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Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most attractive countries in the world in which to live, work, and run a company. It offers a combination of political and economic stability, a clean and safe environment, and comparatively low personal and company tax rates. But the tax regime, whilst relatively benign, is quite complex. If you want to make sure your company is structured in the most tax-efficient way.

Our company formation service makes it easy for you to open a company in Switzerland, so please contact us for further details.

What are the main types of company in Switzerland?

There are two major types of business entity for foreign investors, and they are as follows:

  • Limited Liability Company (Sàrl)
  • Corporation (SA)

What are the main features of an Sàrl?

  • Mainly used for small to medium sized businesses
  • Minimum share capital is 20,000 Swiss Francs (€12,320)
  • No restrictions on foreign ownership
  • Minimum of two people required to establish the company
  • One of the directors must be a Swiss resident

What are the main features of an SA?

  • Mainly used for medium to large sized businesses
  • Minimum share capital is 100,000 Swiss Francs (€61,600)
  • At least 50% of share capital to be paid up
  • Shareholders can remain completely anonymous
  • Majority of board directors must be Swiss residents

Is it complicated to set up a company in Switzerland?

  • Nominating a Swiss director; required by Swiss laws
  • Preparation of memorandum and articles
  • Opening a Swiss bank account
  • File with the Registrar of Companies

How easy is it to recruit staff in Switzerland?

Even though Switzerland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, at around 4%, you will not have any problems recruiting the right people for your business. The workforce is well educated and highly skilled, with over 80% of the labor pool in possession of a secondary diploma or vocational training. Switzerland has three major official languages – French, German and Italian – and English is widely used. The country has an advanced recruitment sector and we will be happy to help you if you require advice on this.

What is the regulatory environment like?

Swiss authorities do their best to ensure that business regulation is as light as possible, but it should be noted that companies are subject to canton (state) as well as federal laws. Cantons have regulatory and taxation powers of their own and they differ from one canton to another, so expert advice is essential. We have local specialists on standby to guide you through everything you need to know.

What about banking facilities?

Swiss banks represent the last word in efficiency and discretion, managing about a third of the world’s private assets and most international financial institutions have a base here. So when it comes to selecting a bank for your newly-opened Swiss company, you will be spoiled for choice.

To what extent are Swiss banks regulated?

In a word – heavily. In recent years the Swiss authorities have introduced strict regulations to guard against money laundering and to ensure compliance with international standards. The banks here face heavy due diligence requirements and are very cautious in dealing with new clients. They prefer new clients to be introduced by people they already know and trust. That’s why it makes sense to open a bank account with the help of our local experts.

Are there financial incentives available?

Not much official support for investment is available at federal level. The Government does, however, support infrastructure investment, such as tourist facilities, communications and training establishments, with subsidized loans of up to 25%. At cantonal level, it is possible to qualify for other kinds of support such as rent subsidy, waiving of work permit requirements, tax holidays up to 10 years, cheap energy and so on.

Our company formation service makes it easy for you to open a company in Switzerland, so please contact us for further details.

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