swiss support logo edit

Company Formation in Switzerland for foreigners

The Swiss market is attracting an increasing number of foreigners who want to establish a business and take advantage of the welcoming business environment.

You can set up a company without being a resident, but certain requirements must be met. The registration of a company in Switzerland follows a general rule, but there may be differences depending on the state and the type of company formation.

For this reason, it is recommended to work with professional incorporation specialists, if you are planning to start the process of company formation in Switzerland. Swiss Support simplifies the process of setting up a Swiss business and starting your company.

business consultant

Start your Business in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most attractive places in Europe to set up a business. It benefits from stable economic conditions and one of the most developed financial systems worldwide.

Known for its low taxes, Switzerland has positioned itself as an essential center formodern business, start-ups and rewarding company formations in several areas.

The country offers many opportunities for businesses, companies and corporations. Registering a company in Switzerland is therefore a wise idea, especially for small and medium-sized companies from abroad looking to expand their business.

Swiss Support is ready to assist foreign clients in all matters related to the steps of starting (and running) a business in Switzerland, regardless of the area (canton) chosen for incorporation. Our service provides support and legal representation during the company formation process. We also assist founders in all necessary matters that need to be performed once the business starts operating, such as audit, tax advice and tax compliance, corporate administration and more.

businessman in suit
swiss craft business
swiss trade business
restaurant owner

The procedure of Swiss company formation

The procedure of company formation in Switzerland comprises several steps to comply with the various legal and administrative requirements, including


Choosing an appropriate type of company for your business


Choosing a unique company's trading name


Setting up a registered office in Switzerland


Prearranging shareholder's documents​


Opening of a capital account with a Swiss bank​


Depending on the type of company: depositing the share capital and obtaining the share capital certificate from the Swiss bank​


Applying for the registration of the business with all documents being signed by a notary and sent to the Company register.


Receiving the registration certificate


Converting the capital bank account into a business bank account


Registering for taxation


Finding a Swiss accountant

Most of the steps regarding a company formation in Switzerland require the assistance of a public notary who is registered in Switzerland. Professional advice and guidance is recommended, before starting a business.

Main Types of Companies in Switzerland

Non-Swiss citizens can set up different business forms, each with different advantages and disadvantages. The requirements vary, but all types of company formation in Switzerland require a work permit or a partnership with a Swiss resident.

GmbH (Limited Liability Company)

The most common type of corporation is the limited liability company (GmbH). A foreign founder of a GmbH in Switzerland must be associated with at least one Swiss resident who acts as a manager or the director. Other shareholders can be foreigners and don't have to live in Switzerland. The minimum share capital is CHF 20,000 and the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contribution to the capital. The general meeting of the shareholders has the purpose of establishing the Swiss GmbH.

Aktiengesellschaft AG (Stock Corporation)

In order to establish a stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft AG) or a Swiss SA as a foreigner, at least one member of the board of directors must be authorized to sign in Switzerland. At least one member must be resident and domiciled in Switzerland. The minimum share capital is CHF 100,000 and the liability of the members is limited to their contribution to the capital of the company. The management of the SA company is determined by a general meeting of the shareholders and a board of directors.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship belongs only to the owner of the company. Accordingly, the labor market regulations apply to the person who must have a residence and work permit to work in Switzerland. Cross-border workers must contact the Cantonal Population Office and apply for a cross-border work permit (Permit G). EU/EFTA nationals (except Croatians) must file an application with the Cantonal Migration Office (Permit B) and may then work self-employed. Citizens of other countries need a residence permit (Permit C). This structure is chosen by individuals who will work alone, such as freelancers and sole proprietors. They have unlimited liability and there is no minimum capital requirement. Official registration in the commercial register is only required if the activities are run in a commercial form and the annual turnover exceeds CHF 100,000.

General Partnership

A general partnership in Switzerland has to be set up by a minimum of two members, who join together for a specific business-purpose. There is no capital and no registration in the Swiss Companies Register required, but the liability of the members is unlimited and equally shared. Each member must have a Swiss work permit. Before forming a general partnership, the members sign a partnership agreement setting out the terms and conditions under which the business will be conducted. It's not necessary to deposit a certain amount of share capital.

Limited Partnership

This type of company is also based on at least two members, who can be represented by a legal entity that does not impose residency requirements. Therefore, the company can be established by foreign citizens. But, unlike a general partnership, the limited partners are liable for debts at a different level. It isrequired, that one partner has unlimited liability, while others can register as limited partners. The limited partners are only liable up to a specific amount. This amount must be registered with the Commercial Registry.


Obtaining a residence permit in Switzerland depends ona number of factors, including nationality and financial circumstances. Swiss Support can advise you on your options.

Contact us for Your Company Formation in Switzerland

With the assistance of Swiss Support, your company formation in Switzerland will be completed in a fast, accurate and secure manner. Our experienced team of lawyers and business consultants is looking forward to assisting you with your company formation in Switzerland. Moreover, we are specialized to accompany you with the subsequent tasks such as legal services, tax advice, accounting, administration, strategic consulting, market research and highly effective online marketing.

Contact us

Get a free consultation

Let us contact you to discuss your questions and provide you a tailored quote.