Company in Switzerland
Switzerland is considered as a traditional tax haven, asylum for affluent Europeans who seek confidentiality. Nowadays the country is slowly losing this position to other states offering less strict legal duties, lower costs of establishing a company and paradoxically a higher degree of confidentiality. Open company in Switzerland is considered one of the most stable and secure countries to form a company in by foreign investors.
Company formation in Switzerland and the choice of legal form
Company formation in Switzerland includes choosing the legal form of a company between two types: the Joint Stock Company (AG) and Limited Liability Company (GmbH). To open a business in Switzerland, the payment of share capital is required (100,000 CHF in AG and 20,000 CHF in GmbH). GmbH owners are public and visible in the commercial register, and AG owners are not visible. The company in a form of AG provides greater anonymity. In addition, the ability to transfer shares is much easier for AG. Therefore, in the case of foreign investors and international structures, an AG company is usually recommended.
Documents required to commercial registry
Due to the fact that owners of an AG in Switzerland remain anonymous, there is no requirement to submit any identity documents or any other documents. In the case of GmbH there are documents needed in order to be put in the Swiss commercial registry such as a copy of the passports from the owners.
Shares in a Swiss company
The owner of a Swiss company exercises control over share certificates. There are two types of shares in Switzerland; bearer shares and registered shares. The owners of registered shares is listed on the exchange certificate by name. There is also a register of shares, which is signed by the Chairman of the Board. In case of bearer shares, no name is registered and public and there is no register of shareholders.
The management board
Every company in Switzerland must have a management board which is composed of at least one member living in Switzerland. Such board member is personally responsible for the proper and reliable management of the company.
Register company in Switzerland
Company formation in Switzerland in the initial phase of the procedure is detailed. Precise information should be provided including: legal form, bank, purpose of the company, place of residence, directors, etc. After determining the initial capital, it should be paid into a Swiss bank account. After this payment, company registration in Switzerland will proceed by a Swiss notary.
Time of company formation in Switzerland
If company registration goes smoothly, Client can open business in Switzerland in two weeks. Our experience shows that usually it takes longer.
Taxes in Switzerland
Every company in Switzerland must pay tax on profits. Calculation of the tax is very complicated and depends on the headquarters of the company (e.g. tax rates vary depending on the canton as well as between communities), as well as on the form of a business (e.g. tax breaks for offshore companies, inactive companies).
Therefore, there is a wide range starting from 9% to a maximum of 35% of the tax burden on net profit. Due to the complexity of the Swiss tax system, professional analysis is absolutely essential.
Ready made company in Switzerland
It is possible to buy ready made company in Switzerland which is already formed and registered. As a rule, a ready made company exists for a relatively short time, did not run business in Switzerland and was created for its subsequent sale. However, due to the legal regime regarding the establishment of companies, the purchase of a company in Switzerland may be unprofitable.