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Setting up Business in Switzerland: Choosing the right business structure.

Visa for Switzerland


Before starting a business in Switzerland, there are two crucial aspects to be considered-having a business idea and the right Swiss business legal structure.


Swiss laws mandate strict allocation for foreign workers to internal workforce, whether on work, or to start business in Switzerland. For foreigners who wish to start business here, there are two routes that they have to consider:


-Be a Swiss resident

-Partner with a Swiss legal entity or partner who is a Swiss resident

Before taking the step ahead it is important to understand the competitors and businesses in the similar areas of operation with the Commercial register available at every canton. The initial research can go a long way to firm up plans for the future.


Choosing the business structure comes next

This is an important decision, where one can choose to be a sole trader, a partnership or a legal entity. There are several advantages and disadvantages for each of the type of business.


Sole proprietorship or Single-owner company

This kind of business is suitable for entrepreneurs or sole owners of businesses, or freelancers and small businesses. Being a Swiss resident is important for this set-up. Registration with the Chamber of commerce is mandatory if annual sales exceed CHF 100,000.


General partnership

An association of people with common business objectives get together to form a general partnership. Where two or more people jointly operate a company, wherein no limited capital is required is a partnership. The partners must be Swiss residents and must have a valid Swiss address.

All partners must make registration under the Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Registry. The regulations mandate companies to keep full accounts with profit and loss statements.


-Joint-stock company (AG/SA)

Corporation with independent legal entity, with sole signatory rights can be defined as a Joint-stock company. A member of the board must be a Swiss resident, having joint signatory rights having a minimum amount of shareholders’ equity is CHF 100,000, of which CHF 50,000 must be fully paid for.

Typically, registration process takes between two and four weeks, after which the company is a legal entity.


Limited partnership

The general partners of this type of company have to register with the Chamber of Commerce and pay the agreed amount.


-Limited liability company (GmbH/Sarl)

The minimum shareholders’ equity is CHF 20,000 to start a GmbH. At least one managing director who is a signatory of the company must reside in Switzerland. A GmbH may comprise of non-members who participate in the company, and members are jointly liable for the company’s debts to the extent of their contribution to the registered capital amount. For many reasons, this is a preferred business arrangement between the parties.

-Other than the above, there is a subsidiary, or an affiliation of the foreign entity that can be formed, or a branch company that is financially dependent of the head office.


Setting up business with AccutorAG

Since there are several procedures and formalities involved in the process, setting up business in Switzerland is easier when you choose to take professional services.

If you are a foreigner, and wish to set up business in Switzerland, there are a host of regulations that are to be followed. Accutor AG provides end-to-end services for people and businesses that wish to set foot in Switzerland. Prompt paperwork, timely negotiation and streamlining processes are some of the many benefits of opting to choose a consultancy firm such as Accutor AG.


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