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Incorporation of a Swiss limited liability company (GmbH) - compact document set

Incorporation of a Swiss limited liability company (GmbH) - compact document set

PricewaterhouseCoopers AG

Date: March 25, 2021

This set of documents is required for the incorporation (Cash) of a limited liability company (GmbH or Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung or GmbH) in Switzerland.

PV10018
$677.59

Author's Note

This set of documents is required for the incorporation (Cash) of a limited liability company ( Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung  or GmbH) in Switzerland. The company is entered in the commercial register of the place at which it has its registered office. Through a single interview, you will be able to create: Articles of association; Circular resolution of the Board of Managing Directors; Acceptance letters and signature sheets for members of the Board of Managing Directors; Signature sheets for officers; Application to the commercial register; Letter to the commercial register; and Quota holders’ register. This set of documents does not include certain other documents which are required to complete the registration (see below). Overview of the procedure for a cash incorporation of a limited liability company (GmbH) Step 1: Preparation of required document, confirm availability of desired company name. It...

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This set of documents is required for the incorporation (Cash) of a limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung or GmbH) in Switzerland. The company is entered in the commercial register of the place at which it has its registered office.

Through a single interview, you will be able to create:

  1. Articles of association;
  2. Circular resolution of the Board of Managing Directors;
  3. Acceptance letters and signature sheets for members of the Board of Managing Directors;
  4. Signature sheets for officers;
  5. Application to the commercial register;
  6. Letter to the commercial register; and
  7. Quota holders’ register.

This set of documents does not include certain other documents which are required to complete the registration (see below).

Overview of the procedure for a cash incorporation of a limited liability company (GmbH)

Step 1: Preparation of required document, confirm availability of desired company name.

It is possible to ask the commercial register to carry out a preliminary examination of the documents prepared, which may take up to seven business days. The quota capital of the company must be paid into a blocked account and a confirmation from the bank obtained.  Unless the company is eligible for limited audit (in which event there must be a vote and an opt-out declaration must be provided), an independent auditor must be appointed. 

Step 2: Contact a notary and provide all necessary documents to allow preparation of the public deed. At the founders meeting, all founding members must be present or represented by proxy.

Step 3: File the public deed including the signed application form and other required documents with the commercial register at the company’s domicile. Subject to completeness and legal conformity, the company should be established within the next 7 business days. Do not forget to order a certificate of registration. 

Circumstances of Use

This set of documents is intended for the cash incorporation of a Swiss limited liability company.

Terms of Use

The purchase of this Product is subject to PartnerVine Terms.

You (the registered user through whose account the purchase is made) may:

  • Access the document-generation interview for 90 days from date of purchase;
  • Export and download an unlimited number of copies of the document(s) in Word or pdf format;
  • Share and use the document copies in connection with the circumstances described in this Author’s Note and only for the ordinary business purposes of the group of companies to which you belong.

Exclusions and Limitations

This template allows for the creation of the documents listed above only. The following additional documents must also be filed with the commercial register:

To be provided by a notary:

  1. Public deed regarding the establishment of the company

To be provided by the company:

  1. Bank certificate of the blocked bank account to pay in quota capital;
  2. Stampa- and Lex-Friedrich-declaration (form available from the commercial register);
  3. Acceptance letter of the auditor or opting out declaration by the company (form available from the commercial register);
  4. Copy of passport or ID of each person who will be entered in the commercial register;
  5. If necessary certificate of good standing of founder; and
  6. Confirmation of domicile (if relevant).

Other Comments

If the company to be incorporated does not yet have a place of business in Switzerland, consider whether domiciliation services are required.  A template Domiciliation Agreement is available separately.



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Frequently asked questions

Which documents are necessary for the incorporation of a Swiss limited liability company LLC/Gmbh?

(1) Articles of Association, (2) Circular Resolution Constitution, (3) Acceptance Letter and Signature Sheet, (4) Signature Specimen Officer, (5) Application Commercial Register, (6) Letter to the Commercial Register

What are the Articles of Association?

The articles of association are the foundation of the Company and therefore the most important document. Other than customizing its content throughout the interview, there is no immediate action required on your end with regard to this document.

What is the Circular Resolution Constitution?

This document is required for the constitution of the Board, the granting of signatory powers, the definition of the business year and the establishment of a quota holders' register. This document has to be signed by all Board Members. No legalization is required.

What is the Acceptance Letter and the Signature Sheet?

The Chairman and each other Member of the Board of Managing Directors have to accept their mandate, provide a specimen of signature, and will be entered in the Commercial Register. The signatures have to be provided in front of a notary. If the notarization is done by a non-Swiss notary, it has to be vested with an Apostille of the Hague (cross-border notarization).

Who is the Signature Specimen Officer?

All persons authorized to represent the Company have to be entered in the Commercial Register and provide a specimen of signature. The signatures have to be provided in front of a notary. If the notarization is done by a non-Swiss notary, it has to be vested with an Apostille of the Hague (cross-border notarization).

What is the Application Commercial Register?

The application contains all information that will be entered into the Commercial Register. This document has to be signed by all Board Members. No legalization is required.

What is the Letter to the Commercial Register?

If you want to file you registration by mail, this document will provide you with an appropriate accompanying letter.

Which document is the company to hold after incorporation (required by law)?

Quota Holders' Register: You are not required to file the quota holders' register with the Commercial Register. But the Company is required by law to keep a quota holders' register after the incorporation. It tracks all changes with regard to quota holders and complies with new regulations regarding beneficial owners. It has to be kept in the corporate file. You may sign and date the quota holders' register as soon as the Company has been registered in the Commercial Register. No legalization is required.

What is meant by Purpose of a company?

The purpose is stated in the articles of association and describes the specific field of activity of the Corporation. It has to be drafted with a certain clarity and precision, since it limits the right to represent the Corporation, among other things. The purpose drafted in English must not differ from the respective German version. The secondary purposes, which are already included in the pre-drafted Articles of Association, cover intra group financing, opening branch offices and subsidiaries, participating in other companies, managing its own real estate, and engaging in all commercial, financial or other operations which are appropriate to serve or to promote the development and the purpose of the Corporation.

Where is the place of registered office?

In accordance with art. 56 of the Swiss Civil Code, the registered office or seat of a legal entity is located in the political municipality where its administration is carried out, unless its articles of association provide otherwise.

Which abbreviation (GmbH, Sàrl, Sagl, LLC) belongs to which country?

GmbH means Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung and is common in German speaking countries. Sàrl is its French counterpart, Sagl is used in Italy. LLC signifies Limited Liability Company and is common for anglophone countries

What happens if the incorporating company has no own offices?

If the company does not have or does not want own offices, a domicile provider can offer a c/o-address and certain basic secretarial services to your incorporating Company.

Who is the Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors?

Where a company has two or more Managing Directors, the members' general meeting must appoint the Chairman. The function is vested with special duties like presiding over the board and members' general meetings or sign the quota holders' register. There are no restrictions in terms of nationality or residency requirements for the Chairman. However, the Company needs to have one person who is entitled to represent it and who is a legal resident of Switzerland. This person can either be a member of the Board of Managing Directors or an Officer. The Chairman is not required to be a quota holder of the Company. If he or she owns quotas, he or she has to be registered in the quota holders' register.

Is there an upper limit for managing directors?

No.

What do you need to consider regarding officers?

Each non-board member who is authorized to represent the Company has to be registered with the Commercial Register.

How is signatory power concerning the Managing Director(s) and the Officer(s) regulated?

(1) sole signature: A Managing Director with sole signatory power may solely represent the company

(2) joint signature by two: A Managing Director with joint signatory power by two may represent the company only with another representative that has sole or joint signatory power

(3) sole power of procuration: A Managing Director with sole power of procuration may act as a proxy for contracts within the purpose of the company.

(4) joint power of procuration by two: A Managing Director with joint power of procuration by two may act as a proxy for contracts within the purpose of the company only with another person that has sole signatory power or power of procuration.

(5) no signatory power or power of procuration: A Managing Director with no signatory power or no power of procuration may not represent the company or act as a proxy.

 

Important to consider: At least one representative with sole signatory power or two representatives with joint signatory power must reside in Switzerland.

What happens in case there is a different beneficial owner?

Beneficial Owner means the natural person for whom the shareholder is ultimately acting. In case there is a different beneficial owner, this information must be provided in detail.

What does company capital signify, what is its minimum and maximum and how much needs to be fully paid up at incorporation date?

A LLC does not have stock or stockholders. Instead, there is an operating agreement. The Operating Agreement lists the membership interests and the rights of each member rather than in separate member certificates.

The minimum company capital is CHF 20,000. There is no maximum. The company capital must be fully paid-up at incorporation.

What is important to consider regarding the First Financial Year?

The pre-drafted articles of association entitle the Board of Directors to determine the financial year by signing the pre-drafted circular resolution. For fiscal reasons, the first financial year (starting with the incorporation) can be short or over long. For example, an over long financial year might allow the Company to accumulate tax deductions. 

When is a company with limited liability (GmbH, LLC) established?

The Company is established when the founder members at the founders’ meeting declare by public deed that they are forming the Company, lay down the articles of association therein and appoint the governing bodies.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing of a quota holder and when is it required?

If a foreign legal entity is involved in the incorporation as founder, a document confirming its existence is required. Accepted is an excerpt from a commercial register or a certificate of good standing / a similar document if there is no commercial register in the founder’s country of incorporation. This document needs to state the authorised persons with their signature powers for the company and has to be notarized and vested with an Apostille (or a consular legalisation up to the Swiss consulate). A notarized and apostilled translation into a Swiss national language may be required by the Commercial Register.

Is an audit required for a company with limited liability (GmbH, LLC)?

Yes, with some exceptions.

Swiss law foresees two different types of audit obligations depending on the thresholds mentioned below. Under certain conditions, a company may choose to opt-out of such audit obligations.

I. Ordinary audit: The following companies must submit their annual financial statements and, if applicable, their consolidated financial statements to an auditor for an ordinary audit:

1. Public companies, i.e. companies: a) whose equity instruments are quoted on a stock exchange; b) that have issued bonds; c) that contribute at least 20 % to the assets of the turnover of the consolidated financial statements of a company in the sense of 1. a) or b) above.

2. Companies exceeding two of the following thresholds in two consecutive business years: a) balance sheet total of CHF 20 million, b) revenues of CHF 40 million, c) annual average of 250 full-time employment positions;

3. Companies that are obligated to establish consolidated financial statements.

II. Limited audit: If the above-mentioned prerequisites of an ordinary audit are not met, the company shall submit its annual financial statements to an auditor for a limited audit.

III. Opting-out: A company is entitled to fully opt-out and be released from the obligation to appoint an auditor if the three following requirements are fulfilled:

1. The company meets the requirements to conduct only a limited audit;

2. The consent of all shareholders is given; and

3. The company does not have an average annual number of full-time employment positions higher than ten.

 

Important to consider: if an audit takes place, the acceptance letter of the auditor is required for the application. If no audit is performed, the opting out declaration for the audit is required for the application (form is provided by the Commercial Register).


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Consequences of the new Swiss Financial Institutions Act

The rules and provisions under the new Swiss Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) will have an impact on proprietary traders in securities as participants to trading venues. Entities that have so far not been subject to regulation will need to become licenced as investment firms.

ElCom introduces its version of REMIT

Switzerland has introduced its version of reporting obligations regarding electricity – but not gas (as with REMIT) - that relate directly to the obligations of Swiss domiciled entities under REMIT.

Whistleblowing to be regulated by law

Violations of the law and ethical misbehaviour damage companies, the economy and society. Employees as well as third parties should have the opportunity to report misconduct to suitable bodies within a company or to authorities without having to fear disadvantages or sanctions.

EMIR Fitness Test

European Market Infrastructures Regulation (EMIR) was the European Union’s (EU) response to systemic risks created by OTC derivatives. EMIR introduced an obligation for standardised and liquid OTC derivative contracts to be traded over a trading venue, a clearing obligation for OTC derivatives by means of a central counterparty (CCP), as well as...

Towards a harmonised European Crowdfunding & ICO Regime

On 8 March 2018, the European Parliament and Council released a proposal for the regulation of commercial European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP).

FINMA publishes new fact sheet on virtual currencies

On September 3rd 2018, FINMA published a new fact sheet on dealing with virtual currencies, such as "Bitcoin". The fact sheet provides information on licensing requirements under financial market law and risks associated with the blockchain technology. This technology makes it possible to manage monetary units of virtual currencies in a computer...

Liechtenstein publishes draft of the new Blockchain Act

On 28 August 2018, the Ministry for General Government Affairs and Finance of Liechtenstein published the consultation report on the new Blockchain Act. The new law aims to strengthen the legal certainty for users and service providers in order to further promote the positive development of the "token economy" in Liechtenstein and, at the same...

FINMA opens consultation on AMLO-FINMA

In mid-June 2018, the Parliament decided to create a new licence category in the Banking Act to promote innovation in the financial markets sector. On August 28th 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA opened a consultation of the revised AMLO-FINMA until the 26th October 2018.

Avoiding the pitfalls to launch a successful ICO in Switzerland

In this blog post we look at initial coin offerings: what they are, how they work, and the things to bear in mind if you’re intending to launch an ICO that raises funds and does your reputation good.

What FinSA and FinIA mean for Swiss financial institutions

This brochure has been made available by PwC Legal to give you an overview of the main issues and of the initial effects, with the intention of helping you get an overall view of the ways in which the Swiss financial market is regulated and of the next steps to be expected.

The new European rules for securitisations

The EU has enacted a new set of regulations applicable to securitisations and a more specific framework for simple, transparent, and standardised securitisations (“Regulation”).

EU Benchmarks Regulation and Market Impact as of 1 January 2018

The new EU Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) was published in June 2016 and introduces new compliance requirements for benchmark administrators, contributors, a12345nd users, with regard to interest rate, foreign exchange, security, commodity, and other benchmarks used in financial transactions.

Latest Level 3 ESMA Q and As related to MiFID II-MiFIR

ESMA published and updated in the last couple of days additional Level 3 Q&A papers. Due to the specification and clarification purposes of the Level 3 papers, this should help you during and after the implementation phase and could clarify open questions.

FINMA publishes partially revised circular on "video and online identification”

From 13 February 2018 to 28 March 2018 the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA conducted a public hearing on the draft of the partially revised FINMA Circular 2016/7 "Video and online identification". FINMA published the partially revised circular on 17 July 2018. The aim of the partial revision is to adapt the Circular to the...

New updates on the safe-keeping duties for depositaries of Alternative Investment Funds

The European Commission has published a draft delegated regulation proposing to amend the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 231/2013 to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) as regards safe-keeping duties of depositaries for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). The newly proposed obligations would address depositaries and...

FinSA and FinIA: Differences resolved between the National Council and the Council of States

On 12 June 2018, the National Council resolved the last differences on the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA). Thus, the FinSA and the FinIA are ready for the final votes, which will take place on Friday, 15 June 2018.

Get up to Speed on the EEA Agreement Amendment

On 31 May 2018 the EEA Joint Committee reached a decision without reservation regarding the implementation of Solvency II Level 2 and EMIR Level 2 frameworks. Thus, as of 1 June 2018, the EMIR and Solvency II Level 2 delegated acts are applicable to Liechtenstein, Norway and Island.

EMIR Transaktionsreporting und Solvency II in Liechtenstein Go Live – Kommen Sie auf den neusten Stand bzgl. der EWR Vertragsergänzung

Am 31. Mai 2018 beschloss der gemeinsame EWR-Ausschuss die vorbehaltslose Implementation der Solvency II Level 2 und der EMIR Level 2 delegierten Rechtsakte. Folglich wurden per 01. Juni 2018 die EMIR und Solvency II Level 2 Rechtsakte in Liechtenstein, Norwegen und Island anwendbar.

FinIA and FinSA on the right track

On 29 May 2018, the National Council passed its resolution on the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA). Shortly thereafter, on 4 June 2018, the Council of States discussed about FinSA and FinIA and resolved the following differences:

FINSA and FINIA: Only few differences remaining

On Tuesday 29 May 2018, the National Council discussed again about the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA). After the resolution of the National Council a few differences remain to the text approved by the Council of State.

How tightened corruption laws affects compliance management systems

With the revision of the Criminal Law on Corruption, the criminal responsibility of companies and their management is gaining in importance.

Switzerland introduces the clearing obligation for certain derivatives for FC+ and NFC+

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has recently announced that it will introduce the clearing obligation, meaning to clear certain derivatives over central counterparties, under the Swiss Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA) that are traded by counterparties having the status of either an FC+, meaning large Financial...

A primer on cryptocurrencies trading regulation in Switzerland

This primer seeks to give an overview of the key obligations under Swiss regulatory laws related to cryptocurrencies and asset management related to cryptocurrencies.

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Liechtenstein

An initial coin offering (ICO) or a token sale is when a company sells a predefined number of digital tokens to the public in a limited period of time. The ICO market has grown very rapidly in recent months and has been a new avenue for blockchain-based start-ups and projects to get the funding needed to launch their projects.

Partial entry into force of the Swiss DLT-act

On 1 February 2021, the parts of the Swiss DLT-act that introduce ledger-based securities (i.e. register uncertificated securities) to Swiss law have entered into force. The remaining provisions of the DLT-act will enter into force on 1 August 2021.

The E-ID Act from a data protection perspective

On 7 March, the E-ID Act will be put to the vote in Switzerland. Especially in the area of data protection, opponents and supporters disagree on the extent to which the introduction of the law would cause problems.

Platform Economy: Prepare for the future and outshine with an online matchmaker

Platform business models has changed how businesses are conceptualised and conducted. Interested to know more about the value of a platform business model?

A unique opportunity to become a responsible business role model

With the narrow rejection of the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), Swiss companies will have the challenge of aligning with stricter, EU-inspired standards in terms of corporate disclosure and sectoral human rights due diligence. In this blog post we explain how you can take the reins and become best in class – and why the current...