Switzerland is a central European Country with banking and finance as its key industries. The country’s watches and chocolates are world renowned, attesting to the high level of excellence it exhibits. It is particularly an attractive location for the registration and operation of a company for foreigners, owing to business-friendly registration procedures and its highly efficient banking and finance industry.
Among the types of companies that may be established and operated in Switzerland is the Joint Stock Company. It is abbreviated as AG which is short for Aktiengesellschaft or SA which stands for Societe Anonyme. The Joint Stock Company is one of the most common Swiss company types due to the relative ease with which one can be set up and the vast amount of benefits it offers to owners and shareholders. It can, for example, be used for companies active in the trading, production, holding or financing businesses and can also be set up as a subsidiary of a foreign company.
The minimum share capital required as an initial investment in a Swiss joint-stock company is CHF 100,000 ( the equivalent of 87.000 Euros) which can comprise of bearer shares and registered shares. A minimum of one founder (who may be of any nationality) is also required. However, at least one of the founders should be a Swiss resident.
One other major benefit of a Swiss joint-stock company is that when it comes to company’s assets, the limitation of responsibility for the shareholders makes it easy for them. With limited responsibility, there is less chance of the shareholders losing too much is the company, as their losses only correspond to their level of investment. The shareholders in the company will not be held liable for any obligations other than their investment in the share capital i.e. the liabilities of shareholders is limited with the company assets/share capital.
In Switzerland, processing the registration generally takes between two to four weeks, after which the company is recognized as a legal entity. This time is relatively short, thus making the set up process a fast one. With the short time required for set up, the operation of companies can kick-start quickly enough.
In a Swiss Joint Stock Company, privacy and anonymity are provided as the founders do not have to be registered at the Registry office. Also, foreign investors who do not want to be caught in too many regulations will obtain that freedom from its system of operation.
Financial statements do not have to be published by all Joint Stock Exchanges, thus helping the companies maintain their confidentiality in financial matters. It should be noted that the Joint Stock Company is the only type of entity allowed to list on the Switzerland Stock Exchange.
So, for business owners with very large investments, who are also seeking additional management and government oversights, setting up a joint stock company in Switzerland can only be a smart choice.