RAIF
Practical useHedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, crypto funds, infrastructure funds, distressed debt funds, Islamic finance funds, microfinance funds, socially responsible investment funds, tangible assets funds and any other type of alternative funds.
Applicable legislationLaw of 23 July 2016 (“RAIF Law”).
Authorisation and supervision by the CSSFNon.
Qualification as an AIFAlways an AIF.
Exemption from AIFMD full regime under lighter regime (AIFMD registration regime)No.
External authorised AIFM requirementAlways required.
Eligible investorsWell-informed investors.
Eligible assetsUnrestricted, unless it invests in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a Sicar).
Risk diversification requirementsRisk diversification requirements are aligned with those applicable to SIFs, unless the RAIF chooses to invest in risk capital only and such choice is mentioned in its constitutive documents.
Legal Form• FCP
• SICAV (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
• SICAF (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
The entities may be open-ended or closed-ended.
Umbrella structureYes.
Capital requirements• FCP:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached within 12 months from the entry into force of the management regulations.
• SICAV:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached within 12 months from the incorporation of the SICAV.
Required service providers• Management company in case of an FCP.
• Depositary bank or professional of the financial sector providing depositary services, subject to conditions.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
Possibility of listingYes.
European passportYes.
Net asset value (NAV) calculation and redemption frequencyAt least once a year for reporting purposes.
Overall income tax (corporate income tax and municipal business tax)No income tax, unless investing only in risk capital, then SICAR tax regime applicable.
Subscription tax (NAV: net asset value)• Rate: 0.01% of the NAV annually.
• Exemptions apply.
Wealth taxNo wealth tax.
Withholding tax on dividendsNot subject to withholding tax.
Benefit from Double Tax Treaty network• RAIFs investing in a portfolfio of risk capital (such as a SICAR)
Access if set-up as a corporate entity (except if set-up under the form of a SCS/SCSp).
• RAIFs not investing in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a SICAR), but set-up as:
SICAV / SICAF: Limited to certain double tax treaties (see circular L.G. -A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017).
FCP: see circular L.G.-A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017.
Benefit from the EU Parent Subsidiary DirectiveNo, unless RAIF that invests in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a SICAR).
Thin capitalization rules (debt-toequity ratio)No debt-to-equity ratio.

On July 23, 2016, Luxembourg adopted legislation creating a new type of fund vehicle, the reserved alternative investment fund (fonds d’investissement alternatif reservé) (RAIF), designed for well-informed investors and offering much greater speed to market than the existing specialised investment fund regime.

According to the Luxembourg trade register there are approximately 1,600 RAIFs, and among them, around 385 new RAIFs were created during the year 2021.

  • No direct regulation of fund by CSSF
  • Must have AIFMD-authorised manager
  • Minimum investment of €125,000 for non-professional and non-institutional investors
  • May take any legal form and follow any strategy
  • Benefits from pan-European marketing passport

The reserved alternative investment fund, known for short as RAIF or French acronym, FIAR, is distinguished by the fact that unlike the SIF or risk capital investment company (SICAR), it is not subject to direct regulation by the Luxembourg regulator, the Financial Sector Supervisory Authority (CSSF). However, the RAIF must have an authorised and regulated manager.

The RAIF is designed to benefit from the structuring flexibility of non-UCITS collective investment vehicles, which include SIFs and SICARs. However, it allows sophisticated, institutional and professional investors that do not require dual supervision of managers and funds to dispense with an additional layer of regulation that imposes costs, delays and restrictions on the management and asset allocation of the funds. There is no minimum initial investment in a RAIF for institutional and professional investors, but a minimum of €125,000 for well-informed investors that are neither professional nor institutional investors.

The RAIF is based on the alternative investment fund regime established by the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and its application in Luxembourg through the national legislation of July 12, 2013 on alternative investment fund managers. However, the absence of a requirement for authorisation or ongoing supervision by the CSSF means that future changes to the fund’s constitutional, information or other documents do not require regulatory approval either.

The manager of a RAIF must be authorised under the AIFMD as an alternative investment fund manager and domiciled in a European Economic Area member state in order to benefit from the pan-European marketing passport. The manager of a RAIF must be authorised under the AIFMD as an alternative investment fund manager and domiciled in a European Economic Area member state in order to benefit from a pan-European marketing passport. The Luxembourg law of 21 July 2021, which transposes Directive EU 2019/1160 on Cross border distribution of Collective investment schemes and the directly applicable cross border funds regulation (CBRD), aim to enhance the cross-border distribution of alternative investment funds by harmonising rules governing the launch and discontinuation of marketing, retail marketing and the content and supervisory review of marketing communications. It notably creates a new harmonised regulatory regime defining and implementing a notification process for pre-marketing of AIFs throughout the EU. Pre-marketing was not defined in the original AIFMD and was left to rules and guidance applicable in individual member states, leading to inconsistencies and uncertainty.

According  to  the  legislation,  the manager of the RAIF may follow any kind of  investment  strategy,  with  no  restrictions regarding  eligible  assets,  and  funds  whose investment policy is restricted to risk capital investments will not be required to adhere to risk-spreading rules.

A RAIF can take a contractual legal form (fonds commun de placement or FCP) or if an open-ended or closed-ended corporate fund (SICAV or SICAF), any corporate form including a public limited company (société anonyme), partnership limited by shares (société en commandite par actions), or common or special limited partnership (société en commandite simple – SCS – or société en commandite spéciale - SCSp). It can be created as an umbrella structure with multiple sub-funds, as well as multiple share classes, making segregated compartment structures available to non-regulated Luxembourg funds for the first time.

Most RAIFs enjoy the same tax treatment as SIFs, paying an annual subscription tax amounting to 0.01% of its net assets but enjoying complete exemption from corporate income tax or withholding tax on the distribution of returns, whether in the form of dividends or interest income. RAIFs limited to risk capital investments will be subject to the tax regime applicable to SICARs.

Luxembourg’s implementation of EU regulatory requirements regarding alternative investment funds initially involved a dual system of approval and ongoing supervision of both managers of AIFs and fund vehicles, whether Part II funds, SIFs or SICARs, by the CSSF. Prior to passage of the RAIF law, alternative fund managers seeking to manage and market funds from Luxembourg were obliged to obtain separate authorisation from the regulator in their capacity as an AIFM and for any funds they managed, as well as being subject to ongoing oversight of both manager and fund.

This arises from the grand duchy’s system of product-based regulation, stemming from the original UCITS Directive, which now encompasses a broad range of investment fund regimes under the supervision of the CSSF. These include not only UCITS but non-retail funds including Part II funds, so called after Part II of successive iterations of Luxembourg’s fund legislation, the most recent dating from 2016, specialised investment funds introduced in 2007, and risk capital investment companies established in 2004.

However, the adoption of the AIFMD into Luxembourg law in July 2013 introduced a different type of regulation for alternative investment based on regulation and ongoing supervision of alternative fund managers rather than the fund vehicles themselves. The AIFMD also introduced a change in the application of cross-border distribution through a passport to all funds managed by an authorised AIFM, irrespective of whether the funds themselves were subject to regulation or not.

In Luxembourg, the regulation of managers introduced by the AIFMD represented an additional layer of supervision on top of the existing product oversight regime applicable to established vehicles for institutional and sophisticated investors. In certain circumstances, the double application of supervision seemed excessive and over-protective, especially for funds targeting sophisticated investors, entailing extra costs and significant delays before a fund could be approved and marketed. Hence the introduction of the concept of the RAIF as a vehicle for investors who do not need the additional layer of protection.

To maintain the competitiveness of Luxembourg as a fund domicile and servicing and distribution centre, the July 2013 legislation that transposed the AIFMD into national law also incorporated measures to modernise the country’s limited partnership regime, changing the rules applicable to common limited partnerships and creating a new type of vehicle without legal personality, the special limited partnership.

Both types of limited partnership can be used for structuring regulated fund vehicles, as SIFs and SICARs, but also for unregulated investment vehicles. Although common or special limited partnerships are not subject to direct product regulation, they are subject to indirect supervision if they are alternative investment funds that must have an authorised AIFM.

While unregulated limited partnerships are popular with fund promoters and investors, particularly for closed-ended vehicles investing in illiquid assets such as real estate and private equity, they may not be suitable for all circumstances, particularly for investment in securities and other liquid assets.

While SCSs and SCSps are tax-transparent, in some circumstances a tax-opaque vehicle may be preferable because of its ability to benefit from double taxation avoidance treaties. Another restriction is that unregulated limited partnerships cannot adopt umbrella structures and thus cannot create segregated portfolios within legally separate sub-funds.

The introduction of the RAIF was therefore intended to ensure the broadest possible range of options for promoters, managers and investors, under a regime broadly similar to that applicable to SIFs, except that RAIFs are not subject to supervision by the CSSF, offering an option for Luxembourg alternative investment funds to escape the double layer of supervisory requirements. AIFs that are subject to management supervision through their authorised AIFM now have the choice between establishment as regulated products (Part II funds, SIFs or SICARs) and as unregulated products (unregulated SCSs and SCSps or RAIFs).

Under the legislation, a RAIF must be established or incorporated by notarial deed. In the case of a RAIF created as a contractual fund (FCP) or as a common or special limited partnership (SCS or SCSp), the deed is drawn up subsequently to record that the RAIF in question has been established. Within 10 working days of establishment or incorporation, a notice of confirmation, including the identity of the RAIF’s designated alternative investment fund manager, must be deposited with the Luxembourg trade and companies’ register, published in the official gazette, the Mémorial, and recorded on a publicly available list maintained by the register. Details of the list and the information to be published in the Mémorial are set out in a grand-ducal regulation.

The constitutional documents of the RAIF depend on its corporate or contractual structure. They consist of articles of incorporation if the RAIF is incorporated as a public limited company (SA), a partnership limited by shares (SCA) or a private limited liability company (Sàrl); management regulations if the RAIF is established as an FCP; or a limited partnership agreement if it is established as an SCS or SCSp. Articles of incorporation must be established by notarial deed, but management regulations and LPAs may be established under private deed.

Promoters of existing Luxembourg entities may wish to convert them into RAIFs. In the case of regulated entities, this may be to facilitate the speedy launch of new sub-funds, while unregulated limited partnerships may be converted in order to enjoy the benefits of an umbrella structure.

An existing SIF, Part II fund or SICAR may be converted into a RAIF in accordance with applicable legislation and provisions governing its constitutional documents, subject to prior approval from the CSSF of amendments to those documents, and amendment of the fund’s prospectus or issuing documents, unless the fund is a SIF or SICAR that is not open to new investors. The conversion of an existing unregulated limited partnership requires an amendment of the LPA, subject to the applicable requirements of that agreement.

The conversion of a non-Luxembourg entity into a RAIF is also possible as long as re-domiciliation of the entity is authorised under the law of its country of origin, otherwise the transfer may be carried out through a contribution in kind, merger or other mechanism. The entity in question must be brought into compliance with the AIFMD through the appointment of a fully authorised external AIFM by the time of the conversion.

The legislation also makes it possible for a fund established as a RAIF to be converted subsequently into a regulated vehicle as a Part II fund, SIF or SICAR.

The RAIF is an undertaking for collective investment that automatically qualifies as an alternative investment fund, and cannot be structured as a non-AIF. This is in contrast to SIFs or SICARs that are not covered by the definition of an AIF in Luxembourg’s legislation of July 2013 on alternative investment fund managers, if they do not raise any capital from investors, have only one investor, or if access is restricted to a pre-defined group of investors.

With very limited exceptions, RAIFs must appoint as manager an external AIFM that is fully authorised under the AIFMD, in Luxembourg or another EU member state, and does not seek exemption from full regulation under the directive’s sub-threshold registration regime, applicable to managers of fund assets of less than €100m or of €500m in the case of non-leveraged funds with a lock-up period of at least five years. This means that self-managed AIFs and funds that benefit from an exemption from the AIFMD requirement, for instance under de minimis exemption, are not eligible to become RAIFs.

In line with AIFMD article 2.3(c) and (d), the legislation does provide for exemption from the obligation for RAIFs to appoint an external AIFM for funds that act in the public interest and are managed by a supranational or international institution such as the European Central Bank, European Investment Bank or European Investment Fund, European development finance institutions, bilateral development banks, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and funds that are managed by a national central bank.

While the RAIF is not itself directly authorised by the CSSF, it is indirectly regulated under the directive, since the fund’s AIFM must ensure that as an AIF, it complies with the requirements of the AIFMD. An AIFM must notify its home regulator (whether in Luxembourg or another EU state) as soon as it is appointed as manager of a RAIF. A non-EU AIFM may be permitted to manage a RAIF in the future if it is fully authorised in a home jurisdiction to which the third-country passporting regime has been extended.

If the external AIFM ceases to manage the RAIF, whether at its own initiative or that of the fund, a replacement authorised external AIFM must be appointed within a maximum period of two months. If no successor as external AIFM has been appointed within this period, the directors, managers or management company of the RAIF must introduce within one month of the deadline’s expiry a request to the appropriate district court (Tribunal d’arrondissement) in Luxembourg to put the RAIF into liquidation.

A RAIF must draw up an issuing document, a prospectus or placement memorandum, containing all information necessary for investors to be able to make an informed judgement about the proposed investment and its inherent risks. A RAIF’s issuing document should typically include all AIFMD-mandated disclosure requirements, which are designed to provide the information required for an informed judgement, but the interpretative documents accompanying the legislation expressly allow these disclosure requirements to be met by other means. The issuing document must be up to date in all material aspects if additional securities are issued to new investors.

Issuing documents must state prominently on their cover page that the RAIF is not subject to supervision by any Luxembourg regulatory authority. Otherwise the law offers broad flexibility in terms of the content of RAIFs’ constitutional and issuing documents. To avoid having to amend its constitutional documents every time a RAIF establishes new sub-funds, these are likely to be drafted in a generic manner, with the particular features of each sub-fund described in a dedicated issuing document. In such cases, each sub-fund’s issuing document must state that the RAIF is structured as an umbrella fund, as is the case for Luxembourg-domiciled SIFs and SICARs.

RAIFs must issue annual reports, no later than six months following the end of their accounting year and reviewed by a certified Luxembourg auditor, containing at least the minimum information required under Appendix 1 of the RAIF legislation and Article 22 of the AIFMD. Umbrella RAIFs may produce separate annual accounts for each sub-fund, provided that in addition to specific financial information for each compartment, they incorporate consolidated financial information regarding the structure’s other sub-funds, again a practice accepted by the CSSF for umbrella SIFs and SICARs.

RAIFs are not be subject to any kind of supervision or oversight by the CSSF or any other Luxembourg regulatory authority, and can be launched without obtaining regulatory approval beforehand or afterwards, but they are indirectly subject to AIFMD requirements applicable to authorised AIFMs. Notably, the appointed AIFM must hold authorisation for the investment strategy to be followed by the fund – in Luxembourg some AIFMD authorisations are valid for certain strategies only.

If established outside the grand duchy, the AIFM must have obtained authorisation to provide management services in Luxembourg under the terms of article 33 of the AIFMD regarding passporting of management services, in which case the RAIF’s constitutional and issuing documents must be filed with the CSSF. Where a RAIF has a Luxembourg-based AIFM, there is no systematic review of the fund documents by the regulator. However, the CSSF may refuse management services passporting for an AIF if the documents submitted by the foreign AIFM regarding its authorisation as an AIFM do not cover management of the type of AIF in question.

Once a RAIF has been established, no further regulatory approval is required for subsequent actions in the course of the fund’s existence, such as amendments to documentation, the launch of new sub-funds, changes of service provider or liquidation.

A RAIF may invest in any type of asset and follow any type of investment strategy, subject to the requirement that its portfolio must be managed according to the principle of risk spreading, except where the RAIF makes exclusively risk capital investments and opts for the associated special tax regime. The concept of risk capital in the legislation comes from the SICAR law, under which investment in risk capital means the direct or indirect contribution of assets to entities in the expectation of their launch, development or listing on a stock exchange.

Furthermore, in November 2021, the CSSF clarified in its FAQ on Virtual Assets (UCIs) that an AIF with an authorised AIFM may invest in virtual assets directly or indirectly as long as the fund’s shares or units are marketed only to professional investors, and the AIFM obtains an extension of authorisation from the CSSF for the new investment strategy.

The governing body of the RAIF is responsible for determining the level of risk spreading appropriate for its portfolio, or alternatively for assessing whether the investments qualify as risk capital. There are currently no guidelines on the minimum level of diversification required for a RAIF portfolio, but government commentaries on the bill preceding its enactment have indicated that the CSSF guidelines on risk spreading for SIFs in circular 07/309 should be followed. As a general rule, this would mean that a RAIF or an individual sub-fund should not invest more than 30% of its gross assets or aggregate investor commitments in any single asset, subject to certain exemptions.

The 30% restriction does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by an OECD member state or its local authorities, or EU or other regional or global bodies, nor to collective investment schemes that are subject to risk diversification requirements equivalent to those applicable to RAIFs.

RAIFs or their sub-funds investing in infrastructure assets will be deemed sufficiently diversified if they have at least two investments and no single investment represents more than 75% of their gross assets or commitments. Funds also benefit from an initial ramp-up period to move into compliance with the minimum risk diversification requirements.

The RAIF can be structured as a common contractual fund (FCP), which is without legal personality, an open-ended or closed-ended investment company (SICAV or SICAF).

A RAIF constituted as an FCP must have a Luxembourg management company, which may be its AIFM if it is authorised as such by the CSSF. Otherwise the FCP must appoint a separate AIFM that is authorised in the grand duchy or another EU member state.

A RAIF in the form of a SICAV or SICAF can be established as a public limited company, private limited liability company, corporate partnership limited by shares, common or special limited partnership, or a co-operative public limited company (société cooperative sous forme de société anonyme or SCoSA).

A RAIF can be structured as an umbrella fund with one or more compartments or sub-funds, with the assets and liabilities of each sub-fund legally ring-fenced from each other, unless otherwise provided for in the constitutional documents of the RAIF. Cross-investment between sub-funds is permitted, subject to the same conditions applicable to SIFs. The liquidation of a sub-fund does not entail the liquidation of other sub-funds or of the RAIF as a whole, as long as there are other active sub-funds.

If stipulated in the RAIF’s issuing document, each sub-fund can have its own distinct investment policy, and rules on the issue and redemption of securities or ownership interests can be tailored to each the requirements of individual sub-funds. A single umbrella structure may combine open-ended and closed-ended sub-funds; fully funded sub-funds and compartments with a drawdown capital structure; and in the case of limited partnerships, sub-funds issuing partnership interests in the form of securities as well as those using partnership accounts.

Each sub-fund may have its own investment manager or investment adviser, investment committee or advisory board, but the RAIF must have a single managing body – for instance, the board of directors for a fund established as an limited company, the general partner for a limited partnership, or the management company for an FCP – as well as a single depositary, administrator, auditor and AIFM.

In addition, a RAIF or sub-fund may have multiple classes of securities subject to different fee structures, distribution or carried interest structure, or currency hedging policies, and they may be denominated in different currencies. Sub-funds may be reserved for one or more investors or categories of investor.

SICAV-RAIFs established as an SA, SCA or Sàrl benefit from corporate rules that are more flexible than those applicable to trading companies or other kinds of corporate entity established under Luxembourg’s legislation of August 10, 1915 on commercial companies. There are no constraints regarding the issue and redemption of shares, including rules applicable to the issue price, which should be set out in the articles of association, except that at least 5% of each share must be paid up on issue.

 

Corporate RAIFs are subject to a minimum capital requirement of €1.25m, which must be reached within 12 months of their incorporation, but which can include subscribed capital and share premium; they do not have to create a statutory reserve. The payment of interim or annual dividends is subject only to minimum capital requirements.

 

RAIFs that are FCPs are not subject to legal constraints on the issue and redemption of units, including rules applicable to the issue price, which should be set out in the management regulations. As with corporate vehicles, the payment of dividends is subject only to minimum capital requirements.

 

SICAV-RAIFs that are limited partnerships benefit from additional structuring flexibility. They may issue partnership interests in the form of securities or partner accounts (comptes d’associés), and they have the freedom to stipulate in the limited partnership agreement voting rights, the entitlements of partners to profits and losses and to distributions, and to set out rules governing the transfers of partnership interests.

A RAIF must entrust the safekeeping of its assets to a Luxembourg depositary, either a bank established in the grand duchy or the Luxembourg branch of an institution established elsewhere in the EEA. If the RAIF invests mainly in non-financial instruments and has a lock-up period of at least five years following initial investment, a licensed professional depositary that is not a bank may be appointed.

As a collective investment scheme, the administration of the RAIF must be carried out in Luxembourg, and fund administration and transfer agency must be carried out by an administrator and registrar authorised by the CSSF. RAIFs must appoint an authorised AIFM, a depositary subject to the AIFMD liability regime, and an external auditor, which must have appropriate qualifications and experience and be approved by the CSSF as auditor of a Luxembourg UCITS, Part II fund, SIF or SICAR.

While administration may in theory be carried out by the RAIF itself or its AIFM, if established in Luxembourg, as a rule a specialised Luxembourg fund administrator will be appointed, either by the AIFM, subject to AIFMD delegation rules, or directly by the RAIF’s management body.

The AIFM may appoint one or more investment managers or advisers to manage the assets of the RAIF or of its sub-funds, subject to article 20 of the AIFMD and article 78 of the European Commission’s Level 2 regulation of December 2012. A non-regulated entity may only be appointed as an investment manager or as sub-investment manager of a RAIF subject to prior approval by the AIFM’s regulator.

A RAIF may accept investments only from qualified or ‘well-informed’ investors, as defined by the SIF and SICAR legislation. These consist of institutional investors (as defined by the CSSF according to established practice), professional investors and other investors that do not qualify as either an institutional or professional investor, but that invest or commit at least €125,000 to the RAIF and confirm in writing their status as a well-informed investor.

Investments of less than €125,000 may be made by such investors subject to certification by a bank, investment firm or management company as to their expertise, experience and capacity to understand and assess an investment in the RAIF. In addition, directors and officers and all other persons involved in its management are authorised to invest in a RAIF even if they do not fit any of the other categories.

By complying with the AIFMD notification process for passporting, a RAIF may be marketed to professional investors in other EU jurisdictions since it is an EU-domiciled fund with an authorised AIFM. A RAIF’s offering document must contain all information necessary for investors to evaluate an investment in the RAIF.

As a reminder, the cover page of the RAIF’s offering document must clearly indicate that it is not subject to the supervision of the CSSF, unlike SIFs or SICARs. The offering document must be kept up to date if new investors are accepted. Sub-funds may have their own offering documents, so long as they make clear that the RAIF contains other sub-funds.

In principle, RAIFs, including limited partnerships, are subject to the same tax regime as SIFs. They are exempt from corporate income or other taxes in Luxembourg, apart from an annual subscription tax (taxe d’abonnement) of 0.01% of net assets – unless they make exclusively risk capital investments. No subscription tax is due on investments in other Luxembourg funds that are themselves liable to subscription tax, as well as RAIFs that invest in money market instruments and bank deposits or microfinance, or whose investors are exclusively pension funds or similar institutions.

Corporate RAIFs – FCPs are not eligible – whose constitutional documents restrict them to risk capital investments may opt for the same tax regime as SICARs. The concept of risk capital is not defined in the bill, but appended commentary says reference should be made to the guidelines in CSSF Circular 06/241 of April 5, 2006 on the concept of risk capital as applicable to SICARs.

Furthermore, the Luxembourg law of 19 December 2020, provided for a reduction in subscription tax by progressively reducing the tax from the standard rate of 0.05% of assets to just 0.01% for funds in which at least 50% of assets are classified as sustainable.

Risk capital RAIFs are fully taxable, which enables them to enjoy double taxation treaty benefits. However, all income or capital gains generated from securities are exempt from the fund’s taxable base, and there is no subscription tax liability. Income from risk capital investments is exempted, and RAIFs opting for the special tax regime will also be exempt from net worth tax, apart for the minimum net worth tax applicable to all fully taxable Luxembourg companies (amounting to €4,815 per year for RAIFs largely holding fixed financial assets, securities and cash). RAIFs established as limited partnerships and opting for the special tax regime will be fully tax-transparent and therefore not subject to any Luxembourg direct taxes.

To benefit from the regime, the RAIF’s constitutional documents must demonstrate that its exclusive purpose consists of risk capital investment. The special tax regime must apply to the RAIF as a whole; a RAIF sub-fund may not opt to be subject to the subscription tax when another is subject to the SICAR regime. The auditors of a RAIF opting for the special tax regime must certify to the Luxembourg direct tax administration that the fund has indeed made risk capital investments at the end of each financial year.

As result of its flexibility, the RAIF offers the possibility to be used to structure a hedge fund, private equity fund, venture capital fund, real estate fund, crypto fund, infrastructure fund, distressed debt fund, Islamic finance fund, socially responsible investment fund, tangible assets fund, and any other type of alternative fund.

Our investment management team:

  • Helps you find the most suitable investment vehicle to meet your requirements and your goals from a marketing, regulatory, legal and tax perspective.
  • Introduces you to suitable service providers to meet your requirements, namely custodian bank, AIFM, administration agent, registrar and transfer agent, and auditor.
  • Provides assistance with the establishment of the fund, including drafting of the private placement memorandum and assistance with the incorporation of the fund and its general partner.
  • Assists with the conversion of offshore funds into RAIFs.
  • Provides corporate support services throughout the lifetime of the fund, including amendment of fund documentation, restructuring, or launching and closing of sub-funds.
  • Provides help with changes of service providers including the custodian bank, fund administrator, auditor or registrar and transfer agent.
  • Assists with the listing of the fund’s shares or units on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s regulated or EURO MTF.
  • Provides support with the registration of the fund in other jurisdictions, in co-operation with local service providers.
  • Provides advice on AIFMD-related issues.
  • Provides advice to fund promoters on local private placement rules for marketing their funds in Luxembourg.
  • Keeps you up to date on the latest legal and regulatory developments.

Compare two vehicles:

 UCITSPart II UCISIFSICARRAIFSPFSecuritisation vehicleUnregulated SCS/SCSpOrdinary Luxembourg company
Practical useHighly regulated vehicle which can be sold through a EU passport to all types of investors (such as retail investors, professional investors, institutional investors).Investment funds which could be used for investment strategies that do not meet the criteria set by the UCITS directives.Hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, crypto funds, infrastructure funds, distressed debt funds, Islamic finance funds, microfinance funds, socially responsible investment funds, tangible assets funds and any other type of alternative funds.Private equity and venture capital transactions.Hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, crypto funds, infrastructure funds, distressed debt funds, Islamic finance funds, microfinance funds, socially responsible investment funds, tangible assets funds and any other type of alternative funds.Individuals wishing to optimise their personal tax planning (private wealth management purposes).• True sale and synthetic securitisations.
• Securitisation of a portfolio of securities.
• Securitisation as structure for intra group financing activities.
• Securitisation of non-performing loans.
• Securitisation of leasing receivables.
• Securitisation of both tangible and intangible assets.
• CLOs (possibility of active management).
Private equity, venture capital and real estate investments and any other alternative investments.Holding and financing activity, commercial activity, holding of IP, etc.
Applicable legislationLaw of 17 December 2010 - Part I (“UCITS Law”).Law of 17 December 2010 - Part II (“UCI Law”).
Law of 13 February 2007 (“SIF Law”).Law of 15 June 2004 (“SICAR Law”).Law of 23 July 2016 (“RAIF Law”).Law of 11 May 2007 (“SPF Law”).Law of 22 March 2004 (“Securitisation Law”).Law of 10 August 1915 (“Company Law”).Law of 10 August 1915 (“Company Law”).
Authorisation and supervision by the CSSFYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Non.Non.No, unless issue on a continuous basis of financial instruments offered to the public. The securitisation vehicle issues on a continuous basis when it carries out more than three issuances of financial instruments offered to the public during the financial year. All the issuances by the compartments should be added up. The issuance of financial instruments is offered to the public when it is not intended for professional clients, the denominations are less than 100,000 euros and it is not distributed as private placement.Non.Non.
Qualification as an AIFNo.Always an AIF.Yes, unless exempt. It is exempt if it does not raise capital from a number of investors, with a view to investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of those investors.Yes, unless exempt. It is exempt if it does not raise capital from a number of investors, with a view to investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of those investors.Always an AIF.In principle, no (as it would not be considered as “raising” capital from a number of investors as the structure generally serves for the investment of the private wealth of a “pre-existing group” (as defined in the Esma guidelines on key concepts of the AIFMD)).No, in case
• such vehicle meets the definition of “securitisation special purpose vehicle ” under the AIFM Law;
• it issues collateralised debt obligations;
• it only issues debt instruments;
• such entity is not managed according to an investment policy within the meaning of the AIFM Law.
Non-AIF, unless activities fall within the scope of article 1 (39) of the AIFM Law.Non-AIF, unless activities fall within the scope of article 1 (39) of the AIFM Law.
Exemption from AIFMD full regime under lighter regime (AIFMD registration regime)Not applicable.Possible.Possible.Possible.No.Not applicable.Possible.Possible.Possible.
External authorised AIFM requirementNot applicable.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.Always required.Not applicable.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.Required in case the entity is an AIF that is not self-managed and above the AIFMD threshold.
Eligible investorsUnrestricted.Unrestricted.Well-informed investors.Well-informed investors.Well-informed investors.Restricted to:
• natural persons acting in the context of the management of their personal wealth;
• management entities acting solely in the interest of the private wealth (e.g. trusts, private foundations); and intermediaries acting for the account of the above mentioned eligible investors (e.g. bank acting under a fiduciary agreement).
Unrestricted.Unrestricted.Unrestricted.
Eligible assetsRestricted to transferable securities admitted or dealt on a regulated market, investment funds, financial derivative instruments, cash and money market instruments that are in compliance with article 41 of the Ucits law and the relevant EU directives and regulations. Please note that the eligibility of the asset must be ascertained on a case-by-case basis in view of the applicable laws and regulatory practice.Unrestricted. The investment objective and strategy of the fund is subject to the prior approval of the CSSF.Unrestricted.Restricted to investments in securities representing risk capital. According to the CSSF Circular 06/241, investment in risk capital is to be understood as the direct or indirect contribution of assets to entities in view of their launch, their development or their listing on a stock exchange. The SICAR is not allowed to invest directly in real estate (except for its own use or through its participations).Unrestricted, unless it invests in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a Sicar).Restricted to acquisition, detention, management and realisation of financial assets. The SPF is not allowed to carry out commercial activities or to hold directly real estate (except for its own use or through its participations).Unrestricted. The securitisation vehicle may acquire or assume, directly or through another undertaking, risks relating to claims, other assets, or obligations assumed by third parties or inherent to all or part of the activities of third parties and issues financial instruments or contracts, for all or part of it, any type of loan, whose value or yield depends on such risks.Unrestricted.Unrestricted.
Risk diversification requirementsRisk diversification requirements are provided by articles 42 et seq. of the UCITS Law, e.g. (not exhaustive):
• a UCITS may not invest more than 10% of its assets in transferable securities or money market instruments issued by the same body;
• a UCITS may not invest more than 20% of its net assets in deposits made with the same body;
• the global exposure relating to derivative instruments does not exceed the total net value of the UCITS portfolio.
Risk diversification requirements are defined by IML Circular 91/75 (as amended by CSSF Circular n° 05/177). Such requirements are less stringent than the ones applicable to UCITS. In particular, a UCI is not allowed to invest more than 20% of its net assets in securities issued by any one issuer. Specific restrictions concerning funds adopting an alternative investment strategy are contained in CSSF Circular n° 02/80.Risk diversification requirements are defined by CSSF Circular n° 07/309. Such requirements are less stringent than the ones applicable to UCITS and UCI. In particular, a SIF is not allowed to invest more than 30% of its net assets in securities of the same type issued by the same issuer.No risk diversification requirements.Risk diversification requirements are aligned with those applicable to SIFs, unless the RAIF chooses to invest in risk capital only and such choice is mentioned in its constitutive documents.No risk
diversification
requirements.
No risk
diversification
requirements.
No risk diversification requirements.No risk diversification requirements.
Legal Form• FCP
• SICAV (SA)
• SICAF (SA,SCA)
All of these entities must be open-ended.
• FCP
• SICAV (SA)
• SICAF (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCS, SCSp)
The entities may be open-ended or closed-ended.
• FCP
• SICAV (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
• SICAF (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
The entities may be open-ended or closed-ended.
• SA
• Sàrl
• SCA
• SCS
• SCSp
• SCoSA
The entities may be open-ended or closed-ended.
• FCP
• SICAV (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
• SICAF (SA, Sàrl, SCA, SCoSA, SCS, SCSp)
The entities may be open-ended or closed-ended.
• SA
• Sàrl
• SCA
• SCSA
A securitisation vehicle may be set up in one of the following forms:
• a securitisation company (SA, Sàrl, SCS, SCSp, SENC, SCA, SAS, SCSA); or
• a securitisation fund consisting of one or several co-ownerships or one or several fiduciary estates and managed by a management company.
• SCS
• SCSp
• SA, Sàrl, SCA
• SAS
• SCoSA
• SCS
• SCSp
Umbrella structureYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.No.No.
Capital requirements• FCP:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached no later than 6 months following the authorisation by the CSSF.
• Self managed SICAV / SICAF:
EUR 300,000 at the date of authorisation and EUR 1,250,000 within 6 months following its authorisation.
• FCP:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached no later than 6 months following the authorisation by the CSSF.
• Self managed SICAV / SICAF:
EUR 300,000 at the date of authorisation and EUR 1,250,000 within 6 months following its authorisation.
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached no later than 12 months following the authorisation by the CSSF. EUR 1,000,000 to be
reached no later than
12 months following
the auhorisation by
the CSSF.
• FCP:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached within 12 months from the entry into force of the management regulations.
• SICAV:
EUR 1,250,000 to be reached within 12 months from the incorporation of the SICAV.
Depends on the form:
• SA / SCA: EUR 30,000
• Sàrl: EUR 12,000
• SCSA: no minimum capital.
If the securitisation vehicle is set up as a company, it depends on the form:
• SA / SCA: EUR 30,000
• Sàrl: EUR 12,000
If the securitisation vehicle is set up as a fund, there is no minimum capital requirement.
No minimum capital requirement.Depends on the form:
• SA / SCA: EUR 30,000
• Sàrl: EUR 12,000
No minimum capital requirement for other legal forms.
Required service providers• Management company in case of an FCP.
• Depositary institution.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
• Management company in case of an FCP.
• Depositary institution.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
• Management company in case of an FCP.
• Depositary bank or professional of the financial sector providing depositary services, subject to conditions.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
• Depositary bank or professional of the financial sector providing depositary services, subject to conditions.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
• Management company in case of an FCP.
• Depositary bank or professional of the financial sector providing depositary services, subject to conditions.
• Administrative agent.
• Registrar and Transfer Agent.
• Approved statutory auditor.
Registered auditor in principle not required unless two of the following criteria are met: (i) net turnover above EUR 8.8 million, (ii) balance sheet above EUR 4.4 million and (iii) average number of employees above 50. However, depending on the legal form of the company, there may be an obligation to appoint a commissaire aux comptes.• Alternative Investment Fund Manager (if the securitisation vehicle qualifies as an AIF).
• Management company (if the securitisation vehicle is set up in the form of a fund).
• Independent auditor.
• No depository institution (unless for regulated securisation vehicles).
• No administrative agent.
For SCS:
• Alternative Investment Fund Manager (if the SCS qualifies as an AIF).
• No requirement to appoint a depositary (except if the SCS qualifies as an AIF and is managed by a duly authorised AIFM).
For SCSp:
• Alternative Investment Fund Manager (if the SCSp qualifies as an AIF).
• No requirement to appoint a depositary (except if the SCSp qualifies as an AIF and is managed by a duly authorised AIFM).
Registered auditor in principle not required unless the company is an AIF managed by an AIFM with AUM above the threshold or two of the following criteria are met: (i) net turnover above EUR 8.8 million, (ii) balance sheet above EUR 4.4 million and (iii) average number of employees above 50. However, depending on the legal form of the company, there may be an obligation to appoint a commissaire aux comptes.
Possibility of listingYes.Yes.Yes.Yes, but difficult in practice.Yes.No.No. In principle, no. The SCS/SCSp may however issue debt securities that are eligible to be listed on the stock exchange.Yes.
European passportYes.No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.Yes.No.
No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.No, unless it falls under the scope of the full AIFMD regime.
Net asset value (NAV) calculation and redemption frequencyThe UCITS must make public the issue, sale and repurchase price of their units each time they issue, sell and repurchase their units, and at least twice a month.The UCIs must make public the issue, sale and repurchase price of their units each time they issue, sell and repurchase their units, and at least once a month.At least once a year for reporting purposes.Not required. At least once a year for reporting purposes.Not required. Not required. Not required.Not required.
Overall income tax (corporate income tax and municipal business tax)No income tax.No income tax.No income tax.• General aggregate rate: 24.94%.
In certain cases, reduced corporate income tax rates may apply. Income derived from transferable securities (e.g. dividends received and capital gains realised on the sale of shares) is exempt. Income on cash held for the purpose of a future investment is also exempt (for one year).
No income tax, unless investing only in risk capital, then SICAR tax regime applicable.No income tax.• General aggregate rate for taxable securisation companies: 24.94%.
Securitisation vehicles should be able to deduct from their gross profits their operational costs and the dividends or interests distributed to the shareholders/creditors. Therefore securitisation companies should not generate significant taxable profits and should therefore to a large extent be tax neutral.
No corporate income tax applicable. Municipal business tax of 6.75% applicable in very limited circumstances, namely in case the SCS/SCSp (i) carries out a commercial activity or (ii) is deemed to carry out a commercial activity. A SCS/SCSp is deemed to carry out a commercial activity if its general partner is a Luxembourg public or private limited liability company holding at least 5% of the partnership interests. With a proper structuring of the GPs partnership interest it should be possible to avoid the deemed commercial characterisation of the SCS/SCSp.General aggregate
rate: 24.94%, but
100% exemption for
dividends, liquidation
proceeds and capital
gains from qualifying
participations.
Subscription tax (NAV: net asset value)• Rate: 0.05% of the NAV annually.
• Reduction: 0.01% of the NAV annually in certain specific cases.
• Tax exemptions: special institutional money market cash funds, special pension funds (including pension pooling vehicles) and funds investing in other funds which are already subject to subscription tax.
• Rate: 0.05% of the NAV annually. • Reduction: 0.01% of the NAV annually in certain specific cases.
• Tax exemptions: special institutional money market cash funds, special pension funds (including pension pooling vehicles) and funds investing in other funds which are already subject to subscription tax.
• Rate: 0.01% of the NAV annually.
• Tax exemptions: certain money market and pension funds or SIFs investing in other funds which are already subject to subscription tax.
No subscription tax.• Rate: 0.01% of the NAV annually.
• Exemptions apply.
Annual subscription tax of 0.25% on the amount of paid up capital and issue premium (if any).No subscription tax.No subscription tax.No subscription tax.
Wealth taxNo wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.No wealth tax.0.5% on the NAV on 1 January. Since 2017, this minimum net wealth tax for holding and finance companies (known as the Soparfis)—the fixed financial assets, intercompany loans, transferable securities and cash at bank of which exceed both 90% of their gross assets and EUR 350,000—is fixed at EUR 4,815 per year. The minimum net wealth tax for all other corporations has not changed; in other words, it is EUR 535 for companies with a total balance sheet up to EUR 350,000.
Withholding tax on dividendsNot subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Not subject to withholding tax.Dividends distributed by a Luxembourg company are in principle subject to withholding tax at a rate of 15%, unless a domestic law exemption or a lower tax treaty rate applies.
Benefit from Double Tax Treaty network• SICAV/SICAF: Limited to certain double tax treaties (see circular L.G. -A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017).
• FCP: see circular L.G.-A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017.
• SICAV/SICAF: Limited to certain double tax treaties (see circular L.G. -A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017).
• FCP: see circular L.G.-A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017.
• SICAV/SICAF: Limited to certain double tax treaties (see circular L.G. -A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017).
• FCP: see circular L.G.-A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017.
Yes in case the SICAR is set-up as a corporate entity (except if set-up under the form of a SCS/SCSp).• RAIFs investing in a portfolfio of risk capital (such as a SICAR)
Access if set-up as a corporate entity (except if set-up under the form of a SCS/SCSp).
• RAIFs not investing in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a SICAR), but set-up as:
SICAV / SICAF: Limited to certain double tax treaties (see circular L.G. -A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017).
FCP: see circular L.G.-A n°61 of the tax administration of 8 December 2017.
No.Yes for securitisation
companies.
No.Yes.
Benefit from the EU Parent Subsidiary DirectiveNo.No.No.In principle yes, but certain jurisdictions where the target companies are located may challenge the application of the directive.No, unless RAIF that invests in a portfolio of risk capital (such as a SICAR).No.Yes.No.Yes.
Thin capitalization rules (debt-toequity ratio)Borrowings of up to 10% of net assets to finance redemptions (it should be a short term borrowing and cannot be for investment purposes) or to buy real estate for its business. The total borrowing under the above may not exceed 15% of net assets.Borrowings of up to 25% of net assets without any restrictions are allowed.No debt-to-equity ratio.No debt-to-equity ratio.No debt-to-equity ratio.Tax of 0.25% on the debt that exceeds 8 times the paid-up capital increased by the issue premium.No debt-to-equity ratio.No debt-to-equity ratio.No provision in Luxembourg law. However, there is a specific administrative practice.