Artist Tax Consulting
For artists & freelancers
For agencies & managers

Opening Swiss & foreign companies

We offer our clients comprehensive support in terms of the formal and legal matters related to starting up a business activity in Switzerland. Although such a process involves a number of complicated and time-consuming processes, we take them entirely upon ourselves. We also provide our clients with all the necessary guidance and assistance related to matters of taxation including internal settlements and the rendering of services in other countries. We ensure a wide range of complementary services, such as opening and maintaining a bank account, renting and running an office, handling correspondence, keeping the books, etc.

Working as a freelancer, you know the importance of building your own brand. Owning a company in Switzerland not only gives a brand prestige, but also a range of tax and financial benefits. This is why many entrepreneurs decide to transfer their businesses to this little Alpine country. Switzerland offers economic and political stability, an excellent banking system, transparent laws, and low taxes. These factors not only present great opportunities for large companies, but should also attract individuals who work as freelancers. Basing your company in this country can be a profitable decision, and constitutes a great long-term investment.

Upon request, we can provide information related to starting a business in other European countries, and then help achieve the goal.

Limited Liability Company (Swiss GmbH)

The GmbH, or limited liability company, is an alternative to a stock corporation. The GmbH is a separate business entity and can be formed by one or more individuals (or other legal entities). Small- and medium-sized companies may prefer this form of company structure: a board of directors is not required and the minimum required start-up share capital (CHF 20,000) is less than a stock corporation (AG), although this must all be paid up front. All shareholders of a GmbH will be made public via the Commercial Register. At a minimum, one of the business managers or directors with power of signature must have domicile in Switzerland. An incorporated business will pay tax on taxable profits at corporate tax rates.

It is not always obligatory to be a tax resident of Switzerland in order to conduct business in the country. If forming a joint-stock company, there is no requirement for the founders either to be a Swiss national or a resident in Switzerland. With other forms, including a sole proprietorship, the business owner is required to be a resident.

Individuals and small businesses usually opt for the sole proprietorship. It is a straightforward business structure and the owner has total power over the business.

We support you by establishing a company that meets your needs. We can also assume the mandate to act as a board member. Non-resident companies deriving income from Swiss sources may, however, be subject to withholding taxes and corporate income tax. Normally, no special business licenses are required as long as an individual has obtained the necessary work and residence permits.

Stock Corporation (Swiss AG)

A stock corporation (AG) is a popular business form in Switzerland, and represents a separate legal entity from its owners. Liability for the debts of a stock corporation is limited to the assets of the company. A stock corporation is run by a board of directors, and one of the directors must be a Swiss resident. Share capital is agreed upon ahead of forming the company and is allocated into shares, but the minimum required is CHF 100,000, of which at least CHF 50,000, (or 20% of the par value of the shares, whichever is the larger amount) must be paid up front. Switzerland still gives the opportunity to have bearer instruments. So the anonymity of the shareholders or investors is guaranteed.

We can support you by founding a stock corporation to meet your needs and can take over a mandate as a board member.

Umbrella Company & Limited Company Services

When working abroad, contractors need a mechanism by which they can remit income tax to the local authorities in order to maintain compliance with respect to international tax laws. Also, it is often a legal requirement for agencies to be invoiced by a limited company and not by an individual. Engaging the services of an umbrella company will resolve both of these issues: the umbrella company will be the limited company that invoices the agency for the services of the contractor; and at the same time the umbrella company ensures that any income tax due is remitted to the fiscal authorities of the country where the contractor is working.

The information contained in this site is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this site. Accordingly, the information on this site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult an Artist Tax Consulting GmbH professional.
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