Company formation Switzerland

What we do

We’re specialized in the incorporation of companies in Switzerland through a relatively quick process, depending on the availability of the necessary documents.

We are present in: GenevaZugZürichLugano.

Why should you choose SIG Fiduciaire

Our firm is able to set up this entire process and to manage the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs who are interested in the formation of a company in Switzerland. We offer the best solutions in order to make this process as simple, quick and easy as possible for all our clients.

Taxation for Swiss Companies

Certain Swiss companies, depending on their activity benefit from privileged taxation in various Swiss cantons.

  • Holding companies are exempt from cantonal income tax and pay a reduced rate (0.02 ‰) of capital tax.
  • Investment companies are granted a tax reduction at cantonal level for significant investments in other companies, similar to the participation deduction.
  • Management companies are proportionally taxed for revenues from foreign sources, depending on the extent of the activity. Income from investments in other companies is exempt from taxes.
  • Mixed companies are taxed according to various regulations, which allow for significant tax deductions.
  • Principal companies can claim a deduction at the level of direct federal tax for business conducted outside Switzerland.

There are several types of companies that can be registered in Switzerland, depending on the business activities conducted, on the legal form and on the business purpose. That is one of the main reasons why it is recommended to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each legal form before deciding which structure is best for Swiss businesses.

Company registration in Switzerland and starting your own business is relatively simple. Before initiating the procedure of setting up a company, some essential steps are necessary.

Given the federal structure in Switzerland, there is no centralized fiscal system, some taxes being perceived exclusively by federal authorities, while other taxes are perceived at the cantonal, communal and federal level. Although the tax rate perceived at a federal level is fixed, the perceived cantonal taxation level varies depending on the canton.

As there are currently significant differences in tax rates perceived at cantonal level, choosing a canton for the Swiss company registration is an important element especially for tax planning.Find out more about company registration in Switzerland.

AG (Aktiengesellschaft) is preferred by business entrepreneurs, who have a Swiss company registration in mind for larger business structures, unlike small and medium-sized businesses, who prefer a limited liability company.  This type of Swiss company has a similar structure to a corporation. Here are some additional details about the Swiss AG.

The Swiss GmbH (Private Limited Liability Company) is the type of Swiss business whose social obligations are guaranteed by the social patrimony. Associates are only responsible for their contribution. The basis for the constitution of the Swiss GmbH is represented by the trust and the reliability of the associates. Find out more about the Swiss GmbH.

The sole proprietorship is a type of legal structure that is used by entrepreneurs or professionals interested in registering a Swiss business which allows them to conduct commercial activities in Switzerland. Company registration in Switzerland is required only if the annual turnover exceeds a certain amount. More on the Swiss sole proprietorship here.

The Swiss verein is a type of legal structure that is recognized under Swiss laws in a similar manner to the voluntary association under U.S. law. A Swiss verein is an excellent solution to present a global brand while allowing the firms that are part of the verein to maintain their statute as separate legal entities. It is used mainly by multinational professional services providers in order to limit their accountability.

Swiss holding companies offer a series of advantages for those interested in setting up a Swiss business or in Swiss company registration. Swiss holding companies benefit from a favorable tax regime, as well as from important deductions under the Swiss taxation. Find out more about the benefits of Swiss holding companies.

Management companiesare used mainly by international corporations or groups that conduct most of their business operations outside of Switzerland. Management companies benefit from certain taxation advantages in Switzerland as well as from consolidating a strong presence as a Swiss business. Additional details on the advantages of management companies.

Mixed companies are used for company formation in Switzerland because they are best suited for corporations that have most of their business activities abroad and any type of business conducted in Switzerland is only of secondary nature. The taxable profit for this type of Swiss company is established in accordance with the divisional calculation. Find out more about the tax advantages of Swiss mixed companies.

Partnerships are formed as legal structures in Switzerland as following: general partnerships which reunite at least two individuals residents of Switzerland sharing the same economic purpose, or limited partnerships where at least one of the partners has full liability whole the other is liable only up to the contribution brought to the respective partnership.

Types of companies incorporated in Switzerland

AG (Aktiengesellschaft) – The minimum capital required is CHF 100’000. The shareholders have the option to pay 20% of the capital - minimum CHF 50’000. If the availability of funds for the capital is an issue, a limited liability company (GmbH) can be established with a capital of only CHF 20’000. The GmbH has the shareholders published in the Swiss commercial register. One shareholder is enough for both types of companies. In Switzerland, the AG is commonly more used than the GmbH.

GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) – a limited liability company (LLC) with one shareholder and a minimum share capital of 20,000 CHF. The liability of the members is limited by their contribution to the share capital. The sharholders name is published in the Register of Commerce.

Sole proprietorship – established by a private individual resident in Switzerland for commercial activities. No minimum share capital is required. The company must be entered in the Commercial Register if the annual turnover exceeds 100,000 CHF.

General Partnership – formed by at least two individuals residents in Switzerland, with the same economic purposes and under the same name. This partnership does not require a minimum share capital.

Limited Partnership – formed by at least one partner who has the full liabilityand at least one partner with limited liability up to the contribution brought to the partnership.

Steps for company formation

  1. Prepare shareholder's documents.
  2. Opening a blocked capital account with a Swiss bank
  3. Depositing the share capital
  4. Receiving the capital certificate from the Swiss bank
  5. Setting up a registered office in Switzerland
  6. Applying for business registration (all the documents are signed by a Swiss notary and then sent to the Register of Commerce)
  7. Receiving the registration certificate
  8. The capital bank account becomes a business account for the company

Why should you open a company in Switzerland?

  • Switzerland has one of the most competitive economies in Europe
  • The taxation system is very competitive and foreign companies can benefit from various tax incentives
  • Well-developed infrastructure
  • Pro-business environment created by the Swiss government
  • Highly educated and trained labor force
  • Switzerland has double taxation treaties with various countries all over the world
  • Solid monetary security policies and excellent banking system