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The country is a federal republic and is officially known as the Swiss Confederation. The total area is 41,295 sq km. Switzerland is divided in
to 26 Cantons and every Canton and every community has a different taxation system.
The total estimated population is 7.3 million
The two dominant principles of the Swiss Constitution of 1874 are federalism and democracy. The Constitution provides that the Cantons shall
exercise all powers of government not delegated to the Federal Government. The three major sectors of the Swiss National government are the
Federal Council, the Federal Assembly and the Federal Tribunal. The executive body is the seven-man collegiate Federal Council, which is elected
for a four-year term by the national legislature.
Switzerland has a prosperous and stable modern economy with a per capita GDP approximately 10% higher than other Western European countries.
Switzerland is one of the most multilingual countries in Europe. German, French, Italian and Romansh, a Rhaeto-Romance offshoot of Latin, are the
official languages in Switzerland.
Swiss Franc (CHF)
Unless suitably licensed a company incorporated in Switzerland cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance,
fund management, collective investment schemes or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking or finance industries.
A company incorporated in Switzerland has the same powers as a natural person.
Swiss official languages and English in a few Cantons, but foreign language translations can be obtained.
Owing to the costs associated with incorporation and the paid up share capital requirements, shelf companies are rare.
Subject to the proposed name being approved by the Commercial Register, and the criteria for incorporation being strictly adhered to, a
company can be established in ten working days.
A name that is identical or similar to an existing name. A major name that is known to exist elsewhere. A name that may imply government
patronage. A name that in the opinion of the Registrar may be considered undesirable.
The name of a body corporate may use any language using the Latin alphabet.
Bank, building society, savings, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, Switzerland, state, country,
municipality, principality, Red Cross and their foreign language equivalents.
Aktiengesellschaft – AG or Société Anonyme – SA or Limited – Ltd.
This type of limited company has a minimum authorised share capital of CHF 100,000, of which all of it has, in practice, to be issued and
fully paid up. A capital duty paying from 0.4% to 8% applies (depending on the cantons of domicile).
The Cantons have preserved many of the rights they held as sovereign political bodies. Nevertheless, the constitution delegates considerable
authority to the Federal Government, including the power to conclude treaties and alliances, to levy taxes and to regulate foreign trade.
However, each Canton has its own taxation. There are many Cantons with favourable taxation levels and some Cantons with higher unemployment rates
or small populations (mountain regions) have particularly low levels of taxation.
Double tax agreements exist with 84 countries.
Companies are required to keep financial records. Although there is no requirement to file Financial Statements at the Registry, they must be
presented to the Shareholders and filed with the Tax Authorities.
Minimum of one who must be resident in Switzerland. Corporate directors are not permitted.
There is no requirement under Swiss Law for a company secretary to be appointed.
On incorporation the minimum number of shareholders is one.
Further information on these alternative structures are available on request.
Switzerland GmbH/SARL Ltd Fact Sheet
Switzerland Company Questionnaire
Switzerland Company Order Form
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