Despite Switzerland’s small size, it is known as the financial center of Europe. Since the country is famous for confidentiality and stability, company formation in Switzerland is the right choice. There are many advantages for businesses operating in this country. For instance, there are 23 cantons in Switzerland, each with its own tax system, so a founder can choose the one that is most suitable for him/her in terms of taxation. Another advantage is the double taxation network the entrepreneurs may enjoy when forming a company. Switzerland has signed double taxation agreements with such countries as China, France, Germany, UK, Russia, Singapore and many others. Another important thing to consider is the reputation of the country and its high status. Switzerland is considered to be one of the least corrupt countries in the world and the most competitive ones. Such rankings encourage entrepreneurs to conduct business in Switzerland and guarantee safety and stability.
Open Swiss company — Types of companies to open in Switzerland
There are a several commonly-established business entities in Switzerland, each with its own advantages and drawbacks, which are birefly described below.
A stock corporation, or AG, is a joint-stock company, which is the most common and most frequently chosen company type. There have to be at least three shareholders to form a joint-stock company, and the share capital has to be at least CHF100,000, with CHF50,000 paid at the registration. The shareholders may stay completely anonymous, as they are not obliged to register with the Registry Office. The supreme body of such a company is the Board of Directors. The Board Members do not have to be shareholders, and at least one of them has to be a Swiss resident. For AG, bearer or registered shares are allowed. If registered shares are chosen, the share capital can be paid partially, while in the case of bearer shares it has to be fully paid up.
A limited liability company, or GmbH, as it is called in Switzerland, is another popular form of business entity. This type of company requires at least two shareholders to form it and share capital has to be at least CHF20,000. The liability is limited by the shareholder’s contribution to the capital. No Board of Directors is not required, and the company management is appointed by the general shareholders’ meeting. Unlike in AGs, the shareholders cannot maintain anonymity, as their identities are shared openly.
How to open a company in Switzerland?
In order to open a company in Switzerland, the following steps are to be taken:
- Choice of the company name
The name of the company has to be unique. It can be chosen freely, however, it must contain a legal form.
- Bank account opening
After the name is chosen, a bank account for all future transactions has to be opened and the share capital is to be deposited in this account.
- Personal and corporate signatures have to be notarized.
Also, a notary has to certify the articles of association and public deed of the entity’s incorporation in Switzerland.
- Filling in the forms
There are different forms to be completed depending on the company type. It is advisable to consult a specialist in order to avoid any confusion with documentation.
- Obtaining legal personality
For this, every company that is formed in Switzerland has to register with the Commercial Register. This procedure requires submission of such documents as: articles of association, managing board’s signatures, filled-in copies of the forms described above, social capital, registered office, etc.
Other required procedures may include registration for tax purposes and social security registration for employees. Again, the procedure of forming a company in Switzerland varies according to the canton and depends on the company type. Goldblum and Partners will help you to avoid any confusion and complications that you may face when establishing your business entity in Switzerland.