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This Is What You Need To Know To Start A Business In Switzerland

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According to the World Economic Forum, Switzerland is one of the most business-competitive countries in the world, while it also sports the highest GDP per capita income on the planet, as per the CIA World Fact Book.

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With a minimum wage of almost $25 per hour, it is only logical that many foreign investors are lured to starting a business in the country. Plus, security, a liberal economy, and a competitive corporate tax system are add-ons that are absolutely hard to overlook.

So, should you be interested in taking the Swiss plunge, what is it that you need to know to start a business there?

Planning Your Business in Switzerland

Let us have a look at the basics of starting a company in Switzerland, as generally, there are three possibilities: registering a new company, buying a ready-made business, or opening a representative office of an existing business.

Switzerland is also very welcoming to foreigners who want to do business in the country. You can start a business there regardless of where you come from as long as you comply with the nation’s requirements.

For more detailed information and thorough advice, you can visit RISTER Sàrl fiduciary company, where you will get real-time advice on everything regarding taxation, accounting, and legal and employee relations in the country.

Required Documentation

To be allowed to start a business, there are several documents that need to be provided to the authorities. Firstly, you must present a viable business plan, a valid bank account, a VAT number, proof of social security —all self-employed individuals— a commercial registry, and a professional registry.

Besides, you’ll need to provide passport copies of the owner and the shareholders of the company, as well as additional documents depending on the structure of the business you want to start.

Foreigners from outside the EU will also have to obtain the C permit. Alternatively, anyone can marry a Swiss citizen or marry a person with a C-permit to be allowed to start —with the right documents and procedures, you can set up a company within two to six weeks.

The Procedure

Before you start applying for a permit, you must be sure of the type of business you want to start. It can be a single-owner company, a general partnership, a limited partnership, a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), a branch, or a subsidiary.

Regardless of what type of business you are launching, you must apply for a company name at the company registry of Switzerland —your name must be approved by the registry before you can proceed.

Then, you have to draft the articles of association, which must include crucial information about the company, such as what the company will do and its shareholders —this document is signed in the presence of a public notary.

Later, you must create an escrow account that will be used to hold paid-up capital —this step must be completed before any business can be registered.

Once you do the above, you will have to file the mandatory articles of association and submit them to the officials alongside the application form for company registration —other supporting documents must be submitted as well.

All this must be submitted to the Local Commercial Register, which will ensure the company is a legal entity.

The next step is to register the company for Value Added Tax (VAT), as it is mandatory for every business in the country to file yearly financial statements.

The last step is to register employees in the social insurance schemes. In Switzerland, company workers are required to be protected by insurance at Federal and Cantonal levels —the insurance covers disability, occupational accidents, and retirement pension.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Company in Switzerland?

Generally, the costs of starting a company in Switzerland are determined by various factors and it is practically impossible to predict an exact amount —it varies from one investor to another. You can get sound advice on the amount you are likely to spend from experts.