Switzerland is the most sought after country for foreigners looking for work or starting a business in another country. This is primarily due to the country's political and economic stability, which is conducive to business development.
The good news is that SIGTAX is a Swiss company with extensive experience in the country and the necessary local know-how to help you quickly set up a company in Switzerland. We understand that starting a company in a foreign country can be challenging and our team is here to support you every step of the way. We take care of all the formalities while you feel comfortable at home.
What types of companies can you register in Switzerland?
Joint Stock Company (AG - Aktiengesellschaft)
The public limited company, also called "Societé Anonyme" (SA), prevails in Switzerland due to its limited liability. The shareholders are not registered in the public register and the change of ownership is much easier compared to GmbH.
Currently, the minimum capital required to establish an AG is set at CHF 100'000. Shareholders have the opportunity to pay 20% of the capital - at least CHF 50'000. If the availability of such funds for capital is difficult, you can create a limited liability company (GmbH) with a capital of 20'000 CHF. The shareholders of the GmbH are published in the Swiss commercial register. For both types, one shareholder is sufficient. Most entrepreneurs prefer AG over GmbH.
Limited Liability Company (GmbH - Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung)
This type of company can be compared to a limited liability company (LLC). GmbH consists of one shareholder and a minimum share capital of CHF 20'000. It is important to note that the liability of the participants is limited by their contribution to the authorized capital. Unlike AG, in this case the names of the shareholders are published in the Commercial Register.
This legal entity can be formed by anyone residing in Switzerland to carry out commercial activities. The minimum authorized capital required for the formation of this business structure is not required. However, if the annual turnover exceeds CHF 100'000, then the company must register with the Commercial Register.
To form a general partnership in Switzerland, at least two individuals are required who not only reside in Switzerland, but also pursue the same economic goals under the same name. No minimum share capital is required.
In this case, one of the partners bears full responsibility, and the other - limited liability, proportional to the contribution that he made to the partnership.
Doing business in Switzerland for non-residents
The Swiss government has managed to create a very attractive business environment for both local citizens and foreign investors. However, there are a few things a foreign citizen should keep in mind:
EU / EFTA citizens
For EU or EFTA citizens, setting up a company in Switzerland is much easier. According to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, these citizens do not need a category “C” residence permit to stay in Switzerland.
However, in order to start a business and stay in Switzerland, such citizens need to have a residence permit of category “B”, valid for 5 years. In addition, they are also required to declare their object of activity and provide evidence. The following documents are required as evidence:
Valid bank account
Commercial register entry
Professional registration record
Proof of Social Security for Self-Employed Persons
Non-EU / EFTA citizens
While starting a business in Switzerland can be a bit tricky for non-EU / EFTA citizens, the situation is not entirely hopeless. SIGTAX also has extensive experience in assisting non-EU / EFTA individuals to set up their business in Switzerland. In order to work in Switzerland, they must:
Obtain a C-permit, which entitles you to work in Switzerland
To be married to a person who has a residence permit of category "C"
In case you are unable to obtain a category “C” residence permit, you must apply to the cantonal authorities where you want to start your own business.