Switzerland offers and wide range of investment opportunities to foreign investors. In fact, it has ranked number one in the Global Innovation Index several times, making it highly competitive and stable. Switzerland is also the third most prosperous landlocked country in the world. Investing in Switzerland is extremely safe and the government provides the support new businesses need. All financial transactions in Switzerland are now carried out digitally.
The famous Swiss banking industry is worth mentioning. Due to the country’s politically neutral stance throughout historical events that swept across Europe, it enjoys nearly 30% of the world’s offshore transactions. Considering the natural beauty of Switzerland, another obvious investment choice would be tourism. Switzerland has something to offer throughout the seasons of the year, and real estate is a highly-profitable investment opportunity. This holds true despite the limits put in place by the government regarding property acquisition by foreigners.
Let’s not forget to mention the world-famous Swiss watch or dairy industries. Switzerland is also a very powerful trading force on the global market and a competitive manufacturer of pharmaceutical and medical equipment.
Forms Of Companies In Switzerland
- GmbH “Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung”—Private Limited Liability Company
- AG “Aktiengesellschaft”—Public Limited Company
- KG “Kommanditgesellschaft”—Limited Partnership
- KoIG “Kollektivgesellschaft”—General partnership
- “Einzelunternehmen”—Sole proprietership
What is the difference between AG and GmbH companies in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, most foreign investors opt for one of the limited company types—GmbH and AG.
If you opt for GmbH, your limited liability company must have at least one director with a Swiss address. CompyCo will provide you with a local Nominee directorship service to make the process easier for you, even outside your jurisdiction. Even though the share capital is 20,000 CHF, you can deposit a minimum of 10 000 CHF into your bank account to get started.
For business owners who opt for AG companies, you must have at least 100 000 CHF of share value and the minimum amount to deposit in your bank account is 50,000 CHF. Each share must be worth at least 0.01 CHF.
Fundamentals Of A Limited Liability Company
Corporate Tax in Switzerland
VAT in Switzerland
Starts at 8.5%
Fundamentals of limited liability companies in Switzerland
|Limited liability company||GmbH|
|Minimum Share capital||20 000 CHF|
|Registered office required||No|
|Physical office required||Yes|
|Min. number of Shareholders||1|
|Min. number of Directors||1|
|Local directors required||Yes|
|Bank signatory must travel||Yes|
|Timescale for company formation||4 weeks|
|Timescale for bank account opening||14 days|
|Timescale for obtaining VAT number||2 weeks|
|Statutory audit requirements||Only for companies with 10 and more employees|
|Shelf companies available||No|
How can I set up my company in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, registering a new company is straightforward, as long as all the requirements are observed and correct documentation is submitted.
The first step is collecting all the documents and information from you. We will reserve the name of the company at the beginning, to ensure no legal problems arise later.
The next step is preparing and notarizing the Articles of incorporation. After that, we will open a special bank account in your company name, where you will be able to transfer the share capital.
After this step, we’ll submit the documents into the Commercial Registry. Once the company is formed, the bank account will be activated. In some cases, we’ll be able to open a bank account without the need for you to visit Switzerland. This remote process depends on several factors, including your country of residence and the nature of your business.
We also have shelf companies available in Switzerland for you to incorporate. Purchasing and getting shelf companies is a faster process in comparison to company registration. If you’re interested in purchasing a shelf company, get in touch with CompyCo’s advisors for details.
The last step is to register the company for VAT with the Federal Tax Administration. The minimum revenue for the necessity of VAT registration is 100 000 CHF. Once you’ve obtained the necessary certifications and are legally-compliant with Switzerland’s requirements, you can begin your business processes.
If you’re employing staff for your Swiss business, we’ll register your employees with the social insurance system at the federal and cantonal levels.
There’s a lot to consider before you can get your business off the ground in any foreign country. Gathering information, evaluating your goals, and analyzing the country’s requirements is necessary before you can even begin the first step.
With so much at stake, it’s imperative that you work with incorporation experts with experience in the Swiss business environment. CompyCo has worked with countless business owners who are interested in expanding beyond their jurisdiction.
We don’t just help you formulate your business goals, our full-service solutions cater to your needs every step of the process. Leverage our extensive network of local experts in a completely hassle-free way. We’ll be your sole point of contact and help you get the information you need from Swiss legal, financial, and business experts.
Bank Account Opening
As a world leader in the financial sector, Swiss banking services have garnered a stellar reputation throughout the years. The top-notch banking facilities have a lot to offer new businesses whether they’re locally owned or backed by foreign investors. The low levels of financial risk, stability against currency fluctuations, and high confidentiality levels make Swiss banks ideal for business-related purposes.
From depositing the financial capital to financing loans, banking solutions are essential to setting up and running a business in any country. CompyCo’s broad range of banking services begins with helping you open a bank account in Switzerland.
We’ve maintained close relationships with experts in Switzerland who’ll provide guidance and insight that’ll ensure the process is hassle-free for you. From gathering documents to finding a bank that’ll approve your request, we’ll communicate with Swiss professionals on your behalf and complete the processes for you. Some of the documentation required includes proof of identity, proof of address, and any indicator of your residence status in Switzerland.
In some cases, you can open a bank account remotely depending on your country of residence or business activities.
Learn more about opening a bank account here.
Accounting & Taxation
The accounting and taxation obligations to take into consideration are:
- The tax year is the calendar year in Switzerland
- Taxable profits include trading profits, investments and selling assets for more than their original cost
- All businesses must maintain accounting books
- The corporate income tax is levied at 8.5%. However, cantonal, communal and federal taxes are added onto the standard tax rate, making the effective tax rate between 11.9% and 21.6%
- The current VAT rate is 8% on most goods and services. Some exceptions apply. Accommodation is taxed with 3.8%, food with only 2.5%
How can you employ staff in Switzerland?
Setting up a company outside your jurisdiction requires you to hire employees to handle the operations, even when you’re not present. Hiring the right employee means greater productivity and efficiency for your business.
The Swiss workforce is known for its discipline, high-standard of education, and unparalleled skills. Leverage what they have to offer by recruiting them in your new company.
CompyCo helps you understand Switzerland’s employment regulations and provides in-depth advice on the best way to move forward. We don’t just work with local Swiss experts on your behalf, we also carry out the processes for you.
Our team provides full-service recruiting and HR services to your new business in Switzerland. From registering your non-resident company as an employer to managing the payroll, we’ll take care of everything you may need along the way. Our services don’t stop when the registration is complete, we also provide post-incorporation support in hiring and managing your workforce.
You might be able to avoid registering your company as an employer if you only have one employee working from home. Find out if this is possible for you by getting in touch with us.
Have any questions? Take a look at our HR services page for more information about our International HR services!