Switzerland

Switzerland Managed Companies

Synopsis

The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honoured by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbours. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.

Star Ratings

Corporate registration efficiency

5

Cost

4

Confidentiality

4

Local Banking facilities

5

Legal system

5

Political stability

5

Reputation

5

switzerland

Location

Switzerland is located in the middle of Western Europe with France to its west, Germany to its north, Austria and Liechtenstein to its east and Italy to its south. The country occupies 41,227 square kilometres and has a population of 7,996,026 (2013 est.) – Source CIA Fact Book

Tax Planning Credentials

The Swiss Tax Regime

The Swiss tax regime whilst ostensibly simple is also massively variable due to the unique federal system of governance. In précis, both for individuals and companies it can be said to have many 'territorial' tax benefits but detailed analysis and negotiation is often required with local government if maximum tax benefits are to be realized. At a federal level, taxes (where applicable) are levied on a uniform basis for both individuals and companies (in the former case rising to a maximum of 11.5% whilst in the later there is an 8.5% corporate tax on profits) but with cantonal and communal taxes varying greatly – For example, at a personal income tax level (including federal, cantonal and communal taxes) the top rate in the Canton of Schwyz is approximately 22% but up to 40% if one is living in the highest taxed cantons and communities. In respect to Swiss companies the difference in overall tax liability can be equally dramatic depending on a company's seat with rates varying (including the universal federal corporate tax) between as little as 12.67% in Obwald to 24.24% in Geneva.

A 'Territorial' Tax System

The Swiss tax system is basically territorial in nature with for example Swiss companies with foreign branches not being subject to Swiss tax on foreign branch earnings. However, the 'territoriality' system does not extend to income derived from foreign dividends, interest and royalties received by a Swiss company and hence is a part of such a companies' taxable base.

The Swiss Fiscal Deal

The Swiss 'fiscal deal' is famous the world over for attracting wealthy people to reside in Switzerland based upon tax exposure being restricted to for example twice the amount an individual may pay for accommodation and food in a fiscal year although it should be noted that such 'fiscal deals' are no longer available in the Canton of Zurich

Double Taxation Treaty Network

Switzerland has a very extensive and sophisticated tax treaty with virtually all major nations in the world

Companies

The governing legislation for Swiss companies is based upon the Federal Code of Obligations 1881 but is now primarily governed by the Companies Act of 1991. There are four major entities with legal personality: a société anonyme, a société a responsibilite limitée, a société co- operative and foundations or stiftungs.

Benefits

  • Pro-business environment
  • Historically perhaps the World's most stable country
  • Highly respectable and credible jurisdiction
  • Highly developed corporate and general law
  • Excellent communications
  • The Swiss Franc is a reserve currency
  • Switzerland is one of the World's major financial centres
  • Located in the centre of Europe
  • The tax system is territorial
  • There is the Swiss 'Fiscal Deal' for wealthy foreigners not working in Switzerland
  • Multi-lingual with English being the default language of business
  • Very sophisticated stiftungs or private interest foundations are available as self-owning legal entities
  • Trusts may be recognized despite Switzerland being a civil law jurisdiction

Administration & Accountancy Services

Managed Swiss Société Anonyme (SA) or Société à responsabilité limitée (Sàrl)

Whether you select an SA or a Sárl a Swiss company involves a major financial commitment and is certainly more expensive to run than comparable jurisdictions such as Ireland or Cyprus. However, Switzerland does offer a unique 'territorial' tax system, the famous Swiss 'fiscal deal', rivate interest foundations and unsurpassed banking and tax treaty facilities. It should also be noted that incorporation fees depend very much on the selected Canton and Community and the 'sophistication' of the company to be registered

Capitalization Requirements

Fully Managed Company Services, include:

  • Incorporation
  • Notarial Fees
  • The provision of a Local Fiscally Resident Director (A legal requirement)
  • Full domiciliation and management facilities
  • Bank introductions and administration
  • Registration with the Federal, Cantonal and Communal bodies
  • Full Accountancy Services, submission of quarterly returns, VAT registration, the annual audit
  • Access to local legal and accountancy advice on a pro rata basis

Set-Up & Annual Maintenance Fee

Switzerland provides a very prestigious base but one that is highly variable depending on location and use – For more information please ask a SCF Consultant for the official Fee Quotation Leaflet.

The Trading Office Service

This may include providing the day-to-day trading, telephone answering, website management (if required), order reconciliation, invoice issuing and trading office – For more information please ask a SCF Consultant for the official Schedule of Fees list