What is a Private Fund Foundation and why should you consider it as an option to protect your assets?

For many years, BrightPath Caribbean remains recognized as the most trusted corporate and immigration services provider for St. Maarten and the English Caribbean.  For this reason, is that we have in-depth knowledge and proven efficiency and skillset to offer you integrated services such as real estate sale and purchase (in participation with our affiliate BrightFuture Realty), and in the interest of your assets and investments, services such as the creation of Private Fund Foundations, are executed by BrightPath within very short timeframes and with your wishes and estate planning needs in mind. 

Every day a good number of real estate transactions happen in Sint Maarten, and do you know what most big investments have in common? A Private Fund Foundation protecting the asset.  

A Private Fund Foundation (PFF), known in Dutch as “Stichting Particulier Fonds” (SPF), is a legal entity protecting assets, investments, or funds. With the assistance and experience of the team of professionals at BrightPath Caribbean, foreigners can create and fully participate in a PFF without the required participation of any external members or shareholders.  

Private Fund Foundations can make distributions to the incorporators and others without having a social or charitable purpose. Beneficiaries, if named, can have general or limited rights. When discussing the intents and purposes that you wish to accomplish in the formation of your PFF, rely on the expertise of BrightPath and schedule your free consultation here.  Our tax advisory team at Haven SXM can support our efforts and offer you the monthly and annual services required to maintain the compliance of your PFF with the local tax authorities. 

A Private Fund Foundation can own real estate. However, actively buying and selling real estate may be considered a business or enterprise. Collecting rent from tenants in owned real estate is not a business or an enterprise. If you are considering purchasing real estate in Sint Maarten, your representative at BrightPath can work in collaboration with one of our real estate agents at our affiliate BrightFuture Realty to synchronize the establishment of your PFF before submitting an offer to purchase.  This is important to consider especially when you want to ensure that your real estate purchase offer and the establishment of your PFF are contingent upon each other.   

Private Found Foundations are exempt from profit taxes (corporate and income taxes). This exemption rests upon one condition: the PFF does not operate a business or an enterprise for profit. However, the law states that investment activities and acting as a holding company do not qualify as a business or an enterprise.  

What are the benefits of a Private Fund Foundation in Sint Maarten?

Yes, it is important to point out that you can own real estate in your name (private ownership) and a PFF is not required, especially when considering there are up-front fees involved.  Therefore, establishing the benefits of a PFF is essential before deciding to create one with BrightPath.   

When owning property in your name, outside of a PFF, income from real estate may be taxed at 47,5% income tax rate (depending on your worldwide income).  For persons who intend to purchase real estate for vacation or investment purposes, this alone may be a key deciding factor.  Additionally, matters regarding inheritance tax may also surface without the protection of a PFF.  So, if you are considering retirement and/or estate planning it is essential to mention that a PFF is not subject to inheritance tax, alleviating your beneficiaries of any financial burdens in your inheritance planning. –  

When selling one or more real estate assets held by the PFF, transfer tax that is usually absorbed in full by the buyer (approximately five percent of the value of the sale-purchase transaction) will not be applicable, as the PFF can be transferred with all assets it holds.  This adds a layer of benefit to any prospective buyer on the property as the savings on the transfer tax would be attractive in the form of savings to any interested buyer. 

Without a PFF in place, it is also important to consider that you may be exposed to minimal or no asset protection in case something happens with your investments (for example, bankruptcy and/or legal or federal claims). 

beachfront condo for sale

Other benefits of a Private Fund Foundation to consider include:

Total Foreign Participation:  A Sint Maarten PFF can be formed by a foreign founder and have foreign beneficiaries.  

No Taxes: The PFF is tax-exempt unless actively engaged in business or enterprise activities for profit. However, U.S. residents and everyone subject to global income taxes must report all income to their governments.  

Privacy: If beneficiaries are appointed, their names never appear in any public records.  

Time for Formation: With BrightPath, a Sint Maarten Private Fund Foundation can be formed and registered as fast as two business days if required by our client(s). 

Passive rental income is tax-exempt (except for 5% turnover tax) 

Private Fund Foundations are widely used in Sint Maarten to protect real estate assets and appoint specific beneficiaries.  

A PFF will help you protect your investment for future generations.  

Start Today!

Start the process for your own Private Fund Foundation today.  BrightPath can offer you the necessary services to create your Private Fund Foundation and offer you real estate, banking, and tax advisory services if you require them.  

Book a consultation with our team and let us assist you in the formation of your PFF protect your real estate investment. If you already own real estate in your personal name and you wish to transfer the ownership out of your name and into a PFF, BrightPath can assist with this process too in conjunction with the closing agent (notary) of your choice.  Our experience and services are available for the protection of your valued assets and with consideration for your planning and it’s one free consultation away, by starting here. 


  1. What is a Private Fund Foundation (PFF) and how does it protect assets in St. Maarten? A Private Fund Foundation (PFF) is a legal entity designed to protect assets, investments, or funds in St. Maarten. It allows individuals to create and participate in a PFF without requiring external members or shareholders. The PFF can distribute funds to designated beneficiaries and is exempt from profit taxes as long as it does not engage in business activities for profit.
  2. What are the benefits of establishing a Private Fund Foundation in St. Maarten for real estate ownership? Establishing a PFF in St. Maarten offers several benefits, including exemption from profit taxes, protection against inheritance tax, and avoidance of transfer taxes when selling property held by the PFF. Additionally, a PFF provides asset protection in case of bankruptcy or legal claims and offers privacy for beneficiaries as their names do not appear in public records.
  3. How quickly can a Private Fund Foundation be formed in St. Maarten with BrightPath’s assistance? With BrightPath’s assistance, a Private Fund Foundation in St. Maarten can be formed and registered in as fast as two business days if required. BrightPath offers services for creating PFFs, as well as real estate, banking, and tax advisory services, ensuring a comprehensive approach to asset protection and estate planning.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us guide you throughout the process!


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