How to register an investment fund in Switzerland in 2024
An overseas investment pool might primarily captivate those already versed in foreign investments. By amalgamating financial resources, there exists the potential to invest monetary assets in a significantly more advantageous manner, consequently elevating the business to loftier echelons.

The fiscal sector constitutes a central facet of the Swiss economy. Robust economic stability, political impartiality, and the safeguarding of banking confidentiality render the nation relatively impervious to investment uncertainties. Furthermore, Switzerland reigns supreme globally in the realm of international wealth administration, boasting a commanding 25 percent stake in the worldwide market. The financial sector here exhibits remarkable diversity. Notwithstanding its acclaim, investors must exercise caution and meticulously assess prospective hazards entailed in establishing an investment pool in Switzerland.

How to establish an investment fund: a compendium of the nation's investment ambiance

Among European nations, Switzerland stands as a vanguard in the hierarchy of propitious circumstances for the enterprise of asset supervision. As far back as 2019, the World Economic Forum bestowed upon Switzerland the distinction of the fifth most competitive economy across the globe. This lofty accolade is a testament to the nation's robust institutional milieu and its elevated echelon of technological and scientific exploration and advancement. The entity tasked with overseeing financial services within Switzerland is denominated as FINMA.

Alternate regulatory entities encompass the Financial Market Regulatory Authority and the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association (SFAMA). FINMA assumes responsibility for the enrollment and oversight of asset administration firms, wealth overseers, and foreign joint investment pools, along with their vendors and overseers. FINMA will also grant endorsement for their wares. SFAMA, conversely, is a coalition advocating for joint investment pools and administrators in Switzerland.

Opting to inaugurate an investment pool in this nation entails recognizing it as an alternative to enterprises such as fiduciaries, for instance. The objective behind establishing an investment pool is not solely the conservation of assets but also their augmentation. It's noteworthy that Switzerland, serving as a worldwide financial hub, upholds an elevated standard in terms of safeguarding the dependability of deposits and insulating them from external entities.

Helvetia abides as a pivotal pecuniary nucleus, mainly marked by the promulgation of Helvetian and worldwide communal investment stratagems. Aspirant alien financiers deliberating the inauguration of an investment reservoir in Helvetia should recognize that the dispersion of distant coffers is bifurcated into the circulation amongst common and endorsed financiers.

Regulatory prerequisites for the enrollment of Swiss investment funds

Individuals contemplating the establishment of an investment fund in Switzerland should grasp that they are subject to regulation contingent upon:

  • the country of origin (they may be subjected to Swiss or foreign regulations);
  • the category of investors for whom they are intended (capable or non-capable investors).

They can subsequently be classified as collective investment schemes (CIS), extensible or finite funds, contingent on the investment instrument employed for their establishment. Those who petition for enrollment with FINMA must adhere to diverse regulations and satisfy specific prerequisites.They must:

  • possess a commendable standing;
  • guarantee proficient administration of the fund;
  • exhibit expertise in fund oversight.

Swiss open-ended investment funds

Both indigenous and alien investment funds in Switzerland have the potential for enrollment in either unceasing or confined configurations. An unceasing investment fund empowers investors to liquidate their portions/shares back to the fund that dispensed them. This signifies that investors possess the capacity to transmute the investment asset into monetary resources at their discretion.

The investment marketplace for open-ended investment funds is governed by the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) and the associated Regulation (CISO).
On 1 January 2020, two novel regulatory ordinances, notably the Monetary Support Statute (MoneSA) and the Monetary Organizations Statute (MoneOA), were promulgated. MoneSA predominantly presides over the bestowal of monetary services and the tendering of monetary implements, including protocols of behavior for monetary service providers. Conversely, the JoyOA establishes licensing and structural prerequisites for non-financial fiscal companies registered in Switzerland.

Closed-end investment funds in Switzerland

A different technique by which foreign investors could devise their investment strategies in Switzerland concerns secluded investment reservoirs, which are overseen by corresponding juridical decrees as unrestricted reservoirs. Notwithstanding, within a secluded reservoir, investors deficit the potentiality to forcibly vend their investment possessions back to the reservoir. Additionally, such a reservoir is disqualified to tender its equities to the wider citizenry.

Other classification of investment funds in Switzerland

CISA prescribes the ensuing four distinct categories of investment instruments within CIS:

Contractual investment fund (FCP)

Retail FCP is grounded on a CIS accord among retail financiers, the fund administration enterprise, and the custodial depository.

Swiss investment fund with variable capital (SICAV)

SICAV represents an unsealed investment fund:

  • Arranged as a communal capital enterprise with constrained accountability;
  • possessing its unique juridical personality;
  • solely dedicated to the joint investment in assets.

The SICAV is merely responsible for the assets of its corporation. Its sanctioned holdings and the quantity of shares are not predetermined beforehand. The shares are segregated into executive shares and benefactor shares. The minimum financial prerequisites are CHF 5,000,000. Each share bestows one suffrage. Unlike FCPs, there is no covenant amid the investors and the custodial establishment. The SICAV can execute all governance (autonomously governed SICAV) or delegate it to an authorized investment administration firm, which is liable for the marketing of the shares and collection oversight (externally supervised SICAV). In either circumstance, the SICAV in Switzerland may only delegate investment determinations to authorized wealth overseers.

Swiss investment company with permanent capital (SICAF)

CISA introduced the SICAF as an enclosed investment reservoir substitute. A SICAF is a venture constrained by equity interests under the Swiss Statute of Obligations whose exclusive purpose is to apportion collective assets and whose shareholders might include private investors.

In lieu of FINMA-sanctioned SICAFs, common individuals possess the opportunity to delve into publicly traded SICAFs in Switzerland that do not necessitate FINMA validation under CISA. For instance, SIX Swiss Exchange has established a distinct sector for registered SICAFs and adopted specialized cataloging procedures for them. Consequently, a Swiss investment corporation with the purpose of executing communal monetary schemes to yield earnings and wealth advancement may be registered and incorporated in the SIX Investment Index if, among other specifics, it has expounded its asset tactics in its Articles of Establishment and has satisfied a minimum investment threshold at the time of enrollment.

Limited Liability Partnership for collective investment schemes (LP)

A limited partnership (LP) is a consortium whose paramount objective is to jointly invest in venture capital. The principal associate is typically a regional restricted accountability enterprise and might serve as the principal associate of solely one LP. Unvocal associates may not encompass any consumer investors, and exclusively "authorized financiers" may enroll in such resources.

Based on the investment tactics and asset classification in which the patronage FCP and SICAV allot funds, the consumer marketplace for such collections may be categorized as thus:

  • Investment vehicles (European UCITS counterpart);
  • Real estate portfolios;
  • "Portfolios for conventional investments";
  • "Portfolios for unconventional investments".

When it pertains to individuals who may partake in an investment pool, the expression proficient investors might signify:

  • Financial institutions such as banking establishments, investment management firms, securities traders, insurers, and various financial intermediaries overseen by FINMA;
  • Autonomous wealth overseers;
  • Persons possessing a substantial amount of equity;
  • Diverse categories of investors.

When it comes to wealthy people, they have to fulfil several conditions, among them:

  • Skilled expertise or erudition in the fiscal domain;
  • an affluence of at minimum CHF 5 million;
  • possession of inalienable realty valued at most CHF 2 million.
They need to present an inscribed declaration expressing their desire to be acknowledged as proficient financiers and grasp the hazards linked with the venture. Monetary resources are obliged to designate trustees to detain their possessions.
The trustee should be a Swiss financial institution authorized by FINMA. This prerequisite is relevant exclusively to native resources, as overseas resources need to safeguard their holdings in compliance with the legislations of their motherland.

What does the investment fund registration process involve?

Helvetic CISs must be enrolled with FINMA prior to embarking upon any endeavor. The universal prerequisites for acquiring a FINMA authorization are as ensues:

  • Individuals accountable for the administration and commerce undertakings of the supplicant must be in commendable status, proffer guarantees of virtuous governance, and possess suitable professional aptitude;
  • Capable stockholders, namely unaccustomed or lawful individuals who forthrightly or circuitously retain 10 percent or more of the stock or balloting privileges, or who are otherwise capable of exerting substantial sway, must be in commendable status and must not exploit their sway to the detriment of circumspect governance;
  • Internal regulations subsist to warrant the accomplishment of the responsibilities enumerated in the Swiss fund regulations;
  • Adequate pecuniary assurances are mandatory;
  • Every supplementary prerequisites for the supplicant specified in CISA must be satisfied.
To institute an investment pool as a Swiss Collective Investment Scheme (CIS), the petition ought to be primarily scrutinized by a Swiss inspection company acknowledged by the Federal Audit Regulatory Body (FARB). Documentation pertaining to the fund (e.g. communal investment accord, Bylaws, etc.), encompassing an essential investor enlightenment manuscript (EIEM), should be tendered to FINMA for sanction.

Licensing of funds

Helvetian and overseas unrestricted terminus funds necessitate enrollment with FINMA. To procure an authorization, a myriad of manuscripts must be tendered, contingent upon the genus of the fund. Nevertheless, prevalent manuscripts encompass:

  • brochure;
  • KIID;
  • joint investment pacts concerning contractual funds, Articles of Incorporation, and investment guidelines or partnership arrangement concerning CIS organized under corporate law;
  • any supplementary paperwork that might be necessary for authorization according to relevant foreign legislation and Swiss regulations for CIS.

If an investment pool functions within the regional fiscal marketplace, it shall necessitate initiating an account in Switzerland and maintaining documentation. Swiss investments are obliged to disseminate assorted details in the pertinent communication outlets. Amidst the particulars that demand revelation:

  • Periodic document, which ought to be disclosed within 4 months of the culmination of the fiscal annum;
  • The semi-annual statement, which is mandated to be disclosed within 2 months of the year's cessation;
  • Dispensation and reimbursement values each instance equities or stakes are disseminated or reimbursed;
  • Monetary assets pool valuations should be unveiled at minimum 2 instances monthly.

Taxation of foundations in Switzerland

Depending on the archetype elected for enrollment, the imposition of assets may diverge. As an illustration, in the event of an investment vehicle founded as a EPODE, LL or covenant fund, no revenue tax or fortune charges are imposed in harmony with pertinent jurisprudence. Stakeholders intrigued by the procedure to inaugurate an investment reservoir beneath one of the aforementioned frameworks should be apprised that levies shall befall upon the champions of the reservoir.

Earnings allotments or amassed gains from theoretical annual apportionments of FCP and EPODE are usually beholden to retention toll at 35 percent. In EPODE, taxation is in harmony with the corporate tax statutes, signifying that the reservoir shall be encumbered in compliance with the ordinances relevant to corporate establishments. Subsequently, the reservoir shall be responsible for disbursing the corporate tax quotient as well as fortune charges.

Means Marketing

Unlimited terminus emporium coffers. In connection with promotion, FinSA separates betwixt the ensuing undertakings:

  • Promotion. In the context of Swiss retail FCPs and SICAVs, promotion does not necessitate any approvals or particular commitments pursuant to CISA, does not initiate prospectus prerequisites (until the offer threshold is fulfilled) or any alternative regulatory responsibilities pursuant to FinSA.
  • Proposal. Should the promotion of mercantile Fiduciary Collaboration Platforms (FCPs) and Special Investment Company for Agricultural Ventures (SICAVs) within Switzerland be deemed a proposition pursuant to the Financial Services Act (FinSA), the supervisory organization of the FCP or SICAV is obliged to furnish a brochure and an essential enlightenment dossier to retail stakeholders in compliance with the Financial Services Act (FinSA).
  • Bestowal of pecuniary amenities. Within a FinSA, pecuniary amenities encompass counsel on investments and wealth stewardship, every endeavor communicated unswervingly to clientele that is peculiarly aimed at the procurement or disposition of a fiscal instrument, akin to portions in an Investment Pool or stakes in a Collective Investment Corporation. Should the tendering of stakes in a Collective Investment Corporation or portions in an Investment Pool within Switzerland represent the offering of pecuniary amenities for these objectives, the accountable innate or juridical individual will be classified as a pecuniary amenity purveyor and can solely furnish amenities to Swiss financiers in congruence with the FinSA and pertinent regulatory commitments.
Unfamiliar unsealed emporium reservoirs
Dissimilar to the promotion of Swiss emporium AMPs and SICAVs, the promotion of outlandish emporium reservoirs triggers marketing certification commitments beneath CISA. Outlandish unsealed monetary resources must unveil an essential enlightenment manuscript for emporium patrons beneath FinSA. If the proffering of allotments in a FCP or stakes in a SICAV likewise encompasses the bestowal of pecuniary amenities, the accountable individual(s) will qualify as an (outlandish) pecuniary amenity purveyor and, thus, may exclusively bestow amenities to Swiss corporations within the expanse of FinSA stipulations and associated regulatory responsibilities.


Switzerland is regarded as one of the recondite markets for the registration of investment collectives in Europe, flaunting an adept statutory framework, embracing numerous jurisprudential provisions, for the administration of investment collectives.

Individuals who desire to commence an investment venture in Switzerland must be informed that the primary statute for collectives is the Assemble Capital Scheme Act (ACSA). Registered collectives in Switzerland possess distinctive privileges concerning legal actions: they can utilize Swiss courts, which are among the most revered internationally.

Should you seek assistance with enrolling an investment pool in Switzerland, please get in touch with our corporate advisors through a convenient means.

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