Establish own business in Switzerland as a foreigner
Foreigners are generally not disallowed from founding a company in Switzerland. However, a distinction is made between persons from EU/EFTA-states and citizens of third countries.
Persons from EU/EFTA countries
Citizens of EU/EFTA countries (currently still excluding Romania and Bulgaria) are allowed to make themselves self-employed in Switzerland. According to the free movement of persons agreement, persons who do not have a residence permit (C-permit) are also allowed to found a company—the five-year residence permit (B-permit) is sufficient. To register in Switzerland, the planned business activities have to be declared and proven. Documents to provide this proof can be—among others—the following: commercial register entry, VAT-number, business plan, professional register entry, proof of social insurance as a self-employed person, and books of account. Further information is provided by the cantonal migration offices.
Persons from third countries
Persons from non-EU/EFTA states wishing to be self-employed in Switzerland have to live up to standards of labour law. Only C-permit holders or people married to such or Swiss citizens have a legal right to be self-employed in Switzerland. All other persons have to request a permission from the respective administration. Furthermore, these persons have to convince the authorities that the planned company will have a “sustainable positive effect on the Swiss economy.” It is preferable to hand in a fully worked-out business plan. If the request is granted by the administration, the applicant receives a short-term permit for citizens of third-party states (L-permit).
In general, this permit is limited to twelve months and may only be extended for another twelve months. A new labour law examination is conducted by the administration each time the permit is extended.
Preferably you establish or convert your company with STARTUPS.CH. STARTUPS.CH will provide you with professional guidance before and after the foundation.
Here you will be able to apply for a counselling interview and to request free documentation.