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Found a Limited Liability Company in Switzerland

Found a Limited Liability Company in Switzerland

2016 11 02 head

I left the company I founded 20 years ago and needed a new home to work and have access to social insurances. I had to found a limited liability company with a capital of CHF 20'000.

Here the steps for the impatient.

Foundation

  1. Swissregistration wrote the statutes for the company and performed the foundation with certifying notary for CHF 780. Six hours after the first phone call they sent me the electronic documents. The next day the documents were delivered in paper form. It was really impressive.
  2. Before you can found a company you must deposit the capital to a special account. I choose Postfinance. It is a well-known Swiss institute and their fee is only CHF 145. They insisted I meet one of their collaborators to fill their forms – probably never heard about web forms -. I had bad luck and they needed three weeks to create the account and send payment confirmation. They were aware of the problem and very helpful but it still took three weeks.
  3. Upon reception of the payment confirmation, I sent all signed documents to Swissregistration. The next day the company was founded and I received the official paper documents a few hours later.
  4. I went to Handelsregisteramt Zug to register the company. They were very nice but told me they have a lot of work. Two weeks later they finally registered the company and sent me the papers and an invoice of CHF 780.
  5. A few phone calls later Postfinance converted the account into a regular account. They give me access to the founding capital minus their fee

During the waiting time I started to organise for the mandatory insurances you need in Switzerland

  • BVG – the best offer was from Axa Winthertur. They also help me because the company CRIF AG wrongly classified the activities of the new company. – They never contacted me and their NOGA classification has a huge impact on my costs. They are morons -
  • BU/NBU – the best offer was from Basler Versicherung When starting a software startup I suggest not concluding any other insurances

The government controlled social insurances contracts can only be initiated once the company is registered in the Swiss company registry. The AHV center needed more than two weeks to confirm my registration.

Lessons Learnt

  • The costs of founding my limited company in Switzerland is CHF 1'705 or 8.5% of the capital of the company.
  • The state owned companies and state services are very slow; in my case 20 times slower than the private ones. On the bright side their collaborators are very supportive.
  • Public or big private companies such as insurance firms are incapable to send documents or invoices electronically. They only use paper mail. Upon inquiry their collaborators told me their processes are incapable of handling modern communication ways.
  • Upon foundation you get pseudo-official letters from various companies to sell dubious services. Just throw them away.
  • The industry development office of Kanton Zug has no clues about start-up companies; the ones in Zürich and Luzern seem better.

Now we are ready to create great products with our customers

Please leave a comment if you know a better or less expensive way to found a Swiss liability company.

(the post was also published on LinkedIn)