedings against authorities supervising foundations.
We offer comprehensive tax law advice to foundations and associations, covering all types of tax, and we advise charitable foundations and associations on the law of not-for-profit organizations. This covers the legal framework and practical organization of not-for-profit activities (such as the use of funds, cooperations, and the deduction of donations), CSR project structures, accounting matters, tax reporting and audits, and compliance.
Family foundations, trusts and their beneficiaries
Our specialists also provide comprehensive advice to family entrepreneurs on the allocation of their business and other assets to one or more family foundations, which can lead to complex questions under civil law, income tax law, and gift tax law. We also help family foundations to identify the right governance structure for their needs.
In addition, we advise beneficiaries of family foundations and trusts at home and abroad. Typical areas include:
- The effects of the foundation structure on the compulsory portion or inheritance rights of a family
- Tax returns and reporting obligations in Germany to which domestic beneficiaries are subject
- The effects of German add-back taxation of domestic beneficiaries
- Legitimate methods of minimizing a jurisdiction’s right to tax, ideally before the taxpayer relocates