Legal Services in Switzerland
Legal Services in SwitzerlandUpdated on Tuesday 21st July 2020
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Why is it important to request the legal services of a Swiss law firm?
Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe and it provides great investment opportunities to foreign enterprisers. However, in order to run a successful business, investors will require the expertise of a Swiss law firm to guide them through the legal system of the country and help them make the right decision. Our legal team in Switzerland is comprised of lawyers and accountants ready to provide support and business consultancy in all corporate and civil matters.
What are the legal services available in Switzerland?
The first step when investing in Switzerland is to verify the types of companies available for registration, the best canton to invest in and the taxes applied in the area in which the businessmen want to invest. Our lawyers in Switzerland can provide detailed information concerning the federal and cantonal legislation. Our legal staff in Switzerland will provide investors with updated information on all Swiss canton; foreign businessmen should also know that we provide our services at the level of the entire Swiss territory.
Our law firm in Switzerland is able to assist foreign investors in choosing the appropriate business form based on the needs expressed by our clients and can also provide legal assistance during the registration procedure for the chosen company type. Moreover, our accounting staff will help clients with tax registration, filing the annual financial statements and will also provide tax optimization solutions.
How can our Swiss law firm assist in opening a business?
Our team of Swiss lawyers can offer in-depth legal assistance on the characteristics of each business form that can be set up here and can explain the advantages of operating under a specific entity. When choosing the right legal entity, factors such as the size of the future company, the initial investment investors can make, the residency of the founders and others have to be considered. Investors can choose from the following business forms:
- sole trader – it represents the simplest way to start a business in Switzerland and in order to register it, the applicant must have the status of Swiss resident;
- general/limited partnership – a type of business form that has to be incorporated by at least two partners, who must register the entity with the local Commercial Registry and the Chamber of Commerce;
- joint-stock corporation – a business form that is usually selected by large companies;
- limited liability company – the most common business form selected for incorporation, due to a set of advantages offered to the company’s founders.
Besides these business forms, investors may also operate in this country through a branch office or a subsidiary and the decision should be based on the liability the parent company wants to assume for its new office in Switzerland. Our law firm in Switzerland can assist foreign and local investors with extensive information on the benefits of these two business structures.
One of the first steps that should be completed after deciding on a suitable legal form is the company’s trading name. Although most of the names are generally acceptable, it is necessary to respect several regulations. In this sense, a businessman can’t incorporate a company with a trading name that is already used by another business registered in this country.
Another important regulation is to add next to the selected trading name the abbreviation of the type of company under which the business will be registered. Although most of the Swiss legal entities can freely choose a trading name, this is not the case for the Swiss branch office, as they must be represented by the name of their parent company.
In order to verify if a specific company name is available, it is necessary to access the database of the Federal Commercial Registry Office. The database, the Central Business Name Index, is available online. After the procedures related to the issuance of a trading name are completed, the investors have to register the legal entity and its name with the Commercial Register, a compulsory step during the registration of a company.
Further on, a legal entity that is designed for commercial purposes is required to register for taxation. The tax system in Switzerland varies depending on the canton in which the company is set up; it will also be necessary to obtain business permits and licenses, which are available for a wide range of business activities, such as insurance, banking, accommodation industry and catering businesses of all types and others.
The following video offers a short presentation on the main legal services available at our Swiss law firm:
Legal services in civil matters in Switzerland
Our Swiss lawyers provide legal services in civil matters such as obtaining residency and opening bank accounts. Our Swiss legal team will also offer representation in civil lawsuits whenever needed and can provide consultancy in debt recovery matters. For those interested in acquiring real estate properties, we can help them with the due diligence process before the purchase, drafting the sale-purchase contract and with the procedure of property registration with the Swiss Land Registry. Our Swiss attorneys will help clients in obtaining the special licenses and permits required by the authorities.
Among our services are also those related to the registration of a Swiss trademark.
How can our Swiss lawyers assist in residency matters?
One of the main concerns of any foreign businessman arriving in Switzerland for business purposes refers to the residency or visa requirements, as such procedures can generally be lengthy. Although Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union (EU), the country has signed the Agreement of Free Movement of Persons, which allows EU nationals to freely work on the Swiss territory.
However, when discussing of residents outside EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) interested in relocating to Switzerland for starting a company, special procedures have to be concluded, and our team of Swiss lawyers can provide full legal assistance; for example, it is necessary for such persons to obtain the C permit.
Provided that the foreign applicant interested in opening a company has close relations in the country, he or she may also start a business as long as the person is married to a foreign national who has previously obtained the C permit or if the partner is a Swiss citizen.
Who can purchase a Swiss property?
As a general rule, anyone who can afford to purchase a property in Switzerland is entitled to do so. EU and EFTA citizens can purchase a property in this country following the same regulations that are applicable to local citizens. However, foreign nationals from outside these structures do not benefit from the same relaxed policies, as they are imposed with certain requirements (have a valid residence permit, for instance).
You can contact us anytime for detailed information on the legal services provided by our law firm in Switzerland and for information referring to the best cantons to invest in. You can also ask our Swiss attorneys about the most prosperous industries and investment incentives offered by the government to foreign businessmen.