In recent years, more and more entrepreneurs chose to set up companies abroad, wanting to benefit from certain tax or legal advantages, which in some cases may even be favorable to foreign investors. Switzerland is a favorite location for many entrepreneurs, due to the taxation, the economic legislation, in continuous evolution, which offers plenty of advantages to foreign investors.
So, due to its economic and political stability, a transparent and fair legal system, this country is an attractive destination for starting a business. Also, reliable and expandable infrastructure and efficient capital markets play a very important role. To attract companies to invest in their jurisdictions, Swiss cantons offer numerous tax incentives. Thus, some of them go so far as to give up taxes for new businesses for up to 10 years.
Attractive market for foreign investors
Citizens of EU or EFTA member countries can easily set up a company in Switzerland or carry out different business activities in the country. Even if it is a small country, Switzerland is distinguished by its cultural diversity, is a very good test market for new products or services. Many companies test the reactions of potential customers on the Swiss market, before expanding their offer to other markets. For example, Starbucks, the famous US coffee company, opened its first European subsidiary in Zurich in 2001. Now, after more than 18 years, the coffeehouse chain is present in most European countries.
A strategic location for European markets, Switzerland benefits from economic, fiscal and political stability, a transparent administration and a central geographical position in Europe. In addition, labor market legislation is built on some liberal principles that come to the benefit of corporations.
Overall, Switzerland is regarded as a tax haven, but low taxation is due in principle to the fact that more than 70 double taxation treaties have been concluded, which allows companies and foreign investors to benefit from lower tax rates. Taxes are levied at federal, cantonal and municipal levels, being among the lowest in the European region, both for individuals and for legal entities. Swiss cantons and municipalities enjoy a high autonomy in terms of setting tax rates and deductions, except those imposed by the federal government. To attract investors, there is a real competition between cantons in terms of tax rates, which can only be beneficial for those who want to start a business in Switzerland.
Transparency in the business environment is due to the fact that the bureaucratic processes for setting up a company have been greatly reduced. Swiss legal system allows relatively easy establishment of a new company, a process that usually takes about a few weeks. It is also possible to purchase real estate for commercial purposes without the need for special permits.
Cantons also offer a number of tax incentives for companies that create new jobs locally. This benefits the local economy, so there is a situation where everyone has to win. The federal government also provides various tax incentives for foreign companies.
Swiss Legislation for Foreign Investments
For Switzerland, international investment is very important for economic growth, so it is a renowned country for direct investment due to exported industrial goods and services. At the same time, it receives great capital investments from abroad and the number of investors interested in opening companies in Switzerland is steadily increasing.
The authority that sets out regulations and legal disciplines for foreign investment is the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Thus, bilateral investments and agreements (BITs) are protected against violations of international law. Also, market access conditions for obtaining fair and non-discriminatory activities are also negotiated by the SECO. At the same time, the authority is involved in formulating the investment policy for the Swiss Confederation.
Foreign Investment Protection
The international investment rules relevant to Switzerland are coordinated by the World Trade Organization (WTO). But it should be noted that Switzerland has not been involved in any major international disagreement on foreign investment in the recent past. That's because of its transparent and liberal foreign investment policy.
At the same time, to avoid foreign investors being taxed here and in their country of residence, Switzerland has signed double taxation treaties with a large number of countries.
Start your business as a foreigner
Before you start your business, there are a number of things you need to consider. It is essential to understand if you have a successful business idea and then choose the legal Swiss business structure for it. Foreigners who want to start a business in Switzerland must be Swiss residents, have a Swiss legal entity or partner who is a Swiss resident.
Citizens in EU or EFTA countries can benefit from many competitive advantages so according to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, it is stipulated that these citizens do not need a C permit to reside in Switzerland. They only have to obtain a B permit, but at the same time, they must declare their object of activity and prove it. Learn more about this process and what documents are required as evidence, from our specialists in opening a company in Switzerland.
For citizens outside of the EU or EFTA area, the process of registering a company may face various difficulties. But in order to benefit from the advantages of a business in Switzerland, the non - EU/non - EFTA people must comply with the standards set by labor law. However, as long as they can prove that their businesses will have a lasting and positive effect on the Swiss economy, they are allowed to set up their own companies. Of course, a business plan is required.
Swiss Life Quality
Switzerland is a constant presence among countries worth living. High standards of living, quality of life and safe business environment make Switzerland an attractive location for many foreign entrepreneurs.
Even if obtaining a residence permit in Switzerland is made on the basis of fairly strict provisions, labor market access is open to EU citizens.
Finally, the Swiss people themselves is one of Switzerland's most attractive factors. They form one of the world's most skilled people, are native traders, multilingual and very used to working with international investors. Because doing business is a very serious matter in Switzerland, investments become very simple and direct. Thus, business discussions are methodological and prudent, the decision-making process may take longer than in other countries, but the outcome is always very precise.
Considering all these advantages, Switzerland remains one of the best European and even worldwide destinations for those who want to set up a company, expand their international operations or invest in various business projects in the country. Our swiss consultants offer the best solutions in order to make this process as simple, quick and easy as possible for all the foreign investors.