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Guide to start a Business in Switzerland

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Switzerland. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Place the paid-up capital in an escrow account with a bank1 dayno charge
2Draft the articles of association in the presence of a notary public, who notarizes the personal and corporate signatures on the application form and authenticate the articles of association and the public deed of incorporation.7 days0.1% of capital, minimum CHF 500, maximum CHF 5,000 + CHF 100 (for 5 signatures)
3File the deed certifying the articles of association to the local commercial register to obtain a legal entity7 daysCHF 600+ 0.02% of capital exceeding CHF 200,000 up to a maximum of CHF 10,000
4Pay stamp tax at post office or bank after receiving an assessment by mail1 day1% capital with the first CHF 1,000,000 exempt
5Register for VAT1 day, within 30 days after being subject to VATno charge
6Enroll employees in the social insurance system (federal and cantonal authorities)1 dayno charge
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