Tips for Startups 2

Form of business, capital, insurance and pension plans as well as VAT/commercial register and the location: We provide you with valuable information on these topics. Interesting basic and background knowledge - not only for start-ups.

Type of business

Which business form suits your company depends on various factors. Legal and economic considerations play a role.
Three forms of business are common in Switzerland:
  • Sole proprietorship: in principle no start-up capital required, liability with private assets
  • GmbH: initial capital CHF 20,000 (also possible as a contribution in kind such as real estate, machinery etc.)
  • AG: Initial capital CHF 100,000
Tip: The legal form is not set in stone. Some young companies start as a sole proprietorship and adapt the legal form to their needs over time.

Insurance and pension plan

Self-employed persons must have this status confirmed by their cantonal compensation office. From now on, they will pay not only the employee's contribution but also the employer's contribution to the AHV. As a sole trader, you are not entitled to unemployment benefits. Nor are you automatically insured with a pension fund. What happens if you have an accident or suddenly become seriously ill? Are you familiar with BVG, waiting periods, daily allowance, etc.? What about your 3rd pillar?
Tip: Take care of your pension plan. Make sure you clarify these points with your insurance advisor as early as possible.

Value added tax/commercial register (HR)

All companies with a turnover of at least CHF 100,000 per year are subject to VAT - including sole proprietorships. Above this amount, you must also be entered in the commercial register. For the legal forms GmbH and AG, entry in the commercial register is mandatory.
Tip: For sole proprietorships, HR entry is also useful from the start. It shows that you are serious about your company.


For shops, location is crucial. They are dependent on passers-by and good transport connections. The situation is different for service companies and craftsmen. Here they usually need an office, a workshop and storage capacity. The actual location plays a subordinate role. And yet: these components can have a significant impact on running costs. Do you need a chic office in the middle of the city? Is a functional working space sufficient as a back office?
Tip: Keep an eye on the running costs. Reduce monthly expenses, especially at the beginning of your business activity.

Further link:
EasyGov: "Online counter for companies"

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Office: Our offer.
Workshop: Our offer.
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