What is a mixed company?

Mixed companies are Swiss legal entities used for branch operations of foreign companies. In the case of mixed companies, the business activity is primarily related to business abroad and the business activity in Switzerland has only a secondary nature. Corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, cooperatives and company branches may be set up as mixed companies. At least 80% of the business activity must be performed outside of Switzerland. Mixed companies are not allowed to be involved in their own distribution or production activities in Switzerland. 

Opening a Swiss holding company. What is it? What benefits do I have?

The term “holding company” refers to those companies whose purpose is to manage investments made in other companies and which do not conduct any type of business activity in Switzerland. For holding companies, it is required that the investments held or the earned revenues must represent at least 2/3 of the entire assets or/and the entire income of the holding. Swiss holding companies enjoy certain tax advantages. They are exempt from cantonal income tax and pay a reduced capital tax. At federal level, based on the income from significant investments in other companies, holding companies may claim a tax reduction (known as participation deduction). 

What are the corporate taxes in Switzerland?

Income and capital tax applies to all types of Swiss companies; however, the tax rates may vary depending on the activity of the respective company. Holding companies are exempt from the cantonal income tax, while investment companies are granted a tax reduction at cantonal level for significant investments. Other corporate taxes that apply are the withholding tax and the VAT.

Why should you invest in Switzerland?

Switzerland provides a good business environment and a stable economy. The taxation system is very convenient for foreign investors. Switzerland is also known for its professional banking system, a well-developed infrastructure and highly qualified workforce.

How fast is it to open a company in Switzerland?

The company incorporation process does not take long, usually around 10 days, if all the necessary documents are prepared.

Is it required to have special permits or licenses for doing business in Switzerland?

Certain types of business activities require special permits, which may differ according to the company’s object of activity.

What other types of taxes are levied in Switzerland?

Other types of Swiss taxes include federal taxes on goods and services, direct cantonal and municipal taxes and cantonal and municipal taxes on goods and services.

What is the required minimum share capital to incorporate a company in Switzerland?

For a GmbH, the required minimum share capital is 20,000 CHF or equally valuable assets. The capital for an AG is 100,000 CHF with the obligation to pay a minimum of 50% (CHF 50’000).

What types of companies can be incorporated in Switzerland?

Foreign investors can incorporate the following types of companies in Switzerland: GmbH (recommended for small or medium – sized companies), AG (a corporation suitable for all business needs), business partnerships, company branches and sole proprietorships.

Is it possible to open subsidiaries in Switzerland?

Yes, any foreign company is able to open a subsidiary in Switzerland. It’s the best option for foreign companies who intend to expand their business in Switzerland. Certain Swiss regulations even favor foreign company subsidiaries that are opened in this country.

What do you need to open a bank account in Switzerland?

If you want to open a company in Switzerland, you will need to open a bank account to deposit the minimum share capital. The required documents include the Articles of Association of the company and the Business Registration document.

How to register a company in Switzerland?

In order to register a company in Switzerland, the founder or the founders must choose a unique company name, the appropriate structure of the company for their needs, open a bank account with a Swiss bank to deposit the share capital and prepare all the necessary documents. The company must be registered with the Swiss Trade Register and also for VAT purposes.

Is it required for the company to have an office in Switzerland?

Yes, a company incorporated in Switzerland must have a registered office in the country.

Who can open a company in Switzerland?

Any person, regardless if Swiss resident or foreigner has the possibility to open a company in Switzerland. Moreover, foreign investors can benefit from the same business opportunities as local entrepreneurs, as long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the Swiss law.