Creating an enterprise

Creating an enterprise in Switzerland is both fast and inexpensive. You need to reckon on around one week and costs of just 3000 to 4000 Swiss francs.

When constituting an enterprise, there are various decisions to be made, notably in terms of its legal form.

Swiss law provides for several options when selecting the legal form of an enterprise. As a general rule, a distinction is made between unincorporated and incorporated firms, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages (legal, fiscal, and so on).

Unincorporated firm

There are four types of unincorporated firm:

  • Sole trader
  • Civil partnership
  • General partnership
  • Commercial partnership

This type of legal form is very cheap to set up, but the company founder and any associates have unlimited liability on all their assets.

Incorporated firm

There are three principle types of incorporated firm:

  • Limited liability company (SàRL)
  • Public limited company (SA)
  • Commercial partnership limited by shares (SCA)

These are more expensive to set up, but the owner's liability is limited to the amount of his participation in the capital stock.

List of criteria to take into account when selecting structure (french/german)

Development economic - State of Vaud (DEV) provides specific advice to guide entrepreneurs wishing to establish their firm in the canton as they identify the best legal form for the enterprise. In addition, the association of notaries working in Vaud and the Vaud section of the Swiss Fiduciary Association are in a position to advise anyone interested in creating a legal entity in the canton.


Development economic - State of Vaud (DEV)
Avenue de Gratta-Paille 2
Case postale 19
1000 Lausanne 22

Tel : ++41 21 644 00 60
Fax : ++41 21 644 00 79
E-mail : dev(at)


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