FAQ

Who is able to open a company in Switzerland?

Swiss resident or foreign entrepreneurs are allowed to open a company in Switzerland.  In addition, foreign investors benefit from the same advantages as locals, provided that they comply with the Swiss legislation, the rules and regulations in order.

 

What types of companies can you incorporate in Switzerland?

The most common business structures are the GmbH  - suitable for small to medium-sized businesses, the AG – the Swiss corporation suitable for all kinds of business operations, company branches, sole proprietorships and business partnerships.

 

What is the minimum share capital for company registration in Switzerland?

The required minimum share capital for a GmbH is 20,000 CHF or assets of equal value. The required minimum share capital for an AG is 100, 000 CHF, of which minimum 20% or at least 50,000 CHF must be paid up-front.

 

Does the company need to have a registered office in Switzerland?

All companies incorporated in Switzerland must have a registered Swiss office.

 

How do I register a company in Switzerland?

To register a company in Switzerland, the founder/s must select a unique company name, choose the appropriate business structure, open a bank account with a Swiss bank and prepare all the required documentation. Finally, the company is registered with the Swiss Trade Register and for VAT purposes.

 

How do I open a bank account in Switzerland?

To register a company in Switzerland, it is required to open a bank account with a Swiss bank in order to deposit the share capital. The bank will require identification documents, the Articles of Association of the company and the document of the Business Registration.

 

Can I open a subsidiary in Switzerland?

Any foreign company can open a Swiss subsidiary. Most foreign companies which expand their business operations in Switzerland choose this option. Certain Swiss regulations are favorable to company subsidiaries opened in the country, especially in terms of taxation.

 

What is a Swiss holding company and what benefits does it provide?

Holding companies are defined as companies that manage investments made in other companies and don’t conduct business activities in Switzerland. Swiss holding companies must hold or have earned revenues representing 2/3 of its entire assets or its entire income. Swiss holdings enjoy certain tax advantages, such as exemption from cantonal income tax and reduced capital tax. Based on the income from significant investments made in other companies, holding companies can claim a tax reduction at federal level (participation deduction).

 

What corporate taxes are paid in Switzerland?

All Swiss companies must pay income and capital tax. Tax rate vary significantly, depending on the activities of the respective companies. For example, holding companies don’t pay income tax at cantonal level, while investment companies benefit from a tax reduction at cantonal level, based on significant investments. Other corporate taxes levied in Switzerland are the withholding tax and the VAT.

 

What types of taxes are levied in Switzerland?

Other taxes levied in Switzerland include the federal taxes on services and goods, direct cantonal and municipal taxes, as well as cantonal and municipal taxes on services and goods.

 

Do I need to apply for a special permit or license to do business in Switzerland?

Special permits are issued for certain types of business activities, depending on the company’s object of activity.

 

How long does it take to open a company in Switzerland?

Company incorporation in Switzerland is a relatively quick process, if the documentation is prepared in advanced – usually around 10 days.

 

Why should I invest in Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the most attractive business locations due to its stable economy and business-friendly environment. The taxation system is also very favorable to foreign investors. In addition, Switzerland is famous for its excellent banking system, highly skilled workforce and highly developed infrastructure.

 

What is a Swiss mixed company?

Mixed companies are business structured generally used for branch operations of foreign companies. The business activity is related to operations abroad and the business operations in Switzerland are only of secondary nature. It is possible to set up corporations, company branches, limited liability companies, limited partnerships or cooperatives as mixed companies. At least 80% of the business activity must take place outside of Switzerland. Mixed companies can’t be involved in their own production or distribution activities in Switzerland.