Setting up your business in Geneva - Steps and Rates
Need help setting up your business in Geneva?
We're here to guide you through the administrative and legal aspects of your project!
Setting up a company (sole proprietorship, SA or Sàrl) at CHF 1,300 with notary validation of articles of association
Setting up a company is costly because of the strict procedures involved. We offer you a complete package at CHF 1,300, including validation of the articles of association by a notary.
What's included in the CHF 1,300 price?
For the sake of transparency, we'll explain step by step what our price includes:
- Initial consultation: An in-depth discussion with an expert to determine your specific needs, understand your business and help you choose the most appropriate legal form for your company.
- Drafting the articles of association: The articles of association are the founding document of your company, defining its purpose, capital, organs, etc. We take care of drafting the articles of association.
- Validation of articles of association by a notary: All companies in Switzerland must be registered in the Commercial Register. This process involves preparing and submitting the necessary documents to a notary.
- Bank connection (optional): Setting up a bank account for your company is mandatory in order to deposit the required company formation deposit. If required, we can advise you on the choice of a bank for your company.
- Support throughout the process: You won't be left to your own devices. Our team will be there to help you every step of the way, answering all your questions and providing you with all the support you need.
The 6 stages of setting up a company in Switzerland
Setting up a company in Switzerland can be divided into 6 stages:
1. Finding a business idea
Every business starts with an idea. It may be a unique product or service you want to offer, or a new approach to an existing concept.
2. Studying the market
Once you have a business idea, it's essential to study the market. This involves understanding who your potential customers are, what their needs are, and how you can meet those needs in a unique and effective way. Remember to look at the competition, to see what's out there.
Calculate the funds required to set up your business, including product development, rental of premises, marketing, etc. Your financing can come from personal savings, a bank loan, private investors, grants and participatory financing.
4. Choice of legal form
The options in Switzerland are: sole proprietorship, SA (Société Anonyme) and Sàrl (Société à Responsabilité Limitée).
5. Entry in the Commercial Register
The registration process involves submitting various documents, such as the company's articles of association, and paying the registration fee.
6. AVS registration
All companies in Switzerland must be registered with AVS (Assurance Vieillesse et Survivants), the Swiss social security system. This ensures that the company and its employees are covered in the event of old age, death or disability.
What's the difference between a SA and a Sàrl?
Two of the most common legal options are the Société Anonyme (SA) and the Société à Responsabilité Limitée (Sàrl). Although they are both distinct legal entities, there are several important differences between them.
1. Initial capital :
SA: The minimum capital required to create a SA is CHF 100,000, of which at least 50% (i.e. CHF 50,000) must be paid up at the time of foundation.
Sàrl: The minimum capital required to create a Sàrl is much lower, at CHF 20,000, which must be fully paid up at the time of foundation.
2. Ownership :
SA: Ownership of an SA is divided into shares, which can be easily transferred or sold. This can facilitate fund-raising and business growth.
Sàrl: Ownership of a Sàrl is divided into shares, whose transfer is more restrictive, which can make it more difficult to attract investors.
3. Management :
SA: A SA must have a board of directors, which is responsible for managing the company. Shareholders are not responsible for day-to-day management, unless they are also members of the Board of Directors.
Sàrl: In a Sàrl, associates have a more active role in the management of the company, and can participate directly in decision-making.
4. Liability :
In both types of company, owners' liability is limited to their capital contribution. However, in certain circumstances, such as fraud, owners may be personally liable.
5. Public perception :
SA: Because of its higher initial capital, an SA may be perceived as more prestigious or stable, which can be beneficial in certain industries or markets.
Sàrl: A Sàrl may be perceived as a smaller, more personal company, which may be preferable in certain situations.
Who can set up a company in Switzerland?
Setting up a business in Switzerland is open to a wide range of individuals, including Swiss citizens, permanent residents and, under certain conditions, citizens of the European Union.
However, there are two particularities to bear in mind:
Thanks to the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union, European nationals can set up or take over a business on Swiss soil, and provide services there. This applies to all EU nationals, with the exception of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.
Non-Swiss residents wishing to set up or take over a business in Switzerland must apply for a work permit (permit G) from the relevant cantonal agency. This application must be accompanied by a complete dossier presenting the project.