Why should you choose SIG Fiduciaire
We make the company formation process as simple and fast as possible and we provide you with all sorts of tools and services to get you started. You don’t know which type of Swiss company you should choose? Our team is happy to offer you support and advice regarding the most suitable business structure for your needs. Our goal is to offer you the best services at the most competitive prices.
Taxation for Swiss Companies
Some types of companies can benefit from certain tax privileged or can apply for significant tax deductions, depending on their business purpose and on the tax advantages provided on cantonal level in Switzerland.
Entrepreneurs have the possibility to opt for several types of business structures in Switzerland, which requires a careful analysis of the advantage and disadvantages of each structure. Choosing the most suitable type of Swiss companies depends on various factors, such as the business purposes, the types of activities conducted in Switzerland and taxation.
The Swiss company formation process is considered to be relatively simple and hassle-free, especially if you acquire the help of a firm specialized in incorporating in Switzerland, which can act on your behalf and handle all the paperwork and legal steps.
Switzerland is organized as a federation consisting of 26 cantons, each having the possibility to establish their own tax rates. Thus, there is no centralized tax system. Some taxes are levied on federal level, while other are levied on cantonal and municipal level, which shows how important it is to choose the most convenient location in Switzerland to start your own business.
Holding companies pay a reduced tax rate on capital tax (0.02 ‰) and don’t have to pay income tax on cantonal level.
Investment companies benefit from a tax reduction on cantonal level if they hold significant investments in other companies.
Management companies don’t have to pay tax for income made from investments in other companies and the revenues from foreign sources are taxed proportionally, up to the extent of their activity.
Mixed companies can benefit from significant tax reductions due to various regulations provided by the Swiss legislation.
Principal companies can claim a direct federal tax deduction based on the business activities conducted in other jurisdictions.
For tax planning purposes, it’s important to be aware of the tax advantages provided by each Swiss canton, while not losing sight of other important characteristics such as workforce availability, infrastructure etc. Find out more about company registration in Switzerland.
AG (Aktiengesellschaft) is a business structure suitable for most business purposes, including for corporations and multinationals. However, the AG does require a larger amount of money for the share capital. Here you can find some additional details about the Swiss AG.
The Swiss GmbH is a private limited liability company whose liabilities are guaranteed by a social patrimony. The associates are liable only to the extent of their contribution to the share capital. One of the most important factors of registering a GmbH is the reliability and trustworthiness of associates. Find out more about the Swiss GmbH.
The Sole Proprietorship is a business structure used by individuals who want to conduct commercial activities in Switzerland and want to register a company for this purpose. The company must be registered only if the annual turnover is exceeding a certain amount. More on the Swiss sole proprietorship here.
The Swiss Verein is a business structure similar to the voluntary association recognized by the US legislation. A Swiss Verein can be used by group structures to represent a brand globally while maintaining their individual legal structures. This type of company is suitable mostly for multinational service providers as a manner to limit their responsibilities.
Swiss holding companies provide significant advantages for those interested in opening a Swiss company or establishing a business in Switzerland. The Swiss tax legislation provides important tax deductions and a privileged tax regime for holding structures. Find out more about the benefits of Swiss holding companies.
Management companies are business structures suitable for international groups or corporations that conduct the majority of their business operations outside of Switzerland. Management companies can also benefit from important tax advantages and provide an opportunity to consolidate a company’s market presence in Switzerland. Additional details on the advantages of management companies.
Mixed companies are preferred by international corporations that conduct most of their business operations abroad, while the business operations conducted in Switzerland are only of secondary nature. The profits made by these business structures are taxed based on divisional calculation. Find out more about the tax advantages of Swiss mixed companies.
Partnerships are various forms of legal structures that can be established in Switzerland such as general partnerships consisting of at least two Swiss residents with the same economic purpose and limited partnerships in which at least one of the partners is fully liable and the others are liable only to the extent of their contributions made to the partnership in cause.
Types of companies incorporated in Switzerland
AG (Aktiengesellschaft) - is a business structure that requires a minimum capital of 100,000 CHF, of which 20% or a minimum of 50,000 CHF must be paid up front. Should there be an issue with the availability of the required capital the shareholders have the option of opening a Swiss GmbH which requires a share capital of only 20,000 CHF. However, the AG is a business structure that is more commonly used than the GmbH.
GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) - has the business structure of a LLC (limited liability company) which requires at least one shareholder and a minimum capital of 20,000 CHF. The shareholders are liable only to the extent of their contributions to the share capital. The names of the shareholders of a GmbH are published in the Swiss Register of Commerce.
Sole Proprietorship – is a business structure that can be established by a private individual who is a Swiss resident with the purpose of conducting commercial activities. There is no requirement regarding a minimum capital, but the company must be registered into the Register of Commerce if the annual turnover exceeds 100,000 CHF.
General Partnership – is a business structure formed by at least two individuals who are Swiss residents and have the same economic purpose using the same name. Partnerships don’t require a minimum capital.
Limited Partnership – this type of business structure is formed by at least two individuals of which at least one has full liability while the others are liable only to the extent of the contributions made to the partnership.
Steps for company formation
- The documents of the company shareholders are prepared.
- A bank account is opened with a Swiss bank to deposit the blocked share capital.
- The share capital is deposited with the Swiss bank.
- The Swiss bank issues a capital certificate which confirms that the deposit was made.
- A registered company office is set up in Switzerland.
- The documents are notarized by a Swiss notary and sent to the Swiss Register of Commerce.
- The Register of Commerce issues a registration certificate.
- The bank account used to deposit the blocked share capital becomes a business account for the company.
Why should you open a company in Switzerland?
- Switzerland’s economic system is one of the most competitive in Europe.
- Foreign companies can benefit from significant tax incentives due to the competitive tax system.
- Switzerland has an excellent infrastructure.
- The Swiss government created policies favorable for a business-friendly environment.
- Highly educated and skilled workforce.
- Switzerland has concluded double taxation avoidance treaties with dozens of countries from all over the world.
- Excellent banking and financial services sector and strong monetary security policies.