Sole Proprietorship in Switzerland

Switzerland is a country with many business opportunities due to the government’s pro-business policies. Investors around the world are always in a lookout for such legal framework where they can easily set up their business without any problem from the government. Starting a business in Switzerland is a simple process and does not include any hassles as the authority believes in motivating entrepreneurs to invest their creativity by incorporating a company.

Starting a sole proprietorship in Switzerland is probably the fasted and least costly ways of starting a business in this country. The sole proprietorship also called as a one-person company usually engage in trade, manufacturing or commerce and have no legal personality. This legal structure is often chosen by young entrepreneurs wanting to establish a small business on their own. Anyone can start up a one-man business at any time and begin operations immediately. No dedicated seed capital is needed. However, the proprietor is liable for debts incurring from the one-man business with his personal assets. The individual willing to start a sole proprietorship must have a working-permit and a residence permit in Switzerland (and this even if a domicile in Switzerland is not mandatory).

Features of Setting Up a Sole Proprietorship in Switzerland

  • Only one person can be the legal owner
  • The owner must have a domicile in Switzerland (no residency required)
  • No minimum capital requirement
  • A sole proprietorship is not bound to the company law
  • If the sole trader’s annual revenue is at least CHF 100,000, it must be registered with the Swiss Commercial Register
  • The Swiss sole proprietor will be held accountable personally for the company’s liabilities

How to Set Up a Sole Proprietorship in Switzerland?

The sole trader is usually registered as a private person who manages his or her own business and is the first step to the registration of a start-up company in Switzerland. Swiss sole proprietorships can be employed for most types of activities. The registration of a sole trader does not imply the same steps as the company incorporation in Switzerland which is why it is much simpler to establish. The registration steps are as follows:

  1. Draft the Articles of Association in the presence of a notary public
  2. Create an escrow account to hold the paid-up capital
  3. File articles of association with the local commercial register to become a legal entity
  4. Pay a stamp tax – 1% of capital with first CHF1 million exempt
  5. Register for VAT (if the turnover is more than CHF 100,000)
  6. Enter employees into the social insurance schemes on the federal and cantonal level

A non-Swiss resident registering a sole proprietorship company in Switzerland must request a work permit (G permit). The filing must include a business plan and the description of the infrastructure to be used. Once the work permit has been obtained, the foreign entrepreneur must register with the Swiss canton (state) revenue administration.

Documents Required to Set Up a Sole Proprietorship in Switzerland

  • A completely filled application form
  • Draft copy of the Articles of Association
  • Names and addresses of the shareholders
  • Lease agreement (if the proprietor does not have his own office)

Why Us?

Business Setup Worldwide is a platform to start your business in Switzerland. It can be difficult for an expat to understand the rules and regulations related to business setup in a foreign land and we are here to help you with the same. Our team of advisors in Switzerland is well versed with the legal framework and can help you with the setting up a company in Switzerland swiftly and without any hassles. Contact us today for more information.