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The new foundation law

What founders and foundations must pay attention to in the future

The good news first: the revised Law of Foundations as of 1 July 2023 creates more legal certainty. The previous provincial laws, for example, will be replaced by a uniform federal law. However, this certainly goes hand in hand with greater expense for founders and foundations. Expenditure in which there is more to consider than before and in which we will gladly and competently support you.

 

This is what will change for you in the foundation's work

In the prevailing low-interest environment, for example, it is common practice to also redirect assets in order to fulfil the foundation's purpose, as interest income alone is often not sufficient. In the future, this will only be possible if it is explicitly provided for in the foundation statutes; at the same time, however, the founder's right to amend the statutes will be made more difficult.

The new Foundation Act: more clarity and higher requirements

The foundation reform consequently has a direct impact on the foundation business. The entire foundation constitution with statutes and guidelines will need to be formulated with far more foresight and precision. Considerable importance should have always been attached to this point, since it affects all types of foundations - regardless of whether they are non-profit or family foundations: your statutes determine your subsequent freedom to act and thus have a significant influence on your foundation's work.

Entry in the foundation register is not optional but compulsory

In addition to the two registers already established in the foundation system - the Transparency Register and the Public Benefit Register - a third register will be introduced: the Foundation Register. Similar to the commercial register, the so-called "negative publicity" applies. In a nutshell, it means that only those foundations officially exist that are registered there. However, this will only apply as of 2026.

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Your competent partner for foundation work

As a result, the foundation's work will become more administrative - some say more bureaucratic. Thus, in order for "well-intentioned" to become "well-done" under these changed requirements, it will be more important than ever to have a consultant at one's side who knows the new requirements for foundations, understands them and can competently assist you in their implementation.

The foundation system is one of the most exciting forms of engagement of active civil society. The foundation reform has no intention of changing this, nor will it do so. Nevertheless, a number of factors will have to be taken into account in the future. As your competent partner, we are here for you and will support you all the way.

Your contact person

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York Asche

Deputy Director

Certified Foundation Advisor (DSA)

Dipl.-Kfm. and MBA (SUNY)

+49 40 30808-233

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