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Asset Protection Through Isle of Man Companies and Trusts

Owning a business can be fraught with pitfalls and risks of third party claims and law suits and the goal of a comprehensive asset-protection plan is to prevent or significantly reduce risk by insulating your business and personal assets from the claims of third parties and/or creditors.

offshore asset protectionA business owner must therefore consider the most appropriate structure through which to own a business or to hold business assets (including fixed or indeed intellectual property) where flexibility and protection from business risks as well as protection for the owner’s personal assets are key factors. This must be done before a law suit or claim arises so that it provides the desired asset protection whilst acting as a deterrent to potential claimants, right at the outset.

It is universally accepted that companies and trusts generally provide the greatest asset protection.

A company is a separate legal entity or ‘person’ that provides limited liability for shareholders. By using the company, the personal assets of the business owner are not at risk in the event that the business is sued by third parties, except for where the business is trading as insolvent. In corporate structuring, the assets of the business are often held in a separate entity to the operating/trading company and this allows an even greater degree of protection from third party claimants and/or trade creditors.

A Trust structure provides asset protection as there is a separation of the business assets from the individual. Although a Trust is not a separate legal entity, the business will be held in the name of the Trustee (which would usually be a company). Here the Trustee does not actually own the business as it is merely held in trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This creates a legal separation of the business from the individual.


Asset Protection Trust Case Study

A client inherited a property and decided they wanted to protect the family home for future generations.

Having first sought independent tax advice and given their concerns as to protecting this valuable asset, they approached Sanctuary Trust Limited after researching asset protection structures.

Sanctuary Trust Limited were able to create a bespoke asset protection structure involving an Isle of Man (IOM) asset holding company and IOM discretionary trust.

The IOM company acquired the legal title to the property.  The client then settled the shares of the company into an IOM discretionary trust.

The Trustees of the IOM Discretionary Trust entered into an agreement with the family members to reside in the property, in accordance with the tax advice received.

The details of this structure and its operation are provided for information purposes only.   You should not place reliance on the efficacy of this structure in relation to your own circumstances as the type of structure which may be adopted may be different in your case.  The decision as to how to structure your affairs, depends upon your personal situation and we recommend that you obtain both independent tax and legal advice.

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Advantages of Using Sanctuary Trust


I would like to thank Sanctuary Trust for their professionalism and friendly customer care they have helped me establish a trading company with a bank account and I look forward to many years doing business with them.


I have used the services of Sanctuary Trust for over a year now. During that time I have had occasion to consult with them on a number of complex transactions, which has involved them conducting extensive due diligence on potential customers, reviewing contracts etc. I have always been pleased with their pragmatic attitude and professionalism and would have no hesitation in recommending their services.

Client Testimonial


The advantages to using Sanctuary in the Isle of Man are plenty fold and include, inter alia, the following:

 Sanctuary is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (‘FSA’) and, as such, is subject to intense vetting, scrutiny and oversight by the FSC.

 Sanctuary provides a professional service performed by professionally qualified individuals.

 Using a corporate and trust service provide to administer the company instead of a law firm means that the client is billed at the lower hourly rate.

 Unlike law most firms, Sanctuary is specifically licensed to provide professional trustee services to clients.

 Sanctuary trust will act as directors on the asset holding or trading companies, thereby taking care of the day to day administration of the company, drafting of accounts and statutory filings.

 Sanctuary has existing banking relationships on the Isle of Man and this can streamline the bank account opening procedure for corporate entities.

 The Isle of Man, unlike the UK, maintains confidentiality of the beneficial owner’s identity, provided that the appropriate holding structures are put in place.

 Holding intellectual property in an offshore company provides you with a gateway in which to license/trade the intellectual property in future and thereby allows you the potential tax benefits that come with utilising offshore royalty routing structures.

 Holding intellectual property in an offshore company allows client an easy method of transfer in the event of a sale by way of transfer of shares in the company itself.


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