Setup your Business in Switzerland
ABM Global Accountants provides a one-stop shop for all of your accounting and compliance need. We can help you with everything from setting up the most appropriate type of entity, to on-going management, accounting, corporate secretarial, payroll and HR services.
Switzerland is a modern market economy with low unemployment, highly skilled labour force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland’s economy constitutes a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, vibrant infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates make Switzerland one of the world’s most competitive economies to do business in.
Type of business structure and legal requirements:
The following regulations regarding nationality, residence and requirements apply to establish a business:
A sole proprietor company is owned by one proprietor only. Therefore, labour market regulations for persons apply. A residence and work permit is always required to work in Switzerland.
General and limited partnership
General and limited partnerships are usually small person-oriented companies. The limited partnership can include external investors who are not actively involved in the management of the company. Accordingly, labour market regulations for persons with a valid work and residence permit apply for the individuals.
Limited liability company (GmbH)
The limited liability company (GmbH) as a legal entity must be represented by at least one person resident in Switzerland. This can be the manager or a director. Accordingly, this person needs to have a valid residence and work permit in Switzerland.
Joint-stock company (AG)
A joint-stock company (AG) as a legal entity requires that at least one person entitled to represent the company must live in Switzerland and hold a valid residence and work permit for Switzerland.
In Switzerland, companies pay taxes on their earnings and on their capital. Earnings are taxed at the federal, cantonal and local levels, while capital is taxed only at the cantonal and local levels.
The federal tax on net profits is 8.5% (art. 68, LIFD). The other rates vary significantly according to canton or commune. In general, central Switzerland enjoys the lowest rates. In this region, the total tax burden (federal, cantonal and local) is between 10% and 14%, according to the BAKBASEL Taxation Index 2013 (next edition: early 2014). In contrast, it reaches 18.2% in Zurich and 20% in Basel-Stadt.
VAT rates in Switzerland:
Switzerland has one of the lowest VAT rates in Europe. The standard rate is 8.0%; a rate of 3.8% applies for accommodation in hotels and related businesses, and VAT of 2.5% applies for basic necessities. Many services, particularly in the areas of health, social welfare, education, culture and sport, and financial and real estate transactions, are exempt from VAT.
Companies headquartered abroad that provide services in Switzerland must pay Swiss VAT. Only companies with a total annual taxable turnover of less than CHF 100,000 in Switzerland are exempt from paying VAT.
Our services in the Switzerland:
We provide following services in the Switzerland through our affiliates, which are fully authorised agent of Swiss Federal Tax Administration:
Business start-up advice
Bookkeeping and bank reconciliations
Fully outsourced accounts department
Payroll support or fully outsourced payroll managed by us
Tax returns for companies and individuals
VAT refund and payments
Double taxations reliefs
Taxation advice for individuals
Specialist corporation tax services
Property and land transactions planning
Business development and consultancy
Compliance services with local tax authorities
Our affiliate teams with local knowledge have the backing of a group with global reach, helping you to do businesses seamlessly across borders. Get in touch today to discuss further.