Planning to Buy a Company in Switzerland? Know the Various Types of Companies

buying a company in SwitzerlandSwitzerland is not only about watches, chocolates and cheeses! This is a country at which we can look as a great investment opportunity too. If you are a foreign investor, this beautiful country welcomes you with open arms, and soon you can get your business started here. Firms like are ready to help you always with their tremendous knowledge and support. However, just like in any other country, in Switzerland too, choosing the right type of company is one of the most important factors you should consider. For this, here we give the various types of companies in Switzerland.


This type of company is perfect for all business requirements and because it has an uncomplicated needs for transfer of shares, it has become a popular business type. The liability of shareholders is limited and they can remain anonymous (which is not the case with S.A.R.L.). A corporation needs a much larger least share capital than a limited liability company, i.e. at least 100,000 CHF with minimum 20% paid in the event of incorporation.

Limited Liability Company (S.A.R.I. or GmbH)

This is one of the commonest types of companies in Switzerland and is normally created by investors who want to open a smallish or mid-sized company which cannot be enlisted by the Swiss stock exchange. The shareholders of the company should be stated in the company documents and revealed in the Commercial Register. To form a S.A.R.L. 20,000 CHF is the minimum share capital required.

Sole Proprietorship

This is the second commonest type of company in Switzerland after the “joint-stock” or standard corporation. It is the most favorable form for sole business-owners or other professionals that work for themselves like small businesses, freelancers and individual entrepreneurs. This sole person should be a Swiss resident. The liability in this business is unlimited and the business name should contain the owner’s name. The company should be registered with the Chamber of Commerce if its yearly income goes beyond CHF 100,000.


Partnerships can be general or limited.

  • General Partnership: This is an association of people that operate a commercial business. It resembles a sole proprietorship but has multiple people involved. All the partners should be Swiss residents, there is no requirement of limited capital and the company should have a Swiss address. Also the company’s name should contain the name of one of the partners. All these partners’ liability is unlimited and the company should be registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Registry. This is not an incorporated project and so, has no legal entity, though it can accuse and be accused under the company’s name. Upon the registration of partnership, it should maintain full accounts including profit-and-loss statements.
  • Limited Partnerships: Limited partnership is a much less popular version of general partnership. Here, there is unlimited liability to general partners and an agreed amount of liability to limited partners. It is mandatory to register the company with the Chamber of Commerce.


This is a legally independent business affiliated to a foreign entity and usually operates more as a “Swiss” company than a “branch”. It can be converted into a limited liability company or a corporation.


This is a legally dependent company but it is independent financially and is a division of a head office which operates out of its home country. The parent foreign company is liable in this type and the branch is taxed as a Swiss company in Switzerland. There is a requirement of a Swiss resident having legal authority.

Adauctus is a small team containing consultants, advocates and accountants that are reliable, competent and decisive and are driven by your success. They offer a variety of services like acquisition of companies, registration of company addresses, virtual office service and providing management staff. Visit their website to know how you can get help for setting up a business in Switzerland.

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