Why Setup an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Switzerland


Located at the crossroads of northern and southern Europe, Switzerland is bordered on the north by France and Germany, on the east by Austria and Liechtenstein, on the south by Italy, and on the west and south-west by France. Switzerland is situated in the heart of Europe but outside the EU.
Switzerland has a modern market economy with a per capita GDP among the highest in the world.

Switzerland has one of the most competitive economies in the world; with an inflation rate that has remained below 1% in the last years, which is way below the one in the EU and US.

Societé à Responibilité Limité (SARL), or Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (Gmbh)

This type of company requires a low minimum share capital, which makes it accessible for start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to start their own business in Switzerland. A limited liability company in Switzerland is formed by at least two shareholders with a minimum share capital of CHF 20,000, or equally valuable assets, and with the liability of the members limited by their contribution to the capital.

The company is formed through a public deed, the adoption of articles of association, the appointment of a board of directors (one member at least) and the auditors.

Other requirements to set up a Swiss limited liability company

  • At least one shareholder and one executive director; however, a person may hold the same titles;
  • The liability is limited exclusively to the company’s assets.
  • At least one of the executive directors must be a Swiss resident.
  • Shareholders are required to register with the commercial register and therefore, they are public.
  • Companies are required to submit an annual return together with their financial statements, and a tax return to the relevant Canton authorities.

Switzerland is internationally known for its favorable tax environment. For companies, there are special tax rulings that can reduce the already moderate tax burden to extremely attractive levels. Furthermore, legal entities can benefit from double taxation treaties and bilateral agreements. Switzerland also has a whole series of bilateral investment protection agreements with countries in emerging markets, such as China, India, and Vietnam.

In addition, Switzerland offers support on various levels to entrepreneurs willing to move or create a business on the territory. New companies, especially those that are active in the field of innovative technologies, are supported at both the federal and the cantonal levels through a vast number of available incentives and subsidies.

The Swiss tax system features both Federal, Cantonal and Communal tax regimes. The federal corporate income tax rate is set at 8,5%, but due to the fact that deductible tax payments are allowed, the maximum federal income tax rate can be reduced to 7,8%.

In addition, the capital tax of the cantons, which is the net equity of the company forms the basis of calculation. This amounts to between 0.0010 and 0.5288%. Furthermore, some forms of business are tax-privileged.