Establishment of a foundation

The foundation is formed through a declaration of establishment, which requires the written form and authentication of the signatures of the founders. In the case of direct or indirect representation, the signature of the representative has to be authenticated on the foundation deed.

Registration or deposition

Common-benefit foundations and private-benefit foundations carrying on business run along commercial lines on the basis of a special law must be entered in the Commercial Register and only thereby acquire the right of legal personality. Foundations not subject to an obligation to register are under an obligation to deposit, within 30 days following formation, a notification of formation with the Commercial Register.
Private-benefit foundations may elect to be entered in the Commercial Register (§ 14 StiftG). They are constituted and they obtain legal personality once the transaction establishing the foundation is complete.

Fact sheet



Common-benefit foundations are subject to supervision by STIFA. The same is true of private-benefit foundations voluntarily placed under supervision pursuant to a provision in the foundation deed.

In practice, notification of obligatory supervision is submitted at the same time as the application for registration of the foundation or transformation of a private-benefit foundation into a (predominantly) common-benefit foundation.


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