Start a Retail Business in Switzerland

 Our team of Swiss company formation representatives can offer assistance to foreign investors who are interested in setting up a retail business in Switzerland.
Victor Lafarge
In Switzerland, the retail industry is one of the largest and spreads across countless different business activities which involves a number of customer groups. As the world makes the shift to online shopping, this has opened a new retail opportunity for business, with a number of businesses being online-only. These online stores are also regulated so they remain trustworthy and reputable for both Swiss and international shoppers.

Investors who are in the market to set up a Swiss retail business should understand that there are a number of rules and regulations which must be followed and there is also a registration process which must take place before business operations begin.

On top of this, there are also licenses and permits which may be required depending on the business's operations and activities.

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Register a retail company in Switzerland

Choosing a business form is one of the first steps when planning on opening a business of any kind in Switzerland, as this will outline all the requirements for the new business, such as its initial capital deposit and types of regulations. Following the decision of which business formation to choose, there is also the requirement of drafting up statutory documents such as the memorandum and articles of association, both of which will need to be signed with a Swiss pubic notary present.

From a legal standpoint, the signatures found on these documents are now the official company representatives. These documents (the articles of association and memorandums) are required to be safely filed and stored, as well as being lodged with the Swiss Commercial Registry.

Along with the above documentation, a Swiss bank account should also be opened. This bank account is where local and foreign shareholders will deport the required share capital which is dependant on the business form.

We have a team of consultants who are able to assist with more in-depth information regarding the taxation of these businesses as well as permits, licenses and regulations.

Retail industry in Switzerland

In 2015 the retail industry in Switzerland experienced stable growth in line with previous years, although much like the rest of the world, the internet and online retail surge have negativity affected the growth of brick and mortar stores. Consumers are now looking towards a more versatile and easier way to browse a number of products at once, and online is unmatched in this market.

In Switzerland, the top and leading retailers with physical stores are also dominating in the online environment. This outlines the need for retailers who wish to build or buy a retail space, to also develop an online presence.

A particular sector stood out in 2015 within the retail market, the traditional grocery retailer. These business experiences a larger rate of growth and profitability which is almost certainly attributed to their distribution channels.

More information on Swiss business development is available on our website. We also recommend speaking with our consultants for more information on business development in Switzerland.