Swiss company formation in 6 easy steps

Most entrepreneurs and legal entities interested in doing business on the European market are interested in Swiss company formation, since Switzerland provides the ideal business environment for start-ups, small to medium sized companies, multinationals and company subsidiaries that are part of  group. In additions, Swiss cantons have competitive tax rates, which emphasized the need to make the right choice when deciding where in Switzerland to locate the newly-formed company.

To incorporate in Switzerland, certain requirements must be met. For example, to open an AG, which has the business structure of a Swiss corporation, at least three individuals or legal entities must act as founders and initial shareholders and they must be Swiss citizens or residents. However, it’s possible to appoint representatives to act on behalf of the beneficial owners.

In terms of minimum capital, for the most common business structures in terms of Swiss company formation, there is the option to open an AG, for which it’s necessary to have a minimum share capital of 100, 000 CHF of which at least 50, 000 CHF must be paid up upon registration or at least 20, 000 CHF to open a GmbH, which is a private limited liability company.

The Swiss company formation process requires drafting of the Articles of Association. These are basically the company’s documents, which include the name of the company, the address of the registered office in Switzerland, the business purpose, the share capital and the organization of the company in terms of owners, board of directors, management and other important details.

Nevertheless, if all requirements are met the Swiss company formation process is a relatively quick and simple procedure which can be resumed into 6 important steps:

  1. The Articles of Association are drafted in the presence of a public notary, who will also notarize the signatures on the documents. The notary will also authenticate the Articles of Association, as well as the deed of incorporation. This process can take up to 7 days and there are certain fees that must be paid.
  2. The share capital is deposited into a Swiss bank account. For certain business structures such as sole proprietorships, limited or general partnerships, there are no minimum share capital requirements.
  3. The company deed which certifies the articles of association is sent to the local Swiss Commercial Register. Certain fees are charged for the registration of a company into the commercial register. Usually, the registration process can take up to 9 days.
  4. The registration certificate is received and then it’s necessary to pay a stamp tax either to a local post office or at a bank. The stamp tax represents approximately 1% of the capital.
  5. Any company that conducts commercial activities must register for VAT purposes with the Federal Tax Administration. Registering of VAT purpose is a quick process and can be accomplished in only one day.
  6. The company’s employees must be registered with the social insurance system; a procedure that can also be accomplished within one day.

The drafting of the necessary documents, the registration application and all other legal requirements can be simplified and quickened by using a firm specialized in Swiss company formation that can handle all these inevitable hurdles. Especially foreign entrepreneurs or investors, who are not familiar with the Swiss legislation, can avoid any issued that might occur by relying on the services of experts in this matter.