Creating an enterprise

Setting up a company in Switzerland is efficient from a time point of view, taking approximately one week to form the company and requiring organizational costs of CHF 4000-6000.

When creating an enterprise, there are various decisions to be made, most notably in terms of its legal form.

Swiss law provides for several options when selecting the legal form of an enterprise. As a general rule, a distinction is made between unincorporated and incorporated firms, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages (legal, fiscal, and so on).

Unincorporated firm

There are four types of unincorporated firm:

  • Sole trader
  • Civil partnership
  • General partnership
  • Commercial partnership

This type of legal form is inexpensive to set up, but the company founder and any associates have unlimited liability on all their assets.

Incorporated firm

There are three principle types of incorporated firm:

  • Limited liability company (Sàrl)
  • Public limited company (SA)
  • Commercial partnership limited by shares (SCA)

These are more expensive to set up, but the owner's liability is limited to the amount of his participation in the capital stock.

List of issues to consider when selecting legal structure (french/german)

DEV provides professional and detailed advice to guide entrepreneurs to identify the best legal form for the enterprise. In addition, the Association of Notaries working in Vaud and the Vaud section of the Swiss Fiduciary Association are in a position to advise anyone interested in creating a legal entity in the canton.