A business licence in Switzerland is a licence issued by a government authority that allows companies or individuals to operate a business within a specific country’s government’s power. The licence is issued by the local government and it is an approval to start business.
Before you apply for a business licence you would definitely need to register a company. The type of company that you register will depend on the type of business that you want to operate. Some of the options of the types of companies are –
- The stock corporation – This is a well-known company structure in Switzerland. This type of company requires that at least one shareholder and one director stays in Switzerland. It must have a minimum paid up capital of 100,000 Swiss francs (CHF). This type of company takes about 2 to 3 weeks to incorporate.
- Limited liability company – For this type of company structure, there must be a minimum of 2 shareholders. It’s more suited for a smaller corporation as it requires a minimum paid up capital of only 20,000 CHF.
- Partnerships – There are basically 3 types of partnerships that can be incorporated in Switzerland. They are the sole proprietorship, the general partnership and the limited partnership.
Business licence requirement in Switzerland
Normally for companies registered in Switzerland, the requirement for a business licence is necessary only for certain businesses. When you register a company, it will usually include a general business licence. There are some types of companies that require a business or operating licence. They are –
- Banking – A licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is required. This is of course subject to the requirements of FINMA being met.
- Insurance – This business also requires a licence from FINMA. They must also meet the requirements set by the authority.
- Opening a Transport business
- Opening a recruitment agency
- Opening a hotel or restaurant business – If you intend to open a hotel or a restaurant business in Switzerland, you would need a retail permit.
- Opening a business selling liquor – You would need to obtain a licence from the Swiss Alcohol Board.
- Opening a casino – For a casino business, you would need to have a permit from the Swiss Federal Gaming Board
- Others – Lawyers, dentist, physicians and pharmacists must also obtain special licences before starting their business.
Below are some of the steps to obtaining business licence in Switzerland for certain industries in more details.
|Some of the criteria that must be met to obtain a banking business licence in Switzerland are –|
|The basic requirements for an insurance company to acquire a business licence in Switzerland is stated in the Insurance Supervision Act (ISA). Some of the other criteria as required by FINMA are –|
|Licence for medical practitioners|
Once you have secured the license, the next step is to become a member of the Swiss Medical Association. This is not compulsory although most of the medical practitioners are members of this association. You may want to know also about small business ideas in Switzerland.