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How to establish a company in Switzerland

Updated on November 28, 2023

When moving to Switzerland from abroad, you should take into consideration your working situation. Switzerland is well known for its numerous jobs and good employment conditions. Many expats find their way to Switzerland due to their job situation. The benefits of being employed are multitudinous: Swiss companies pay their employees good wages, offer further incentives and the good pension system enables them to maintain their standard of living even after retirement. But besides this, there is also the possibility of becoming independent by founding a new company. Due to the many rules and regulations, this process isn’t easy to understand. Professional consultation can help you with this bureaucratic trial and support you in shaping your own, independent future.


Before founding a new company, you should have made a business plan.  At the same time, you should also already have defined a name for your company as well as the principal office. There is also the possibility of having a domicile address. If you are thinking about this option, getting professional support might facilitate the process.
After this, it is necessary to select an appropriate legal form. Especially for small enterprises, the most common legal forms are capital companies such as public limited companies (plc) and limited liability companies (Ltd.), since you as a founder are not liable with your private assets but just as a legal person with the capital of the company. Owners of sole proprietorships in contrast are liable as a private person with all of their private assets.

Finance and insurances

One of the most important preparatory steps is to ensure that financing is available for your business. If you want to establish a plc, a share capital of CHF 100’000 is presupposed, of which at least CHF 50’000 needs to be fully paid-up to a blocked account. When establishing a Ltd., CHF 20’000 is the required common capital stock which needs to be fully paid-up. The account will be unlocked after the establishment.

Another point you should consider are insurances. There are many different insurances available for companies in order to secure you against different forms of consequences. Insurance experts can explain to you what is necessary and help you to optimally secure you and your new business.  

Notary and commercial register

For owners of capital companies such as a plc or Ltd., making an entry in the commercial register is always a legal requirement. In this entry, you will have to indicate a lot of information. In addition to this, you will need to get a notarized certification of incorporation. For this, you will have to visit the notary and prepare numerous incorporation documents. If you decide for a sole proprietorship, the responsible OASI office of your canton of residence will verify the credibility of self-employment. For this reason, you will have to prepare various documents which can prove that you are self-employed. Getting the support of an expert will help you a lot with this paper chase.

After being entered in the commercial register, your capital company acquires the right to exist as a legal entity. For sole proprietors, the existence begins after the approval by the OASI office. You then have successfully established your company.

Are you planning to establish your own company and need professional support? Or did you already establish a company and would like to get help with your finance and taxes? Contact us now for a professional consultation.

Oliver Diggelmann

Do you have any questions? Get in touch with me.

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