Companies in Switzerland

From 2004 to 2007, Switzerland had a very long and strong economic growth (average 3% a year) just like in the early 1980s. In 2008 and 2009, one could detect a stagnation that however was not as painful as in many other European countries. In 2010, economic growth was 2.7%, according to SECO and the authorities believe this positive development will continue in 2014.

Figures for 2015 show a GDP growth of 0.9% and an unemployment rate of only 3.4%.

SME´s (Small and Medium – sized Enterprises) in Switzerland
The backbone of the Swiss business is the small businesses called KMU – “Kleine und mittlere Unternehmen” (SME´s). These represent 99% of all Swiss companies. They employ over 2 million people or more than 2/3 of the working population in Switzerland.

Public Limited Companies (PLCs) in Switzerland
The reason for the many KMUs is surely the double taxation of dividends and the favourable taxation of capital gains as well as the simple process of establishing companies, such as GmbH´s and AG´s (PLC or Ltd.)

A PLC only needs the following:

  • A founder
  • A shareholder
  • A board of directors of which at least one member must be a resident of Switzerland
  • A mailing address and a director based in Switzerland
  • Paid-in capital of CHF 100,000 for an AG (Public Limited Company or a Ltd) or CHF 20,000 for a GmbH (Private Limited Company)

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