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Registration of a company in Switzerland

Establishing a company in Switzerland is an excellent way to raise your business to the top

Located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is considered to be among the most well-respected and distinguished jurisdictions all over the world.
The advanced banking system, fully developed insurance sector, well-grounded economy, financial stability, advantageous corporate law, and geographical position make Swiss company registration a profitable option. Opening a company in Switzerland enables entrepreneurs to enter the European business market since there is a convenient transport infrastructure in Switzerland.

The benefits of setting up a Swiss company

Although starting a company in Switzerland is not so easy, more and more foreign entrepreneurs are willing to open businesses in Switzerland. Businessmen from European countries and worldwide are eager to register companies in Switzerland because they desire to be in charge of a successful business.

As for the advantages of Swiss company registration for entrepreneurs, they include the following:
  • High Quality
    We are a leading firm in providing quality and value to our customers. Each member of our team has at least 5 years of legal experience. We like what we do.
  • Unique Experience
    Each member of our team has at least 5 years of legal experience. They use their knowledge to make our clients' lives better.
  • Good Support
    Our managers are always ready to answer your questions. You can call us at the weekends and at night. You can also visit our office for a personal consultation.
  • Individual Approach
    Our company works according to the principle of individual approach to every client. This method allows us to achieve success in problems of all levels.
  • Nice Prices And Gifts
    Our prices are fixed for some standard services and we offer discounts for regular clients. Also, we ask our new clients about their birthday and prepare cool presents.
  • Effective Services
    We care about our clients' time and can help you every day. Just call us — and we will help you with all the questions.

Types of Swiss legal structures

The various types of Swiss legal structures include sole proprietorship, limited company, limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership, cooperative, association, foundation, and a branch office. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it's essential to choose the one that best fits the business needs and goals.
  • -1-
    Sole Proprietorship:
    A sole proprietorship is a simple and flexible form of business ownership where the owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. This business structure is suitable for small businesses with low risk and liability.
  • -2-
    Limited Company (AG, SA):
    A limited company is a type of legal structure that limits the personal liability of its owners (shareholders) to the amount of capital they have invested in the company. This type of structure is suitable for companies that require significant capital: a minimum fixed share capital of 100,000 CHF, with a minimum deposit of 50,000 CHF at the time of Swiss company registration.
  • -3-
    Limited Liability Company (GmbH, Sarl):
    A limited liability company is a hybrid form of business ownership that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. This type of structure offers limited liability protection to its owners while providing tax benefits and flexibility. The minimum capital in GmbH is CHF 20,000, fully paid in.
  • -4-
    General Partnership:
    A general partnership is a type of business structure where two or more individuals share ownership and control of the business and are personally responsible for the business debts and obligations.
  • -5-
    Limited Partnership:
    A limited partnership is a type of business structure where one or more general partners manage the business and are personally responsible for its debts and obligations. In comparison, one or more limited partners provide capital and have limited liability.
  • -6-
    A cooperative is a type of business structure where the members own and control the business and share in the profits and losses.
  • -7-
    An association is a type of non-profit organization that is established to promote a common interest or cause.
  • -8-
    A foundation is a type of non-profit organization that is established to achieve specific charitable, educational, or cultural goals.
  • -9-
    Branch Office:
    A branch office is a type of business structure where a foreign company establishes a presence in Switzerland through a subsidiary. The branch office is considered to be a separate legal entity responsible for its debts and obligations.

Steps to start a business in Switzerland

To launch a Swiss business, a future businessman must first research the Swiss market and create a business plan.
It is essential to conduct market research to understand the Swiss market and identify potential opportunities. This includes gathering information about the competition, target customers, and the regulatory environment.
Creation of a business plan: an entrepreneur has to develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines business goals, strategies, and operating plans. This will help you identify potential risks and opportunities and guide your decision-making as you move forward.

Registering procedure of the company in Switzerland

The company registration process in Switzerland typically involves the following steps:
  • Choosing a legal structure:

    The first step in registering a company in Switzerland is to determine the most appropriate legal structure for your business, taking into account factors such as the size and complexity of your business, the level of personal liability you are willing to accept, and the tax implications. Some of the common legal structures in Switzerland include sole proprietorship, limited company, limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership, cooperative, association, foundation, and a branch office.
  • Choosing a canton:

    Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, each with its own unique tax laws and regulations. It is vital to select the canton that best suits your business needs and goals, considering factors such as tax rates, labor costs, and access to infrastructure and services. Some cantons are known for their low tax rates, while others are more favorable for specific industries.
  • Registering the company name:

    The next step is to check the availability of your desired company name and reserve it with the Swiss Trade Register. You will need to provide proof of your identity and other information about the company, such as the type of business and the names of the directors.
  • Preparing the Articles of Association:

    The company's Articles of Association outline the company's goals, structure, and governance. Ensuring that these documents are well-drafted and compliant with Swiss law is essential.
  • Opening a Swiss bank account:

    After registering your company, you need to open a Swiss bank account for your business, allowing you to manage your finances and transact with customers and suppliers.
  • Submitting the required documents:

    in Switzerland, there is a federal Trade register (it can be called the business register or commercial register), which is updated every day. In addition, each Swiss canton has Trade registers too.
Once you have completed the above steps, you must submit the necessary documents to the Swiss Trade Register, including the Articles of Association, the bank certificate, and any other necessary documents.

The notarized documents can be forwarded to the Swiss commercial registry by:
· Registered post;
· Ordinary post;
· Personally.

When the Swiss companies register processes submitted documents, it publishes the details concerning the new company, such as the names of shareholders and business activity, in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC) – a commercial newspaper. When the newspaper issue is published, the company is considered to be incorporated in Switzerland; thus, other companies can't take the name of this company from this moment.

Registering for value-added tax (VAT)

After your company has been registered, you will need to register for value-added tax (VAT) with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration.

Registering employees for social security

Finally, with the Swiss social security system, you will need to register your employees for social security.
The entire process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your business and the type of legal structure you choose. It is recommended to seek professional assistance from a Swiss lawyer or tax advisor to ensure that your company is properly registered and compliant with Swiss law.

Corporate taxes and VAT for Swiss companies

In Switzerland, corporate taxes are levied at the federal, cantonal, and municipal levels. The federal corporate tax rate is 8.5% on taxable income, while cantonal and municipal taxes vary depending on the company's location. Switzerland's effective corporate tax rate can range from 12% to 24%.

Value-added tax (VAT) in Switzerland is known as "Value Added Tax" (VAT) and is imposed at a standard rate of 7.7% on the sale of goods and services. There are also reduced rates of 2.5% and 3.8% for certain goods and services. VAT is levied on the supply of goods and services made in Switzerland and imported goods. The VAT system in Switzerland is based on the principle of destination, which means that the VAT is due in the country where the goods or services are consumed.
Value-added tax (VAT) registration is a requirement for companies operating in Switzerland. The process typically involves the following steps:
Determine your VAT liability
The first step is determining whether your company must register for VAT. This will depend on the type and size of your business and the nature of your products and services.
Obtain a VAT number
Once you have determined that your company is liable for VAT, you will need to obtain a VAT number from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration.
Complete the VAT registration form
You must complete and submit a VAT registration form to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. This form should include information about your company, including its name, address, type of business, and tax identification number.
Submit supporting documentation
Along with the VAT registration form, you will also need to submit supporting documentation, such as your company's Articles of Association, proof of identity, and proof of address.
Wait for confirmation of VAT registration
After you have submitted the required documents, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration will review your application and confirm your VAT registration. This process can take several weeks.
Once your company has been registered for VAT, you must charge VAT on all eligible sales and submit regular VAT returns to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. It is critical to comply with all VAT requirements to avoid penalties and fines. You may seek professional assistance from a Swiss lawyer or tax advisor to ensure that your VAT registration and reporting comply with Swiss law.

Cost of incorporating a company in Switzerland

The cost of launching a Swiss business can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of legal structure you choose, the size of your company, and the canton in which you are registering your company. Some of the costs associated with launching a Swiss business include the following:
Legal and administrative fees
These include registering your company, obtaining a business license, and drawing up your company's articles of association and other corporate documents.
Accountant and lawyer fees
Hiring an accountant or lawyer to assist with the launch of your business may be an additional cost.
Banking fees
Setting up a business bank account in Switzerland may require paying a one-time fee and a monthly maintenance fee.
Social security contributions
Employers in Switzerland are required to contribute to the Swiss social security system on behalf of their employees. The amount of these contributions will depend on the size and type of your business and your employees' salaries.
Office rental and other operating costs
The cost of renting office space and other operating expenses, such as utilities and insurance, will vary depending on the location and size of your business.