Historically, a trust as a structure has been mainly used in common-law countries and is still not always understood and appreciated by representatives of civil-law countries. They prefer to use foundations for different purposes as an alternative to trusts. The main difference between these structures is in the rights to control them. A trust must be fully controlled and managed by a trustee for the best interests of the trust beneficiaries; once the assets are transferred to a trust, a settlor no longer has any control over them. Every foundation, in turn, has a Protector, who is generally a person connected to a foundation founder (settlor) and therefore may have a certain influence on the development process and management of a foundation. Moreover, a foundation is allowed to have a bank account, in contrast to a trust, where a trustee fully operates the capital.
A foundation is a separate legal entity and generally names a beneficiary for a socially responsible purpose, such as a charitable organization. Its owner is not registered in any public registries for the simple reason that a foundation does not have an owner. Once such a foundation owns shares of a particular company, such a corporate entity becomes fully confidential as well. Foundations are effective structures for inheritance and holistic tax optimization purposes.
Therefore, a foundation, when properly structured and incorporated in the appropriate jurisdiction for your needs and objectives, will provide you with the benefits of a commercial company, not-for-profit organization, and trust. It will ensure you receive full confidentiality as well as effective asset protection and management opportunities.