Swiss company services
Our swiss team specializes in the registration and incorporation of Swiss companies. Switzerland is widely known for its steady economy low tax regime, stable political status and its good banks. For these reasons many international clients or corporations choose to open a Swiss company or branch.
We work worldwide for private and corporate clients, other company formation agents, tax consultants, accountants and attorneys in the establishment and creation of legal and tax compliant structures to extensive corporate advisory mandates.
A complete range of optional services can be ordered for your new company in Switzerland - like company management services, bank introductions, mail forwarding, communication and relocation services.
Our team consists of experienced financial experts, economists, lawyers and trustees, which aim to maintain long-term and prosperous relationships with our clients.
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1. Legal Forms
Switzerland has two different forms of companies:
a. Stock Company (AG)
b. Limited Liability Company (GmbH)
The AG has a minimum share capital of CHF 100'000.- and a GmbH of CHF 20'000.-. As the owners of a GmbH are public and visible in the commercial register, they are not visible with an AG. Thus, an AG provides more anonymity. In addition to that, the transfer ability of shares is much easier with an AG. For international structures, we therefore usually recommend an AG.
2. Documents for commercial register (KYC)
As the owners of an AG in Switzerland remain anonymous, no ID or any other KYC documents need to be submitted. The situation is different with a GmbH as the commercial register requires a copy of the passports from the owners. Board Members and Directors with signatory-rights need for registration into the commercial Register either a Swiss certification (Notary Public) or an overseas Apostil.
3. Board of Directors
Each Swiss company requires at least one Board Member, who resides in Switzerland. This Board Member is personally responsible for a compliant and proper management of the company. Therefore, the Board must conduct certain control functions, which are set forth on a case by case basis in a mandate contract.
4. Procedure of a Formation
Initially, the formation procedures (legal form, bank, company-purpose, domicile, directors, etc.) have to be defined in detail. After this has been defined, the seed-capital has to be paid into a Swiss bank account. After this payment the formation will be conducted by a Swiss notary and he will also make the entry in the commercial register.
If everything goes perfectly smooth, we can form a company within two weeks. But our experience shows that it usually takes much longer because many questions have to be cleared before formation.
Our costs can be taken from a separate pricelist. Normally we will require a deposit before we begin work. In addition therwill be third-party costs such as for the Notary, the commercial register and the bank. Depending on the specific case these costs are approx. CHF800 to CHF1500.
7. Is a Visit to Switzerland necessary?
No, for a company formation, you do not need to come to Switzerland. However, in order to establish a mutual and trustworthy business relationship, we recommend our customers to do so. In the following cases, however, a personal visit is mandatory:
a. a bank requires this for account opening
b. If the customer wants to have signatory-rights (unless he makes an Apostil abroad)
8. Bank account
Of course, we also offer bank account opening. Please note, that the banks require detailed information so they can accurately analyze the sources and use of funds. In addition to that, the bank might want to know the beneficial owners (shareholders). For this procedure we have a separate form that must be completed by the customer.
9. Control rights of the Owner
The owner of a company exercises its control by share certificates. In Switzerland there are two types of shares:
a. Bearer shares
b. Registered shares
The owners of registered shares will be listed on the stock certificates by name. There is also a sha register, which is signed by the President of the Board. For bearer shares, no name is registered and there is no register of shareholders.
10. Shelf Companies
We also provide existing ‘empty’ companies (so called shelf companies). We have a separate pricelist which includes all the costs, with the exception of fees for the Notary, the commercial register and the bank fees.
11. Corporate Taxes
Every company in Switzerland has to pay tax on the profit. The calculation of the total tax burden is very complex and depends on the domicile of the business (tax rates differ from canton to canton and also between communities) and also on the business model (e.g. tax relieves for offshore - business, dormant companies such as Holdings etc.) Therefore, there is a wide range of 9% to a maximum of 35% tax burden on net profit. Due to the complexity of the Swiss tax system it is absolute necessary to make a professional analysis.