Establishing a Joint Stock Company in Switzerland

Swiss joint stock companies       

Joint stock companies are structured in such a way that shareholders can buy and incorporate different stocks from a business. The joint stock company in Switzerland (Aktiengesellschaft,AG) is mostly  employed by foreign investors and is a very common type of business entity. This is most suitable for those wanting to start a medium size or a large corporation. With respect to the company’s assets, the greatest advantage of the joint stock company is that Swiss shareholders will have limited liability. The Swiss joint stock company can undertake different business activities:

  •           trading,
  •           manufacturing,
  •           financial activities.

The joint stock company can also be employed in two ways:

  • Swiss holding company
  • Subsidiary of a foreign entity

Requirements of Swiss joint stock companies

Once the owner knows all the requirements of the Swiss commercial law, it is very simple to open a joint stock company. Before incorporation, it is best to verify the accuracy of the information with a Swiss law firm.

In order to set up a joint stock company in Switzerland, foreign investors must take into account the following:

  •           a minimum share capital of 100,000CHF is required to register a Swiss joint stock company,
  •           it must have at least three shareholders of which one must be a Swiss resident,
  •           the board must have at least one member who must be a Swiss resident.

In order to register the company with the Swiss Commercial Register, it is necessary for the shareholders to deposit at least 50,000CHF of the share capital.

What are the advantages of the joint stock company in Switzerland?

The main advantages of Swiss joint stock companies are:

  •           the limitation of responsibility to the company’s assets for shareholders,
  •           the shareholders can remain anonymous,
  •           the audited accounts of Swiss joint stock companiesmust be published only if the company is listed on the Stock Exchange.


Like any other companies, Swiss joint stock companies will be subject to the same taxes. The only difference is the taxation of dividends and interests can be subject to deductions because of Switzerland’s double taxation agreements.

Like any other companies, Swiss joint stock companies will be subject to the same taxes. For more information about opening a joint stock company, please contact our lawyers in Switzerland.