Originally published on 11 March 1999Prevailing Liechtenstein laws date to a great extent from the 19th. Century. Liechtenstein law originates from Swiss and Austrian law. Of Austrian origin are civil and criminal court procedures, criminal law, succession and family law, and the law pertaining to contracts, torts and rights in personam. Swiss law pertaining to civil status, property, and to an extent, rights in personam has been adopted. The last years have seen amendments to many laws.
Liechtenstein has developed its own body of law concerning corporations and associations. Corporate law is contained in the Persons and Companies Law (Personen- und Gesellschaftsrecht) hereinafter called PGR, on January 20, 1926 (LGBl. 1926/4), and in the law pertaining to Trust Enterprises (Das Treuunternehmen), hereinafter called TrUG, of April 10, 1928 (LGBl. 1928/6).
The PGR is divided into five parts.
1. NATURAL PERSONS
2. LEGAL ENTITIES
In addition to general provisions, this part contains the provisions for the club or society, THE STOCK CORPORATION, the partnership limited liability company, the partnership by shares, the limited partnership, the cooperative society, the establishment and the foundation.
3. THE UNINCORPORATED SOCIETY
4. ENDOWMENTS AND SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF RIGHT
In 1928 this section came to include 170 paragraphs pertaining to trust enterprises under article 932a.
5. THE PUBLIC REGISTRY, COMPANY NAMES AND ACCOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
A closing section deals with the entry into force of the law and transitional provisions, followed by a special section on securities.
In writing the law and in subsequently amending it, it was the intent of Parliament to provide the individual entrepreneur with the greatest degree of freedom possible. The PGR imposes minimal limitations on the classic spirit of free enterprise. Few provisions are mandatory. Most provisions are elective.
The PGR provides alternatives and flexibility, rather than strict regulation. It is as liberal law without complicated requirements as to form and procedure. The law provides a wide range of company forms and, within each form, the latitude necessary to adapt it to specific requirements.
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