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flag Switzerland Switzerland: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Private Limited Company.
Number of partners: One or more partners.
Capital (max/min): Minimum CHF 20,000.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited up to the registered capital and not to the amount contributed.
Public Limited Company.
Number of partners: One or more partners.
Capital (max/min): Minimum CHF 100,000.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
General partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is unlimited.
Limited partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners. Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability of active partners is unlimited. Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed.
The Competent Organization
The Chamber of Notaries (in French).
Search a Company or a Financial Report
Zefix
 
Setting Up a Company Switzerland OECD
Procedures (number) 6.0 5.0
Time (days) 18.0 12.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Switzerland.
Central Business Names Index
Swiss Commercial Gazette (SHAB)

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The Active Population in Figures

201120122013
Labor force 4,899,0004,910,0004,976,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -66.90%67.60%
Men activity rate 73.70%75.40%75.00%
Women activity rate 60.60%60.60%60.60%

Source: UN - United Nations

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Manufacturing 16.8%
Health and Social Work 12.8%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 12.2%
Education 8.1%
Construction 6.3%
Transport and Storage 5.2%
Hotels and Restaurants 3.7%
Households with Employed Persons 1.4%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 0.6%
Mining and Quarrying 0.1%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
45 hours for technicians and white collar employees.

50 hours for other employees (e.g. building industry and agriculture).

Retirement Age
65 years
Working Contracts
Legal clauses regulate employment contracts and to a lesser degree collective agreements and individual negotiations.Under Swiss law, foreign citizens need a residence permit and a work permit to get employed in the country. They are granted at the cantonal level (quotas apply) and approved at the federal level.

The terms of employment contracts are rigid. The legal regime governing the employment relationship in Switzerland is generally more liberal and favorable towards the employer than in many other countries. Permission from the competent authority is therefore needed for the appointment of a foreign employee. The requirements relating to the nationality of employees depend on the type of the company. In case of a stock company, the majority of the members of the board of directors must have Swiss or EU/EFTA country citizenship and must be domiciled in Switzerland, whereas for any other type of company there are no similar restrictions.

Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
No minimum wage exists.
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage of men: CHF 7,690 (source: ILO, 2010);
Gross average monthly wage of women: CHF 5,902 (source: ILO, 2010).

Wages in Switzerland are among the highest in the world.
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 5.05 %.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 5.05 %.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Switzerland does not have strong trade unions. Labor/management relations are good, mostly characterized by a willingness on both sides to settle disputes by negotiations rather than by strikes.
The rights to strike is limited for civil servants.
Unions
SGB / USS SCHWEIZERISCHE GEWERKSCHAFTBUND UNION (Trade union centre)
Unionization Rate
25% of the country’s full-time workers are unionized.
Labor Regulation Bodies
Switzerland Labour Law Profile
Swiss Managers Union
Swiss Association of Asset Managers

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Last Updates: October 2014