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How To Start a New Business in Switzerland

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Starting a Business in a European country is the dream of many entrepreneurs. There are several reasons cited for entrepreneurs to choose a beautiful country like Switzerland for their new launch. Some of the reasons are its central European location, economic and political stability, along with liberal legal framework. Moreover, this country offers budding entrepreneurs, both locals and foreigners alike with plenty of opportunities to run a business here. The Swiss constitution is quite liberal in its approach and allows foreigners to start and run their business without any hassle. But to start one and achieve success, you need to be aware of the steps involved.

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Steps to consider to start a Business in Switzerland

Starting a Business in Switzerland

  • Research: Get to know the Swiss market in-depth, especially the segment your business is likely to cater. Identify your competitors and if the market is good enough to sustain your business. Consider a company name. Find out if the name is already registered with the Switzerland Commercial Registry or free to be used for your business. Research thoroughly to find out if your idea is viable or not. It involves collecting, analyzing as well as evaluating information.
  • Company name registration: After the research is done and the type of business to conduct is determined, the next step involves registering the company’s name. Get to know the laws of the country and choose an appropriate name. Submit the same for approval with the Switzerland Co. Registry.

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  • Business structure: Select an appropriate business structure. Six different business entities can be started here in Switzerland.
    • Sole Proprietorship:
    • Limited Partnership
    • Limited Liability Partnership
    • Branch Office
    • Public Shareholding Company
    • Representative Office

For starting a business setup in Switzerland, you need to have a valid Swiss legal entity. Otherwise, you can be a bonafide Swiss resident or a Swiss resident as a partner.

  • Small Business registration: In your company, there should be a minimum of one Swiss Resident as director. Registration procedure for small businesses is quite simple. You just need to be aware of the vital documents to be submitted to the registry. Following are the steps to adhere to start a business in Switzerland:
    • To register your company, fill up the application form.
    • Prepare essential documents. Corporate articles or charter of association, application, statutes, etc.
    • For paid-up capital, register for an escrow account.
    • Before the notary public, draft Articles of Association.
    • File with Switzerland Co. registry the Articles of Association to make your small business a legal entity.
    • 1% of capital to be paid as stamp tax with initial CHF 1 exempt.
    • Official journal publication of the canton.
    • VAT registration in Switzerland.
    • Register employees into different social insurance schemes, cantonment and federal level.

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Also, provide supporting documents. Your submitted application will be checked thoroughly for its authenticity by the Commercial Registry. Once satisfied, they will approve your application, thus making your business registered.

  • Tax Registration: You have to register for taxation, depending on your business activity and entity. On completion of the incorporation process, apply to Federal Tax Administration.

When trying to launch a business in switzerland as a foreigner, you are to follow the above-given steps. If you do not have an idea or feel overwhelmed or confused, you should hire a reputed consultant who is aware of the entire process. This way, you can avoid making costly mistakes and smoothly launch your business. The consultant will know the legal framework and can guide you through it effectively. Make sure that the consultant hired for the process is well-versed and updated with the guidelines.

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