How to Start a Company in Switzerland
December 11, 2017
Brown Mark (73 articles)

How to Start a Company in Switzerland

Switzerland has always been seen as an attractive location to both live and work. For this reason, many business owners choose to relocate their business affairs to Switzerland entirely as the law surrounding tax is far more attractive than most other European countries.

If you’ve ever thought about relocating to Switzerland and opening a business, keep reading to find out how it’s done and how it could benefit you.

An Overview of Switzerland

Although relatively small, there are still eight million living within Switzerland making it very active and vibrant. The country is considered to be politically neutrally and isn’t subject to any laws that would make the running of a business difficult.

In addition, Switzerland is considered to be both multicultural and multilingual with several official languages spoken including German, French and Italian which is sure to make being understood much easier.

The country is divided into regions also referred to as cantons. These cantons have the ability to independently levy tax rates with corporation tax being the one of most concern to business owners.

The Types of Swiss Company

There are two main types of company operating in Switzerland. If you’re thinking of relocating and starting a business, it will probably be in the form a public or limited liability company.

Each will require a minimum amount of capital which is set at the level of CHF 20,000 or CHF 100,000 depending on the type of company. Both types of company must feature at least one shareholder.

The Formation Process

The process itself will take a minimum of six weeks, which whilst not as short as some countries, is still much easier than many others. The process includes;

  • The preparation and signature of all Fiduciary and legal agreements.
  • The opening and funding of capital bank accounts for the operational capital of the company.
  • The preparation of all required incorporation documentation.

The initial incorporation stage usually lasts anywhere between two and three weeks, after which point a license to begin trading is presented. The post incorporation phase has an additional set of requirements and includes:

  • Drafting a chart of accounts for your company and setting up an accounting mandate. Under Swiss law, accounting records of the business are required to be maintained in Switzerland.
  • The preparation of a summary budget for the first 12 months of trading.
  • Drafting a series of invoicing and letterhead templates.
  • Completing the online banking arrangements for the company which will make transferring money easier.
  • Registering the company for Swiss VAT where required.
  • Drafting operational policies and procedures in relation to the issue, receipt and payment of invoices and the management of accounting records.
  • Drafting operational processes in relation to the setup and forwarding of telephone calls, emails, and post based correspondence.

Once complete, you will be free to continue trading in accordance with the laws of Switzerland. Company formation in Swiss cantons is straightforward as long as you meet the required criteria for the formation of a company. The benefits are numerous and include several tax emptions that can make your company much more profitable.

Simply approach a Swiss company formation specialist and seek further advice – before you know it you’ll be experiencing all of the benefits Switzerland has to offer.

Brown Mark

Brown Mark