As a business owner, it is vital to choose a business structure that will minimise your liability and maximise your tax return. For this reason, many New Zealand businesses choose to utilise a discretionary trust. 

A discretionary trust is a form of asset ownership. Its benefits include:

  1. Asset protection. If you sit on a board, even if you are the sole director, you have legal obligations known as directors duties. Non-compliance with these duties opens you to the risk of personal liability, including for certain debts incurred by your company (for example, trading while insolvent). You can protect your private assets, such as shares, by owning them through a discretionary trust.
  2. Tax Planning. A discretionary trust can offer tax efficiencies. In particular, for income from dividend payments and capital gain from selling your shares. As the trustee, you can also decide which beneficiaries will receive the trust income, including the proceeds of a share sale. 

If you need advice on which structure would best suit your business’ needs or require help establishing a discretionary or unit trust, LegalVision can help. Our business structuring lawyers have experience establishing hundreds of discretionary trusts. We can also assist with:

  • directors duties advice;
  • drafting a trust deed;
  • stamping trust deeds;
  • creating a corporate trustee; and
  • drafting all legal documents required for a trust, including consent forms and minutes.

Call LegalVision’s experienced business structuring lawyers today on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page

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