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Start a Cryptocurrency Company in Switzerland

Start a Cryptocurrency Company in Switzerland

Cryptocurrency designates a type of currency that can only be used in the digital environment. Since it is a virtual type of currency, the cryptocurrency can’t be counterfeit as easily as regular money, as it uses cryptography for security matters. Cryptography is a method through which data is transmitted to a particular entity which will have the necessary means to decode the respective information. Businessmen who want to open a company in Switzerland in this field may issue cryptocurrency without the intervention of the local government, as this field is independent from the local regulations. Considering the latest developments in Switzerland, you can obtain a crypto license in accordance with the rules imposed by FINMA.

Our team of company formation representatives in Switzerland can offer in-depth advice on the cryptocurrency businesses operating here. 

 Quick Facts  
Special legislation available (YES/NO) No, there is no special law applicable to cryptocurrencies


Regulatory authority

Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)

Types of entites used to register the company

 The joint stock company is often to create a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland, however, private limited liability companies can also be used
Local manager required (YES/NO)

YES, at least one of the managers must be a Swiss resident

Minimum capital requisites (YES/NO) YES, for the joint stock company, the minimum share capital is CHF 100,000
License required (YES/NO) YES, a Swiss crypto license must be obtained


Licensing exceptions (YES/NO)

YES, crypto companies that do not trade digital money do not need a Swiss crypto license

Timeframe to register the company (approx.) It takes approximately 4 weeks to register a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland
Anti-money regulations applicable (YES/NO) YES, anti-money laundering regulations must be respected
Specific requirements for foreign investors (YES/NO) NO, there are no special requirements for foreign investors
Activities permitted for crypto companies Crypto ATMs , crypto mining, e-wallet services, crypto trading, etc.
The most appreciated crypto hub in Switzerland Zug Canton is the most appreciated crypto
hub in Switzerland
Taxation of crypto companies in Switzerland Cryptocurrencies are taxed as wealth at progressive rates
Why choose Switzerland There are 4 types of Swiss crypto licenses such companies can operate under, there is a large number of crypto businesses operating in Switzerland, Crypto Valley in Zug is one of the most appreciated fintech hubs in Europe
Support in launching cryptocurrency business (YES/NO) YES, we offer support in opening a Swiss crypto company
Income tax rate Federal tax rate is 8. 5% 
Double tax treaty network Switzerland has approximately 80 double tax agreements
Support in company registration (YES/NO) YES, we offer other company formation services in Switzerland
 Documents required to open a Swiss crypto business

– Articles of Association,

– details of the shareholders and directors,

– trading name reservation form,

– bank account certificate 

 Steps to open a cryptocurrency company

– name reservation,

– documentation preparation and filing,

– tax registration,

– licensing 

 Business plan requirement (YES/NO)

 Yes, a business plan is a main requirement for opening a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland.

 Auditor appointment requirement (YES/NO) Yes, such a business must have an auditor appointed. 
 Swiss bank account requirement (YES/NO)

Yes, a local bank account is mandatory. 

 Possibility to establish a crypto business as a branch/subsidiary (YES/NO)

 Yes, foreign companies can set up crypto businesses by respecting the Swiss legislation.

 Most popular digital currencies in Switzerland

– Bitcoin,

– Ethereum,

– Ripple,

– Litecoin, etc.

 Types of licenses available

 – fintech license,

– exchange license,

– investment fund license,

– the banking license

  Swiss legal office required (YES/NO)


Available anti-money laundry regulations 

– Anti-Money Laundering Act,

– Federal Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance,

– FINMA Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance

Tokens recognized by FINMA 

– payment tokens,

– asset-related tokens,

– utility tokens,

– debt tokens

 Timeframe to obtain a crypto license (approx.)

Approx. 3- 4 months 

 Know Your Client (KYC) requirements (YES/NO)


 Difficulties in setting up a crypto company (if any)

 Difficulties in document drafting and reporting issues

 Local representation availability (YES/NO)  Yes, we can offer local representation.

Choosing a business structure to start a cryptocurrency business in Switzerland

If you want to open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland, you must respect the Company Law. However, for this type of business, the stock corporation (AG) must be used because of the share capital requirement imposed by FINMA. This is not the only requisite applied to this type of business.

Here are the main requirements to comply with in order to launch such a business:

  • – the company must have an authorized share capital of minimum 100,000 CHF;
  • – it must be licensed in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations;
  • – for this purpose, it must obtain a Switzerland crypto license;
  • – it must also have at least one Swiss resident director.

The private limited liability company (GmbH) can also be used, however, it cannot operate under FINMA’s regulations, meaning it will not require a crypto exchange license in Switzerland.

So, if you are a foreign investor and want to open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland, you can rely on our local company formation consultants to ensure you comply with all these requirements.

All investors who have staff members for whom they are responsible for paying wages and other benefits can gain a great deal from speaking with a payroll specialist. The greatest advice and business procedures for handling payroll operations will be presented here. Payroll lists and statements can be made and transferred by our accountant in Switzerland at the end of each month.


What are the most developed business sectors in the cryptocurrency industry?  

In the last two years, numerous investors have created a large category of business activities related to cryptocurrencies and now, companies are focused in providing services related to the following:

  • exchange/trading – which is generally represented by exchange of Bitcoin and Ethereum, some of the most famous types of virtual currencies;
  • mining activities, through which companies help their clients in mining bitcoin or other types of virtual currencies;
  • initial coin offerings – mainly related to digital tokens and smart contracts;
  • consultancy businesses, assisting natural persons and legal entities across the world in better understanding the most suitable investment options related to this sector. 

Zug, the main canton for cryptocurrency companies  

Cryptocurrency is one of the numerous fields of activities that fintech companies (a term generally referring to the usage of technology in the financial field) may start. It is recommended to start the procedure of company registration in Switzerland for this type of business in the canton of Zug, which became the main location in the country for cryptocurrency (bitcoin currency) businesses. 

Moreover, the Zug canton has also emerged as the world’s leading location for this type of business.  

The bitcoin industry is still in its developing phase and in numerous states the procedure is not covered by the local legislation. However, Switzerland became the main European country for such activities, as the bitcoin is a legally recognized currency. Investors interested in the procedure of company formation in Switzerland are required to respect specific rules if they will operate a business performing transactions with digital currencies, such as the anti-money laundering law, which can be detailed by our team of specialists in Swiss company formation.  

The following video offers a short presentation on the main reasons to start a crypto company in Switzerland:

Besides the taxation regime applicable to companies operating in the region of Zug, foreign businessmen can also benefit from the local support established in this sense through the Crypto Valley Association, an independent entity which receives governmental assistance to further advance the development of cryptocurrency and fintech businesses

The Crypto Valley Association can offer assistance to start-ups operating as cryptocurrency companies and the association also benefits from institutional support, including from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the financial regulator of businesses registered in this field of activity. Our team of agents in company registration in Switzerland can provide in-depth assistance on the requirements for establishing a cryptocurrency business

Registration requirements for a Swiss cryptocurrency company  

As a general rule, all companies in Switzerland performing financial activities are required to receive an authorization for their operations from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). However, the regulations for company formation in Switzerland in this field do not require cryptocurrency businesses to register with FINMA, as the industry is not state-regulated. 

Still, businessmen performing bitcoin transactions will need to comply with specific regulations provided by the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act, which also refers at the operations carried out on the trading platforms. In this sense, it is necessary to know that FINMA authorized in 2015 the first Bitcoin Stock Exchange

We are also at your disposal with support in applying for a crypto exchange license in Switzerland.

Documents to create a crypto business

The following papers need to be drafted once you decide to open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland:

  • – the shareholder and director’s passports;
  • – proof of each shareholder’s and director’s local address (an utility bill that is not older than 3 months can be submitted);
  • – the shareholder and director’s bank statement and reference;
  • – the shareholder and director’s updated CVs, proof of educational backgrounds, and references issued by other companies/clients they worked with, clean criminal records;
  • – proof about the origin of the funds to be invested;
  • – a detailed business plan;
  • – specific documents for the license (corporate governance, anti-money laundering/compliance, security, IT operating regulations, complaint resolution procedures, remuneration policy).

Our local advisors can help you open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland and apply for the desired license.

What does it imply to obtain a crypto exchange license in Switzerland?

First of all, Switzerland is a very advanced country from this point of view, as it offers no less than 4 types of licenses, namely:

  • – the exchange license;
  • – the fintech license;
  • – the banking license;
  • – the investment fund license.

Out of these, the most employed in Switzerland are the crypto license for exchange operations and the fintech license.

Also, the most stringent requirements apply for the crypto exchange license, and they imply the conditions presented earlier, as well as for the company to have a physical presence in Switzerland.

Feel free to discuss with our Swiss company registration advisors your choices in terms of legal entities you can use for such a business.

Why set up such a business in Switzerland?

If you want to open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland, you will benefit not only from a well-regulated framework, but also from a developed industry. Also:

  • – the company can also be launched as a startup;
  • – there are around 11 organizations that can offer guidance if you want to open a cryptocurrency company in Switzerland;
  • – Crypto Valley in Zug is home to more than 900 cryptocurrency companies at the moment;
  • – they employ nearly 5,000 employees.

The possibility to obtain a crypto exchange license in Switzerland is also an advantage for those who want to run operations in a well-regulated European market.

Businessmen are invited to contact our team of consultants in company registration in Switzerland for further information on the specific incorporation requirements available for this type of activity.