A public limited company (AG) or Aktiengesellschaft, and limited liability companies (GmbH) are the more popular options for business owners and entrepreneurs to establish a business in Switzerland. Both of these options are subject to minimum share capital deposits to begin operating and registration and also feature different advantages and benefits.
Establishing a company in Switzerland requires a minimum capital stock or share capital deposit in order to become incorporated and registered. For a corporation/public limited company the minimum share capital is 100,000 CHF and for a limited liability company, the required share capital is 20,000 CHF. The share capital for both types of companies is required to be entirely deposited during the time of incorporation, though the 100,000 CHF does not need to be paid in full, but should be paid before liquidation or if bankruptcy occurs.
A 20% deposit is required of the share capital, or 50,000 CHF, whichever is higher, during the first company shareholder meeting.
The Swiss Code of Obligations outlines that new share capital is permitted to be generated or boosted by ordinary, conditional or authorised capital. Shareholders must approve the capital increase regardless of the capital type.
A Swiss public limited company's highest risk is shareholders losing their share capital, which could occur if a company files bankruptcy. This business form is still popular though, besides its high deposit requirements, as it creates a number of benefits for small businesses, specifically relating to liability and regulations.
Public liability companies and limited liability companies are the only two legal company types in Switzerland. There are more options though, and we are able to assist you in finding the best option for you. Contact one of our consultants for more.