Setting up a foundation

Foundations can be set up for a wide variety of reasons, for example out of personal concern or in memory of a loved one.

In Schleswig-Holstein there are more than 600 foundations with legal capacity under civil law. Foundations arise from a wide variety of motives and motivations: social obligation, personal concern, in memory of a loved one or in the interest of a good cause.

In the so-called foundation business, the founder determines the name, seat and organs of the foundation and undertakes to provide it with foundation assets (usually cash assets, securities or real estate), from the proceeds of which the work of the foundation is financed. A foundation statute, which is also specified by the founder, regulates the internal organization.

The foundation acquires its legal capacity through state recognition. For this purpose, foundations that are to have their registered office in Schleswig-Holstein must submit the foundation business and statutes to the foundation authority . It is recommended to contact this authority before the final application is submitted. Recognition for the foundation is granted if the requirements of foundation law are met.

The foundation supervisory authority (foundation supervisory authority is the district/city in which the foundation has its registered office) ensures that the foundations are administered in accordance with the laws, the foundation business and the foundation statutes. It ensures that the will of the donor is permanently adhered to or not changed more than necessary.

  • Documents relating to the foundation's business,
  • Foundation Statutes.


A list of foundations and further information can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, Rural Areas, Integration and Equality of the State of Schleswig-Holstein (MILIG).

  • Guidelines for establishing a foundation, list of foundations and foundation database
  • §§ 80 et seq. of the German Civil Code (BGB),
  • Schleswig-Holstein Act on Foundations with Legal Capacity under Civil Law (Stiftungsgesetz - StiftG).

Related Links

  • §§ 80 ff. BGB
  • StiftG

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