Company setup in Switzerland

December 8, 2022

If you’re thinking of company formation in Switzerland, here’s an overview of the key aspects you should take into account before setting up. Generally, Swiss authorities have set strict obligations for ex-pat workers relocating to the country, though one variant is to work as your own boss or senior manager of your own enterprise.

Who can open a business in a Swiss jurisdiction?

Swiss nonresidents can set up their businesses, provided that they match a range of terms and conditions. An authorization to form a Swiss company is granted to:

  • The citizens of the EU and European Free Trade Associations can open an enterprise in a hassle-free manner. For this purpose, you just have to apply for permission at your domestic authorities and submit evidence of your professional activity.
  • 3rd country citizens are required to have a permission to reside in the country if their spouse is not a local citizen. If not, a person will have to obtain a work visa.

In terms of financial accountability, the precise amounts are subject to what form of enterprise is to be opened. That refers to legal form, and the necessity of specific licenses as described below.

Organizational forms of business

Making a decision on your enterprise form is a crucial step, as it defines how your organization will run, what the volume of capital will be, how many executives will be appointed, and so on. Here are the key forms:

LLC

This is an organization with a legal personality that must have at min. one executive and holder of shares who has a Swiss residency. The main differentiating feature of this structure is its publicity, in line with which the data about its stockholders should be disclosed. The min. value of the stock is CHF20 000. There is no set maximum as for shareholders.

Partnerships

There can be arranged one of 2structures:

  • A general partnership in its legal structure resembles a sοle prοprietorship. The thing about this kind is that more than one individual takes part in ownership. They fall under the levy and social security rules as other structures.
  • Limited partnerships are an arrangement engaging a min. of 2 partners.

Sοle prοprietorships

This is a perfect form for those, not affiliated and being their own bosses.  Owners of such undertakings should submit information the company register, and subscribe for compulsory payments to a government.

Joint-stock companies

This is a form, in which the establishment comes with at least one directοr and one share hοlder w/ Swiss residency. It is subject to a direct tax imposed on the income or capital of corporations; every owner is classified by law as an employee. The min. capital is set up to be CHF100,000, with 20% paid at once.

Co-op

The form of a co-op is more social that focuses on mutual decisions and transparent operation. Cοops must have 7 or more boardmembers that have to get involved in how the business is administarted. Such establishments do not have any duties regarding finances, but they need to go via registration with the business register.

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