April 2018

A potential concern of entrepreneurs and business owners and fortunes is the organization of the economic operations of their companies and the protection of their assets. This goes hand in hand with the disposition of those assets after the death of their owner and how to ensure the stability and economic security of their families.

In many countries, there is still no specific regulation for the administration of fortunes or patrimonies. Even so, there are professional offices that, through Offshore services, organize the economic operations of the companies, having as a platform the jurisdiction of Panama. The opening of bank accounts, financing of transactions, tax planning and administration services stand out in that portfolio.

Offshore services include the use of Panamanian legal entities such as Corporations or Public Limited Companies and Private Interest Foundations. Through these figures, Mutual Funds are constituted; re-invoicing operations are executed, taking advantage of the tremendous operational and fiscal benefits offered by the Republic of Panama as Offshore Operations Center.

About Private Interest Foundations, I believe that there is no similar figure in other jurisdictions. The most graphic way to understand them is to imagine a hybrid between a corporation and a trust. The most similar statistics are the Private Interest Foundations of Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. Panamanian legislation designed these legal entities with the intention of creating a modern, flexible, accessible, useful and safe tool for estate planning for people from different parts of the world.

This figure is created legally to administer an estate and that meets the objectives for which it was designed for the benefit of a person, family or general group of individuals. Once the foundation is created and duly registered, it acquires independent legal status, but unlike a Corporate Society, it has no partners, participants or shareholders, but a Founder, and is not allowed to engage in regular or continuous trade but only sporadically.

They are ideal to become Holdings of other Panamanian or foreign juridical persons, by becoming holders of the shareholdings of those companies. They are instrumental in avoiding waste, mishandling, usurpations and finally any act that may affect the heritage of the beneficiaries by third parties or the recipients themselves, as the trust has the power to establish the disposition of the beneficiaries. Goods, participation in other companies and patrimony in general even in a period long after the death of the Founder.

An excellent corporate scheme with the participation of the Foundations and Corporations can be beneficial for adequate fiscal planning, without incurring in any action that violates the laws of the jurisdictions of the countries of origin of the companies.

One of the primary assets of companies is their intellectual property. However, we can say that even in these modern times there are many companies that do not know what intellectual property is really, so in this article we define it to understand its full scope and the value it represents for companies today. That is why intellectual property is currently recognized as one of the most important intangible assets for companies since it constitutes about 80% of their value.

However, the current value of intellectual property has involved a whole process of evolution and development, thirty years ago said intangible assets were not as valuable, and it was until the beginning of the era of globalization and technological progress that companies decided to expand their horizons, broaden their products and services to new markets, which generated the concern of companies to protect their intellectual property, so that innovative ideas, innovative designs, and brands were protected in accordance with the legislation that applies in each of the countries, with the intention of preventing any other company from using them free of charge, without any limitations, and mainly because with this protection intangible assets acquire a specific value for companies.

Investors, brokers, and financial advisers are increasingly aware that intellectual property is a valuable asset for organizations, and many already include it in their balance sheets and financial statements, even as a result of this analysis. Companies have realized that their intangible intellectual property assets are more valuable than their physical assets, such is the case of well-known brands or companies dedicated to innovative products.

According to the report submitted in September 2013 by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services jointly carried out by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office (EPO) , the economic benefits of the protection of Intellectual property is not theoretical but has become an extremely important intangible asset for companies. The value of these assets could, in fact, be estimated at 4.7 trillion euros or 39% of the European Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

For all this we can conclude that often organizations do not value their intellectual property adequately, underestimating the possibilities of obtaining future benefits thanks to their use. However, intellectual property can become a valuable asset for companies when it is protected by the law, since through it companies can generate income through licenses or the commercialization of their products or services, and in If a sale, merger or acquisition is likely to increase the value of your company for investors.