Comprehensive knowledge and extensive information about Switzerland as a business centre can be found in the handbook for investors.
- Labour law: the Swiss labour market is characterized by a liberal labour law, a low density of regulations and exceptional social stability. Most of the content in employment contracts rests on individual negotiations and agreements between employees and employers. The legal system has fewer regulations than that of the EU and this allows substantially greater regulatory freedom. Further information
- Permits: in view of the freedom of movement between Switzerland and the EU, all EU17 and EFTA citizens enjoy full freedom of movement without any restrictions on the number of permits (quotas) – so they are virtually on a par with Swiss citizens as regards the labour market. Residence and work permits for EU8 citizens and for citizens of countries outside the EU and EFTA are subject to quotas: as a rule it is possible to obtain a permit only for highly qualified people and specialists, managers and scientists. An official permit is also required for the performance of certain activities. Further information
- Financing: short-term business loans and long-term investment loans from banks and also equity financing by numerous business angels, venture capitalists and private equity investors are usually easy to obtain. In addition to private-sector investors, Switzerland and the Basel region also provide selected instruments for the support of entrepreneurs, such as tax relief and contributions in the case of research collaboration between companies and universities. Further information
- Legal forms: in Switzerland, a business operated for profit must be registered in a recognized legal form. Foreign companies usually select one of the following forms for marketing in Switzerland: a limited liability company (GmbH), a stock corporation (AG) or a branch office. The essential details of these legal forms is outlined below:
|Limited Liability Company (GmbH)||Stock Corporation (AG)||Branch office|
|Formal requirement||Notary public certificate, entry in commercial registry||Notary public certificate, entry in commercial registry||Entry in commercial register|
|Purpose||Commercial purpose or non-profit||Commercial purpose or non-profit||
Commercial purpose or non-profit
Commercial purpose or non- profit (legally affiliated with parent company, commercially independent)
|Founder(s)||At least 1 individual person or legal entity||At least 1 individual person or legal entity||Parent company|
|Institution||Annual general meeting, executive director, statutory auditor||Annual general meeting, board of directors, statutory auditor||Authorized agent, permanent resident of Switzerland|
|Liability||Company assets||Company assets||Joint liability of parent company|
|Minimum capital requirement||CHF 20,000 (fully paid in)||
CHF 100,000 (min. CHF 50,000 paid in)
No minimum capital requirement
- Intellectual property: Intellectual property (IP) can be protected by law in Switzerland. Intellectual property covers the following:
- Trademark protection for product names and logos
- Patent protection for technical inventions
- Design protection for new designs and forms
- Copyright protection for artistic works.
In Switzerland, IP rights must be filed with the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). The corresponding international registrations in Switzerland also go through the IPI.
- Swiss System of Taxation: Taxes in Switzerland are levied on the federal, cantonal and municipal level. The federal tax rate is a flat tax. Because, however, cantons and municipalities have their own autonomous tax jurisdiction, significant discrepancies between levels and rules of taxation may apply between cantons and even municipalities. Further information