Offshore Company Formation in Switzerland

Switzerland, a country strategically located in the heart of Europe with an open gateway to major European, African, and Middle-Eastern markets, is one of the richest and stable countries Europe and worldwide. In addition to that, it has one of the lowest taxation among all of the developed countries in the world. Moreover, investment projects are given tax breaks if they are able to fulfil certain requirements.

By being a neutral country, Switzerland has strong economic stability and very low inflation, making the Swiss Franc one of the strongest currencies in the world. Their quality of life is also ranked as the highest quality in the world and Swiss citizens have one of the highest salaries per capita in the entire Europe according to a study done by Credit Suisse. Besides that, the country also has state-of-the-art infrastructures, offers a competitive business environment, and it is one of the most advanced countries in research and development. These strong points that Switzerland opens up plenty of opportunities for foreign investments hence it is one of the lucrative places globally for foreign investors to form an offshore company in. Many people also view Switzerland as one of the safest investment destinations in the world.

GmbH Company Formation

3 governing bodies that governs an offshore company, or GmbH are known as:

  • The General Meeting of Partners
  • The Management
  • The Auditors

A Swiss GmbH also enjoys exemption from all forms of taxation if the company has a structure of a holding company. A GmbH, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, is a term for a limited liability company. Therefore, the owners, referred to as Gesellschafter, are not personally responsible for the company’s debts. For regular business activities, a federal tax rate of 7.38% is imposed upon the company. All Swiss companies are also subjected to audit.

 

Requirements

The requirements for setting up an offshore company in Switzerland are:

  • Signed up capital: At least 20000 Swiss Francs or CHF
  • Minimum nominal value of the shares: 100 Swiss Francs and shareholders can hold more than one share
  • Regardless of their nationalities, foreign residents can fully own the company
  • In contrast to tax havens, the offshore company in Switzerland have to publicly fill the information and details of its company’s owners
  • The company’s registration requires a local director
  • The company has to do an ordinary audit if the company exceeds a balance sheet of total 10 Million Swiss Francs, has a turnover of more than 20 Million Swiss Francs or have more than 50 full positions per year, for two years in a row
  • In the event where the conditions to do an ordinary are not fulfilled, the company will do a limited audit, which is less intensive and extensive
  • No more than 10 full-time positions are able to apply for the audit position
  • The company can propose any name and the name must reflect the actual business nature of the company while names such as Switzerland, International, European, and etc. needs to fulfil certain conditions
  • The name of the company must end with a GmbH or SARL suffix

 

Taxation

There are 26 cantons or regions in Switzerland and each canton has its own taxation system. Generally, there are 3 major levels tax systems known as federal level, canton level, and communes assess incomes. Federate level tax rate is around 3.63% to 9.8% and the canton level tax rate is around 20% to 35% while communes assess incomes taxes are essentially a percentage of canton taxes. There are also several tax incentives for foreign investors to explore in.

In order to protect the foreign investors from paying double taxes, Switzerland has also signed double taxation treaty agreements with the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The United States of America

 

Other Benefits

Besides benefiting from the similar tax advantages as a local resident investor, foreign investors also benefit from the following additional advantages:

  • The freedom to establish the offshore company
  • The freedom to purchase Swiss holdings companies
  • The opportunity to buy and own real estate properties in Switzerland
  • The advantage to enjoy subsidies for bank credits

 

Required Documents

The required documents for setting an offshore company in Switzerland are:

  • A certified copy of the company owner’s passport
  • The company’s business plan for conducting its operations
  • The details of the company’s owner

 

Price List

The price list of a range of services to incorporate an offshore company in Switzerland are as the following:

  • Company Formation Fees: 1490 Swiss Francs
  • Registered Office Fees: 1490 Swiss Francs
  • Notary and Court Fees: 850 Swiss Francs
  • Nominee Director Fees: 4500 Swiss Francs
  • Accounting Fees: 1800 Swiss Francs

The company is also required to pay for the registered office fees and accounting fees on an annual basis. Furthermore, the company’s owner can remain private by seeking the services of a nominee director. All prices are also exclusive of 7.6% Value Added Tax and subject to change.