Registering a company in Switzerland is a step-by-step process that involves selecting a company type, choosing a name, preparing documentation, and registering with the Commercial Register and Swiss Federal Tax Administration. By following this guide and utilizing the provided resources, you should be well on your way to successfully establishing your business in Switzerland. Be sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process and a successful start for your company in this economically stable and business-friendly country.
Step 1: Choose your company type
The first step in registering a company in Switzerland is to choose the type of company you want to register. The most common types are:
- Limited Liability Company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung - GmbH)
- Corporation (Aktiengesellschaft - AG)
- Branch of a foreign company
Step 2: Choose a company name
Before registering your company, you'll need to choose a suitable name. The Commercial Register (Handelsregister) has guidelines for acceptable names, which can be found at this link: https://www.zefix.admin.ch/
Step 3: Prepare the required documents
Next, prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen company type. The key documents are:
- Articles of Association (for GmbH and AG)
- Application for Company Registration (for all types)
These forms can be found on the Commercial Register's website: https://www.zefix.admin.ch/
Step 4: Identify company officers and shareholders
You will need to identify at least one director (for GmbH and AG) or one representative (for Branch of a foreign company). Directors or representatives must be at least 18 years old. Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities.
Step 5: Capital requirements
Switzerland requires a minimum capital of CHF 20,000 for GmbHs, and CHF 100,000 for AGs. There is no minimum capital requirement for branches of foreign companies.
Step 6: Register your company
Once your documents are ready, you can submit your application to the Commercial Register. This can be done in person at a local office or online via the following link: https://www.zefix.admin.ch/
The fees for registering a company are as follows:
- GmbH: CHF 600 to CHF 1,000 (approximately)
- AG: CHF 600 to CHF 1,000 (approximately)
- Branch of a foreign company: CHF 600 to CHF 1,000 (approximately)
Step 7: Register for taxes
After your company is registered, you must register for taxes with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA). This can be done in person at a local tax office or online via the following link: https://www.estv.admin.ch/
Step 8: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. Check with the relevant authorities and industry regulators for specific requirements.
The entire registration process, from preparing documents to receiving your Certificate of Incorporation, can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of your application.