How to Start a Small Business in Switzerland

The reason why Switzerland is the most sought-after country for starting a business is due to its political and economic stability, central European location and liberal legal framework. No wonder there are so many business opportunities in Switzerland. The Swiss constitution allows anyone, including the foreigners, to run a small business in Switzerland or to form a company or have a financial interest in one. Entrepreneurs need to have a clear business idea in Switzerland before they eventually move to start a business there.

Start by Researching

Your initial steps must only contain researching the Swiss market. Find out who your competitors are and whether the market can sustain the business you are thinking of doing. You can also look for a company name and whether the name you want is already registered via Switzerland Commercial Registry. Then, conduct a research to see whether your idea is feasible. It involves gathering, analyzing, and evaluating information to help you formulate your goal.

Choose a Business Structure

There are a number of things one must consider before setting up a business in Switzerland. Firstly, it is essential to understand whether you have a successful business idea and secondly, to choose the right business structure for it. There are seven different types of business entities through which you can start your venture in Switzerland:

For foreigner wanting to setup a business in Switzerland, it is important to note that they must be a Swiss resident or have a Swiss legal entity or a partner who is a Swiss resident. The next step includes registering your business at the Commercial Registry of Switzerland.

Register a Small Business in Switzerland

At least one of the directors must be a Swiss resident for your company. The procedure for registering a small business at the Swiss company register is simple as long as you are aware of all the necessary documents that shall be submitted to the registry. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Draft the Articles of Association in the presence of the notary public
  2. Create an escrow account to hold a paid-up capital
  3. File the Articles of Association with the Switzerland company register to become a legal entity
  4. Pay a stamp tax- 1% of capital with the first CHF1 million exempt
  5. Register for the VAT in Switzerland
  6. Enter the employees of your organization into the social insurance schemes on the federal and cantonment level

Once you are done with this, you must also provide all the supporting documents. The Commercial Registry will go through your application and check the authenticity, after which they will approve the application and make your company registration in Switzerland.

It can be overwhelming to start a small business in Switzerland since you will be unaware of the legal framework. At this point, you can look for a consultant/advisor who is well versed with the process and can guide you effectively through it. Business Setup Worldwide can help you start your small business in Switzerland. We will help you right from choosing your business structure to registering your employees with the social insurance scheme. Contact us today – we’d be happy to help.

About the Author's picture

Prajakta Deshpande, pursuing MBA in Finance & Marketing from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, loves to read books in her free time and is looking for a one-way route towards Hogwarts.