Switzerland flag Switzerland: Investing in Switzerland

Investment framework and opportunities in Switzerland

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Guaranteed; however, the board of directors of a company registered in Switzerland must consist of a majority of Swiss citizens residing in Switzerland, and at least one member of the board of directors who is authorized to represent the company must be domiciled in Switzerland.
Acquisition of Holdings
Foreigners can invest and acquire stakes in Swiss companies, with some restrictions pertaining to sectors such as certain types of public transportation, postal services, alcohol and spirits, aerospace and defense, certain insurance and banking services. Furthermore, domicile requirements are applicable in air and maritime transport, hydroelectric and nuclear power, operation of oil and gas pipelines, and the transportation of explosive materials.
Obligation to Declare
At the moment, Switzerland does not maintain an investment screening mechanism for inbound foreign investment.
In order to prevent the misuse of its very liberal market framework, the Swiss government has introduced Due Diligence Guidelines in the banking industry under which banks must identify the beneficial owner of the invested funds. The government has also instructed Swiss banks to abandon anonymous numbered bank accounts, keep banking records ten years after the closing of an account and to refrain from actively assisting customers to evade tax.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Federal Department of Finance
Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
Swiss National Bank
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Companies working in the banking sectors need to seek the approval of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to invest directly in the country. Furthermore, foreign and national investors alike must inform FINMA before acquiring or disposing of a qualified majority of shares of a bank organized under Swiss law.
The establishment of a commercial presence by persons or enterprises without legal status under Swiss law requires a cantonal establishment authorization.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Simap, Public procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Switzerland
Ted - Tenders Electronic Daily, Business Opportunities in the European Union
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Invest Western Switzerland
Greater Zurich Area (investement agency)
Basel Area (investement agency)

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Latest Update: November 2022