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Liechtenstein

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Editorial

Doing Business in Liechtenstein

Contributed by Gasser Partner Attorneys At Law

Doing Business in Liechtenstein graphic Country report

Liechtenstein is a microstate located in the heart of Europe counting not more than 38,000 inhabitants. It is Europe’s third tiniest state – after the City of Vatican and San Marino – but nonetheless a thriving country enclosed between Switzerland and Austria. It provides an excellent business environment for foreign investors by benefitting from both neighbouring countries as well as its access to both the Swiss market as well as the European Economic Area. It is a highly developed spot for specialised industries, sophisticated banking and financial services for international clients.

Although well-known for its banking and financial sector, Liechtenstein is an innovative and export-oriented industrial location. Liechtenstein’s liberal approach allows low-hassle cross-border trade for most entrepreneurs. The legal system makes the most of various agreements to provide an excellent environment for exporters, with entrepreneurs’ and multinationals’ work further simplified by public investment in innovation and export. Latest statistical data indicate that export has risen up to 11% compared to 2017.

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Legal market overview

The Principality of Liechtenstein, a landlocked country bordering Switzerland and Austria, continues to find favour with foreign investors after securing white-listed status from the OECD in 2009. It remains a major hub for financial services, with its 12.5% headline corporate tax rate, direct access to the European single market and its customs union with Switzerland among its key attributes.

The country’s increasing focus on banking transparency has not significantly harmed its finance industry; in 2017, assets under management of Liechtenstein banks increased by 25% year-on-year.

Liechtenstein is well known for its business-friendly and agile regulatory environment, which equips it to respond quickly to new market developments. In August 2018, the government published the consultation report on its recently announced Blockchain Act, which aims to position the country as a leading jurisdiction for cryptocurrency and blockchain matters. The new law will provide greater security and legal certainty around the development of the ‘token economy’.

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