Switzerland is bordered by France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is a federal state with 23 sovereign cantons and 3 semi.-cantons. In addition, there are more than 3,000 political communes (autonomous self-governing bodies that have the status of legal entity). This complex combination of several sovereign bodies is reflected in the Swiss legal and tax system.



Official languages

German, French, Italian


Switzerland is a federal republic, its official name is the Swiss federation. The present constitution was adopted in 1999. The head of the country is the president. He is elected every year on a rotating basis from among the members of the Federal Council. The highest legislative body is a bicameral parliament. All laws passed by Parliament may be approved or rejected by referendum.


Swiss Franc (CHF)


The Swiss economy is one of the most stable in the world. The policy is to ensure long-term monetary provision and banking secrecy has made Switzerland a place where investors are most confident in the safety of their funds. As the result, the country's economy becomes increasingly dependent on a constant influx of foreign investment. Banking secrecy and Switzerland have become synonymous, in spite of the fact that the country has adopted many laws aimed at combating money laundering and actively assists other countries in this regard.

Corporate law

  • Swiss Civil Code 1907
  • Federal Act on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, 1997
  • Federal Act on the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority
  • Law On Investment Funds, 1994

Types of companies

  • Joint Stock Limited Company (Aktiengesellschaft, AG and Societe Anonyme, SA)
  • Limited Liability Company (Gesellschaft mit beshranktes Haftung, GmbH)
  • Holding Company
  • Domiciliary Company
  • Auxiliary Company

Joint Stock Limited Company (AG and SA)

  • Company name must end with the abbreviation SA / AG, according to the official language of the canton where the company is registered.
  • Minimum capital of SA / AG is 100,000 CHF, of which 20% or 50,000 CHF are to be paid by the deposit of funds in the bank. The authorized capital may be increased by more than 50% of the share capital at any time.
  • AG / SA may issue registered and preferential shares.
  • The minimum number of shareholders is three.
  • Annual General Meeting of Shareholders are to be held in Switzerland.
  • Companies require a minimum of one director. If director is the sole one, it must be a resident of Switzerland. If a greater number of directors is appointed, most of them must be citizens or residents of Switzerland. A legal entity can not act as a director.
  • Appointment of company secretary is not required.
  • Company must have an auditor, and record and store its records for each year in the company's registered office.

Limited Liability Company (GmbH)

  • Minimum capital of GmbH is 20,000 CHF, but the company has no shares so participation of holders is registered in the Commercial Register. 10,000 CHF are to be paid at the time of incorporation.
  • GmbH shall have a minimum of one shareholder.
  • At least one director, a resident of Switzerland is required.
  • Appointment of a Secretary is not required.
  • Small companies can prepare accounts in a simplified form, that need not contain information about the company's turnover.


Tax advantages of Switzerland are due to the fact that in some cantons it is possible to register a company, the profits of which will be subject to federal tax at a reduced rate. This business has a standard offshore requirements: it must belong to non-residents and conduct all operations outside the country. Taxation of companies that are just holding activities, in some cantons can be reduced to only payment of a fixed annual fee. Income in the form of dividends received is almost entirely exempt from taxation.

Double taxation avoidance agreement

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Canada, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Sri- Lanka, South Africa, South Korea and Japan.