Swiss Company Types

Swiss company types

Switzerland’s economy is highly attractive. The country has the second-highest per capita GDP in the world, and the
lowest VAT rate in Europe. It is certainly one to invest in, and investors all over the world are taking advantage of
these factors to establish their companies in Switzerland. 

There are four major types of companies operating in Switzerland. If not properly guided, you could end up choosing the
wrong type of company for your business. This is why one of the first major considerations when trying to start up a
company in Switzerland, is choosing the most suitable type of company. Here is an in-depth description of the various
types of companies in Switzerland, to inform your decisions. 

What are the Swiss Company Types,

The Switzerland company startup laws are very accomodating, and this gives room for small, medium, and large-sized
companies to partake. It’s no wonder the country is home to several big names in the world. Its policies allows
businesses of all sizes to thrive, resulting in a high number of functional SMEs in the country. 

The most common types of companies in Switzerland are, but not limited to: 

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation (AG or SA)

You can find other forms of companies that allow a parent company in another country to open a branch in Switzerland.
These types enable you to venture into the Switzerland market to expand your horizons. There is also an option for
investors looking to open their personal businesses. 

Let us get more details about the types of companies operating in Switzerland; 

Limited Liability Company:

The LLC also known as the “Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung” is the second most preferred type of company. The LLC
is mainly adopted when the founder of the company can only provide a certain amount of capital. 

Here are some characteristics of the LLC: 

  1. At least one director or shareholder of the company should be a Switzerland resident.
  2. The company liability is limited to the capital of the company.
  3. Initial share capital of at least CHF 20,000 is required.
  4. The LLC is only considered legal when it has been entered into the Switzerland commercial register.
  5. Whatever the company name is, the term GmbH must be incorporated into it.


Corporation (AG/SA):

This is the most common company type in Switzerland. It is also called a joint-stock company. AG or SA are short for
Aktiengesellschaft or Societe Anonyme. Here are some characteristics of the Switzerland corporation: 

  1. The company must have a minimum initial share capital of CHF 100,000, and at least CHF 50,000 must first be paid in.
  2. At least one director in the corporation must be a Switzerland resident.
  3. Any company name can be chosen but the term AG must be added to the name.
  4. It is not required that all shareholders must participate in the running of an AG company type. However, they must all
    be included in the payment of the share capital.
  5. For the AG to be seen as a legal company, it must be incorporated into the Switzerland commercial register.


Sole Proprietorship:

This is a one-man’s business, and it is also supported by the Switzerland government. People who work for themselves,
for example; freelancers, and small business owners, can adopt this company style. However, the owner of a sole
proprietorship business in Switzerland must be a Switzerland resident. 

This company has an unlimited liability since it does not exist as a separate legal entity. The owner of the company is
required to pay tax. Starting up this company is quite easy and stress-free. All you need to do is include your business
in the trade register, and take care of other financial processes like the tax and social security, and your business is


The partnership is almost the same as the Sole proprietorship. The main difference is that it is a company owned by more
than one person. There are the General partnership and the Limited Partnership. In a limited partnership, at least one
partner has unlimited liability and at least one partner has limited liability. The partner with the limited liability
has limited rights in the company, and cannot be the manager of the business. 

Co-operative company

This company typically involves joint decision-making. It is more like a social company, and it has very transparent
terms between partners. Before a cooperative company can be formed, there must be at least 7 partners sharing equal
rights and responsibilities of the business. 

The company name must have the words société coopérative added to it and they must be incorporated into the Switzerland
trade register. There is no minimum capital requirement. 

You can start up a company in Switzerland as a foreigner, an expat, or a citizen. For each of these groups, there are
laid out requirements that must be adhered to. The Switzerland business system is friendly and does not take many
processes to be formed. 

Over to you

There are trained company formation agents as well as companies that are specialized in facilitating the company
formation process. At Sigtax, we pride ourselves on being one of the best! It is our duty to see that your company
startup process is smooth, enabling you to commence business as fast as you can. We have trained personnel with years of
experience that are very familiar with the dos and don'ts, and the whats and whatnots, and they are at your service.
With Sigtax, you can rest assured of a smooth sailing company startup. 

If you are looking to start up a company in Switzerland, or you still need some clarity on the type of company to form,
we are here to clear all doubts. Reach out to us, and we will be happy to assist you in setting up that dream company in
this viable country.