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Switzerland: Types of Company

Company Introduction

Switzerland is a 'code' country, and business entities are governed by the Civil Code. As in all civil law jurisdictions, formation and administration of companies tends to be considerably more bureaucratic than in common law jurisdictions. Although the Civil Code is at Federal Level, businesses are domiciled in a particular canton. Each canton maintains a Commercial Register (Registre de Commerce), and the mandatory entries in the Register of subscribers, directors, capital structure etc have strict legal force. The Register is a public document.

The forms of business entity with legal personality are the Stock Corporation and its variants (dealt with below), the Limited Liability Company (Societe a Responsabilite Limite), and the Limited Partnership (Societe en Commandite). These last two are not much used by foreign investors. General Partnerships (Societe en Nom Collectif) and Sole Proprietorships (Raison de Commerce) are also possible.



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