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Balancing innovative Agility and legal Certainty

The Liechtenstein innovation framework ensures, on the one hand, a dynamic, continuous development of the framework and location conditions and, on the other hand, a high degree of legal certainty for private individuals and companies.

To this end, the government offers various contact points (e.g. the Office for Financial Market Innovation and Digitalization and the Regulatory Laboratory at the Financial Market Authority), formats (innovation clubs and LVC), attractive framework conditions (e.g. flexible and partly unique legal forms such as the PCC, Liechtenstein foundation) and opportunities.

Innovation-Framework
Overview

Early Phase

Already before market entry, many essential parameters are evaluated and defined during the regulatory review and business model design. With an early dialogue with the authorities, these parameters can be defined at the beginning in such a way that the business model is not jeopardized in the approval process. The SFID acts as a central point of contact in this phase and coordinates the inquiries with the respective authorities. If the existing framework conditions do not fit, the SFID provides a streamlined process for introducing ideas for improvement with the innovation-clubs. It also assists founders with questions about the LVC.

For innovative business models, the classification in financial market regulation can be complex. The Regulatory Laboratory of the FMA Liechtenstein is the point of contact for innovative companies in these licensing and registration issues and clarifications regarding the applicability of financial market regulation and the TVTG.

Registration Procedure

For companies in the blockchain space, the Regulatory Laboratory also acts as the registration authority.

The FMA’s specialist divisions are responsible for the market approval of companies that fall under the financial market laws.

If a commercially active enterprise does not fall under the scope of the Financial Market Acts or the TVTG, it must apply to the Office of Economic Affairs for a business license.

The SFID supports companies in this process by providing clarifications if necessary. It also takes up ideas for improving the framework conditions (innovation-clubs).

Operating Business

During operations, the companies are supervised by the competent authorities.

Companies that do not require a financial market license or TVTG registration have the opportunity for regular exchange with SFID on regulatory developments during operations in order to achieve a high degree of legal certainty.

The SFID takes up ideas for improving the regulatory framework via the innovation-clubs.

Office for
Financial Market Innovation and Digitalization

The SFID serves as a contact point for all topics related to innovation and companies in the financial market environment.

Tasks and Activities
of the SFID

ENTREPRENEUR SERVICE

The SFID is the central point of contact for companies from the financial market environment. It is open to all companies, including those wishing to establish themselves in Liechtenstein and seeking information on the governmental and regulatory framework. The SFID coordinates internal administrative clarifications and answers questions. This is particularly helpful when several authorities, such as the Financial Market Authority, the Tax Administration, the Office of Justice, etc., are involved at the same time.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE
GOVERNMENTAL FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS

WIRTSCHAFTSSEITIG

Through the innovation-clubs, the SFID takes up suggestions and proposals for improving the legal/regulatory framework and prepares a bases for decision. During implementation, the SFI takes over the project management.

BEHÖRDENSEITIG 

The SFID takes up suggestions from the authorities for adapting the legal framework to technological developments, develops concepts and accompanies implementation.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

The SFID monitors international developments in the field of financial center innovation and participates in international bodies. It also assumes tasks for the further development of the governmental framework in connection with higher-level regulation.

INNOVATION-LOCATION

Knowledge of new technologies and a deeply rooted culture of innovation is particularly important among public authorities. For this reason, the SFI cultivates an innovation ecosystem and knowledge exchange between market participants, authorities and science.

Since 1.1.2022, the SFID is also responsible for the adoption of the European digitization legal acts. The SFID oversees the EU legal acts in the area of digitization that are to be incorporated into the EEA Agreement, represents in the corresponding EFTA or EU working groups, and takes over the coordination of the necessary implementation measures in Liechtenstein. In order to perform these tasks, the SFID works closely with the offices and ministries involved.

REGULATORY LABORATORY

The government and the financial market supervisory authority want to promote innovation in the FinTech sector. They are working towards using and designing regulation in such a way that business models in the FinTech area can be realized. To this end, the Regulatory Laboratory was established at the FMA. It is a FinTech competence center.

Tasks and Competences of the
Regulatory Laboratory

Contact Point for Companies

Contact point for companies in the fintech/blockchain sector that cannot be clearly assigned to one of the classic supervisory categories of the financial market legislation.

Registration of
TT-Service Provider

The Regulatory Laboratory is contact point and in charge of the registration process of the TT-Service Providers.

Supervision of TT-Service Provider

The Regulatory Lab supervises the TT-Service Provider.

Keep a TT-Service Provider Register

The Regulatory Laboratoy keeps a regsiter of the TT-Service Providers.

INNOVATION-CLUB

Fast track for ideas to improve the framework conditions in Liechtenstein. The “Innovation-Club” is a government innovation format for optimizing the framework conditions for entrepreneurial activity. Individual or several companies can contribute ideas for improving laws, ordinances, procedures or official practice.

The goal is a close exchange and cooperation between the marketplayers and the authorities to create a future-oriented and competitive, strong location for innovative companies, in which the regulatory and legal framework is also continuously evolving and adapting to the changing conditions.

HOW DOES THE INNOVATION CLUB WORK?

The innovation-club is opened informally by submitting an innovation-club idea or concept paper to the SFI. The concept paper should contain: Presentation of the envisaged business model/service/product, the concrete problem in relation to the existing framework and the envisaged solution proposal. 

EVALUATION OF THE CONCEPT

The SFI reviews and evaluates the idea/concept paper and prepares a basis for discussion and decision-making for the relevant ministries or the government.

The government or the relevant ministries examine and decide whether and in what form the idea/concept will be implemented.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IDEA

Lead and coordination of the implementation by the SFI or by other agencies.

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