Buying a company in Switzerland

One of the best ways to escape the hassles of a start-up company is by simply buying an already established business. There are many benefits to buying a company in Switzerland. Foreign entrepreneurs who want a safe place to invest their assets and secure their business can choose to buy a shelf company in Switzerland. The favourable government policies and the country’s geographical position contribute to the development of stable businesses for almost any activity.

Buying vs. Incorporating a new company in Switzerland

Starting a business in Switzerland from scratch can be a daunting task. Opening a company is time-consuming and usually, you need a lot of help, and there are so many factors that you should consider to make sure Switzerland is an ideal location for your business. You have to choose a favourable business location, an appropriate name that is not taken, an appropriate legal form—and of course have a comprehensive analysis of the market. Once you have accomplished all these points, you can start the incorporation procedure.


You need to follow the various administrative steps required to start a business. Although in Switzerland you have the advantage of incorporating it through a relatively quick and streamlined process, it is recommended that you benefit from the advice of a company specialized in opening a company. It can help you with the necessary documentation, depending on the type of legal form you choose. Note that the costs are lower if you are incorporating a Swiss GmbH. However, the legal form offers less flexibility than a stock company (AG). For a small or medium-sized enterprise, a GmbH is right, but you have to keep in mind that you may want to expand your business in the future. It’s possible to change the legal form of your company, however, you have to fulfill certain conditions.

Entrepreneurs of legal entities who want to buy shelf companies have different options. Although at first, it may seem tempting to buy a company that already has a reputation in the Swiss market, you need to pay attention to several factors. We should mention that most bankruptcies occur in the first four years after the company was founded. Therefore, you should seek the help of an expert in this field to analyze the available offers and to provide you with detailed information on the record of the respective company—and ascertain whether you should buy the company or not.

When you take over an existing reputable company, you need to be careful about profitability. While you can benefit from a productive and active company that gives you many opportunities, the location, the brand name, and the products or services offered, there are other important factors you should consider. The acquisition of such a company is often associated with a very high financial cost, the possible liabilities and assets must also be acquired. That is why, in many cases, financing is more difficult, but not impossible.


In conclusion, the acquisition of a company is quite easy and is not as demanding as the usual incorporation. One factor to consider is that it takes less time to buy a company than to go through the process of incorporation. Besides, the country has developed a policy to promote the interests of foreign residents in its economy. Switzerland's tax policy creates benefits for owners of ready-made companies. However, this depends on the canton in which the shelf company is located, because each canton in Switzerland has its specific position on economic issues.

Registering a shelf company

Although shelf companies are companies that have ceased operations, they are still listed in the commercial register. When you buy such a company, not only do you take its name, but also the good reputation associated with it. Decisions involving changes to the articles of association should be discussed at the managers' meeting. This meeting should take place before the completion of the share transfer procedure.

Thus, the acquisition of an already registered company is very fast. You can opt for one with a history of economic activity or choose one with no economic background. Shelf companies are divided into two categories: vintage and ready-made. The first category has a reputation because their name has been used in transactions in the past, but their activity has stopped for various reasons. Those who sell such companies should guarantee that they have no liabilities and debts. As for ready-made companies, even if they do not have a history, they can operate immediately on the market. The future owner can take it "off the shelf" and use it.

Why Swiss shelf companies

Medium-sized firms, with long-term history and traditions, are best suited to the Swiss economy. A shelf company is a ready-made economic institution established in one of the most favorable economic environments in the world. Businessmen who want their business to obtain a prestigious name, reinforced by a high-status legal address, the best solution is to buy a ready-made or vintage company.

At the same time, some investors are looking for ways to obtain credit for their activity and expansion of assets. When they have a trusted company with a prestigious name, they have more chances to achieve this.

The advantages of purchasing a company in Switzerland

The main benefit of a shelf company is saving time and starting operations as soon as you want. The purchased company is ready to operate upon transfer to the new owner.

Even if you do not have to register a new name for a ready-made company, you can change it at any time, if you wish. Also, a company already made has its legal address and a director based in Switzerland. There is no need to open a bank account, and you have all the necessary certificates and permissions.

You get to acquire a business without debt and liabilities, even if the company was founded many years ago. Thus, you get the same privileges as other already existing companies that have a good background.


If you need support in purchasing a shelf company in Switzerland, our specialists are ready to provide you with the best assistance you need to make informed and regret-free decisions. Be sure to reach out to, SIGTAX for more insights on how to set up a Swiss company.

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