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Open a Joint Stock Company in Switzerland

Open a Joint Stock Company in Switzerland

There are several legal entities local and foreign investors can choose from when setting up a company in Switzerland. One of them is the joint stock company, which is suited to large operations, but can also be used in specific sectors, such as the financial one.

Below, our company formation agents explain the main steps for opening a joint stock company in Switzerland. We are at your service with business registration and accounting services in Switzerland for this type of entity.

Characteristics of the Swiss joint stock corporation

The joint stock company (AG) is a limited liability entity, and it is regulated by the Swiss Company Law. Compared to the private one, here are the main aspects to consider about it:

  • – it can have at least one shareholder;
  • – its minimum share capital must be CHF 100,000;
  • – at least 20% of the capital must be deposited upon incorporation;
  • – the minimum value of a share issued by an AG is CHF 10;
  • – by comparison, a private company must have a minimum authorized capital of CHF 20,000;
  • – such a company must have at least 3 directors.

These features entail that the Swiss joint stock corporation is designed for large activities. Also, compared to other European jurisdictions, where the private entity is the most common, in Switzerland, the AG is the most employed.

What to consider when opening an AG in Switzerland

As mentioned earlier, the most common type of business entity in Switzerland is the joint stock company or corporation. Foreign businesses also choose it when registering their branches or subsidiaries, as it is better regulated for the activities large companies can undertake.

At least one founder is required to form a Swiss joint stock corporation. Also, at least one of the shareholders must reside in Switzerland. A Board of Directors must also be appointed when registering this business form. The board of directors must consist primarily of Swiss citizens or permanent residents. It is not required that members of the board of directors own stock in the business. The corporation must hold an annual general meeting to approve the annual accounts. Also, these meetings must convene at the Swiss headquarters of the company.

If you need more information about the AG or if you are interested in its financial structure, you can get in touch with our accountant in Switzerland who can advise you.

Registration steps for a Swiss joint stock company

The following steps are to be met in order to incorporate a joint stock corporation in Switzerland:

  1. reserving the company’s name which must end in the letters AG;
  2. drawing up its Articles of Association;
  3. gathering information about the shareholders and managers to submit it with the Companies Register;
  4. securing a Swiss legal seat;
  5. setting up the bank account and depositing the share capital in accordance with the legal requirements;
  6. filing the documents with the Trade Register;
  7. obtaining a tax identification number and registering for VAT;
  8. filing for the necessary licenses.

The procedure to register a joint stock company in Switzerland takes about one month to complete without the period required to set up the bank account.

You can rely on us if you need company formation services in Switzerland.

Taxation of Swiss joint stock companies

Any Swiss AG must be registered with the Tax Department in order to pay its taxes. These are the same as for any other business and can range from 12% to 21% depending on the canton where it has its legal address. However, you can rely on our accounting company in Switzerland for support in determining how to choose a canton from a taxation point of view.

If you want to open a joint stock company in Switzerlandcontact us for support!