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Switzerland is a highly developed industrial country, located in Western Europe. Switzerland is a federal republic, consisting of 26 autonomous cantons, each of which has its own constitution and legislation. All cantons are free to make decisions locally.
This material will be especially useful for those, who plan to register a company in Switzerland or open an account with a Swiss bank.
A country is rightfully considered one of the richest in the world and is among the top 10 countries in terms of economic competitiveness. Leading industries: an agriculture, an engineering, a tourism, a medicine, the chemical industry, services, banking and insurance. This is one of the most prestigious jurisdictions, enjoying undeniable success among foreign investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.
Switzerland benefitsA company registration in Switzerland is a responsible and rather expensive step. Nevertheless, after a detailed familiarization with the conditions of the investment, as well as the business environment, it becomes obvious, that it is worth it. Among the main advantages of this jurisdiction are the following:
- An indisputable authority of the state in the international arena;
- A booming economy;
- A stable political situation;
- An elite banking system;
- The innovative level of protection for confidential data;
- A transparent legal system;
- A loyal taxation;
- No corruption;
- Highly skilled workforce;
- A reliable service industry.
According to the ranking of the world-famous Doing Business magazine, in 2019 Switzerland ranked 38th in terms of ease of doing business among European countries, 20th in terms of simplicity of the tax system, 11th in registering property and 2nd in terms of living.
If you want to open a corporate account in Switzerland, this will be an excellent solution, since local banks are one of the most reliable in the world. Here a principle of the strictest banking secrecy applies, which can be violated only in the event of a financial crime investigation.
A taxation in Switzerland
Switzerland offers extensive and extremely favorable conditions for foreign business due to low interest rates, as well as a presence of more than 50 double taxation avoidance agreements. If you want to set up a company in Switzerland, pay attention to the fact, that taxes in the country are levied at 3 levels: federal, cantonal (regional) and municipal. Each of them has its own rates, which vary depending on the requirements of the administrative-territorial units (from 4% to 25%). A size of a federal income tax is 8,5%. A combined corporate tax rate is from 11,5%.
According to the latest data, the following cantons will be most beneficial from the point of view of starting a business in 2019: Zug, Bern, Uri, Thurgau, Jura, Obvalden, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Lucerne.
Among the cantons with high income taxes, there are still: Basel-Stadt, Geneva, Glarus, Basel-Land, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel.
The following taxes also apply in Switzerland:
- a VAT is 7,7%;
- a personal income tax is 0-11,5% (depending on the canton);
- a capital tax is 0,2-0,5%;
- a dividend tax is 35%;
- a property transfer tax is 1-3%;
- contributions to the social insurance fund are 10,3%;
- a stamp duty is 1%.
Also, those who intend to register an enterprise in Switzerland should pay attention to the fact, that under certain conditions, a state offers tax benefits, that apply to holding and mixed companies.
A residence permit and citizenship in SwitzerlandSwitzerland has rather stringent conditions for obtaining a residence permit. To obtain a permanent residence permit in Switzerland, residents of third countries must live in the country for at least 10 years (last 5 years - continuous residence), residents of the EU - at least 5 years. Mandatory requirements for obtaining citizenship: a high level of integration in Swiss society, a permanent residence and a residence in the country for at least 10 years.
For those, who wish to open a company in Switzerland, simplified conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Switzerland are provided - by a passive investment, or rather payment of a lump-sum tax (from 100,000 to 1,5 million CHF).
Legal forms in SwitzerlandA legal system of a federation is based on a civil law. You can register an enterprise in Switzerland with the following legal form:
- an Individual Entrepreneur (Einzelfirma);
- a Limited Liability Company (GmbH);
- a Joint-Stock Company (AG);
- a Partnership (Kollektivgesellschaft);
- a Limited Partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft);
- a Cooperative (Genossenschaft);
- a Simple Partnership (Kommanditaktiengesellschaft);
- a branch.
Establishing a Swiss company:
- A name is formed taking into account;
- An agreement is signed between the founders;
- A bank account is opened and funds are deposited;
- Documents are submitted for inclusion in the register of companies.
In addition, in order to open a business in Switzerland, legal entities must adhere to the following rules:
- A company must have a registered office in Switzerland;
- A minimum authorized capital is 100 thousand CHF;
- A minimum number of directors and shareholders is 1;
- A director must have a resident status.