Knowledge

Open a bank account in Switzerland

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One of the first steps when registering a new company in Switzerland, regardless of its type, is to open a bank account with a Swiss bank. The account is necessary to deposit is required minimum capital when founding a GmbH or an AG, but bank account are also use for other legal entities as well.

According to Swiss laws, non – residents who would like to open a Swiss bank account, must be of legal age, 18 years or older, but other than this simple requirement there are not much restrictions. You can open a bank account in almost any currency, but the most commonly used ones are CHF, US dollars or Euro. You don’t need a minimum sum if you want to open a bank account, however once you start to make deposits, you have to maintain a minimum balance, established by each bank and depending on the type of account.

How to choose which Swiss bank to work with

Depending on what types of investments you want to make, it’s important to choose the bank that offers the most benefits. If you choose a Swiss bank that has a branch in your country, you should know that bank branches are required to follow the laws of the countries in which they are located. For example, a Swiss bank branch in France has no greater privacy capabilities than a regular French bank does.

The more extensive the investments services and options are, the higher is the required minimum balance for your account. This is something you should keep in mind when you choose the type of account you wish to open. Swiss banks also offer access to safe deposit boxes.

Deposit interests in Swiss banks

You can gain a small amount in interest if you maintain your account in CHF, but the downside is that you will have to pay the Swiss withholding tax. If you need you account to register a Swiss company, you will have to open a bank account in CHF. However, most account holders who don’t live in Switzerland maintain their bank account in other currencies. Currencies can be put into a money market found, which will earn interest in Switzerland.

How to open a bank account in Switzerland

Many Swiss banks offer the opportunity to open an account by mail or by fax, although the safest way is to do it in person. Swiss anti – money – laundering laws require account holders to prove where the money comes from, therefore you will need various certified documents, such as authenticated copies of your passport, tax returns, company documents, professional licenses if necessary, proof where the deposited money comes from and all the typical personal information. You will also need to declare what you intend to do with the money, once deposited.

The main difference between opening a bank account in person and by mail is that the authenticated copies of your passport will require an apostille. An apostille is a seal used to certify that the official document is an authentic copy and in most countries, you can get it from a public notary.

Numbered accounts in Swiss banks

Numbered accounts require that you physically got to the Swiss bank, or someone delegated in your name. These accounts require a large initial deposit and have high maintenance rates. Numbered accounts are not anonymous.

Deposits and fees in Swiss banks

Minimum required balances may vary from bank to bank, depending on the type of bank account and the transactions you make. For example, for basic accounts, you may be charged for outgoing bank transfers, international check deposits and an annual maintenance fee will vary depending on the number of entries in your account statement.

When is a Swiss bank account rejected

Usually, bank accounts are not rejected in Switzerland, unless the origin of the money is questionable or unclear, or its origin goes against Swiss regulations. The scrutiny of money origins and subsequent deposits is high because of the strict money laundering laws.

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