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New in Switzerland 1: Forming a Company

Published: Sunday, October 8, 2023

Do you want to set up a company in Switzerland? This first part of the series contains important information on setting up a company.

From a legal point of view, it must first be clarified which form of company is desired. Partnerships (sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership) or corporations (limited liability company aka GmbH/SARL, public limited company aka AG/SA) can be considered. Even before setting up a business, you should think about which legal form is most suitable for your own situation. The corporation in the form of the public limited company is still the most popular legal form in Switzerland. The reasons for this are, for example, the high reputation of this form of company, the simple raising of capital through the issue of shares and the easy transferability of shares as well as the anonymity of the shareholders. The formation of an AG/SA requires various steps, e.g.

  • Formation, i.e. in particular preparation of the foundation documents, payment of the share capital into a capital contribution account (to be opened), notary appointment for foundation, registration in the commercial register;
  • Registration with social insurances: Registration with the SVA, if required: connection to BVG (occupational pension scheme), conclusion of accident insurance;
  • Taxes: VAT registration.

In order to be able to operate as a company, it often needs a business account to process payment transactions. In recent years there has been a tendency for banking institutions to become more and more restrictive in opening an account. In most cases, a business plan is a must.

MSM Group AG maintains long-standing business relations with various banking institutions and can rely on many years of experience in supporting company foundations. We help you with the preparation or review of your business plan as well as the opening of an account with various banks.

Martin Rechtsanwälte GmbH assists you with legal issues. If you have any questions or need support, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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This article was written in cooperation with the independent law office “Martin Rechtsanwälte GmbH“.

Further topics from the current blog series “New in Switzerland”:

The following topics await you in the area of company foundation and set-up in Switzerland:

  • Setting up a company – What does it take?
  • Setting up a company – Staff (I want to hire staff)
  • Company formation – Managing directors / Board of directors (I am a managing director / I have or need board members)
  • Company formation – Insurances (What do I have to do? How do I proceed?)
  • Company formation – Operational business (How can I become operational as quickly as possible? What do I need?)
  • Setting up a company – Taxes (What do I need to consider?)
  • Setting up a company – Financing (Ways of raising money)
  • Insurances (What do I have to do? How do I proceed?)
  • Residence/work permit (Who has which options?)
  • Taxes (What will I have to pay?)

Jürg Martin
Martin Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Practice Area:
Capital Markets
Phone Number:
+41 52 269 21 11
+41 52 214 14 00
Planning and implementing corporate and capital market transactions in the SME sector. Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Romanian The Firm The law firm Martin Rechtsanwälte GmbH offers advice and legal representation in the essential areas of Swiss and international business law. We use our knowledge of contract, corporate, intellectual property and administrative law as advisors and legal representatives for people and SME in business: Planning, establishment and development of companies financing and financial transactions of all kinds migration, labor, real estate Contracts and other legal relations: Checking, drawing up, enforcing Corporate takeovers, succession planning and reorganizations International coordination of different legal systems We work closely together with a team of accounting, HR and administration experts on an interdisciplinary basis.  We are particularly interested in situations where the legal fields combine, such as in the financial, IT and real estate sectors. We speak German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Kurdish.  We do not see law in isolation, but maintain an interdisciplinary overall view of the needs of our clients. Therefore, our support is not limited to legal analyses and procedures; common sense and our many years of entrepreneurial experience are always incorporated. We want to work out and achieve for our clients what they really need, while preserving their resources in the best possible way.

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