September 10, 2011, 8:28 pm
Joint stock companies, abbreviated as AG from Aktiengesellschaft or SA from Societe Anonyme, are the most popular type of businesses in Switzerland among foreign investors for both large corporations or small and medium-sized companies. The Swiss AG is a legal entity with limited liability to company assets and it can perform activities in the trading, production, holding or financing business.
A minimum share capital of 100,000 CHF is required as an initial investment for setting up a joint stock corporation in Switzerland. Half of this amount has to be deposited in a temporary bank account before registration. The capital is divided into shares and the shareholders have the liability that corresponds to the number of their shares. The minimum value of a share is 0.1 CHF.
At least three founders are needed for the establishment of a joint stock company in Switzerland and at least one of them has to be a Swiss resident. Their main advantage is their anonymity, since they do not have to be registered at the Registry office.
The management of a joint stock corporation in Switzerland is held by a Board of Directors. The majority of the Directors in the board have to be residents in Switzerland, although they do not have to be shareholders too. The Annual General Meeting must be held once a year with the shareholders in order to approve the annual accounts and appoint the board of directors and the audit company. All meetings must be located on Swiss territory. A secretary is not required.
Administrative costs are pretty high for an AG in Switzerland, since it is compulsory to appoint an auditor. The auditors need to issue the annual balance sheet and provide annual financial statements about the company’s accounts. However, these annual financial statements are only published if the Swiss AG is listed on the stock exchange.
Some restrictions may arise in terms of foreign interests if a corporation wishes to acquire real estate in Switzerland. As far as the name of the joint stock company is regarded, it can be freely chosen. The incorporation procedure is completed only after the Swiss joint stock corporation is registered in the commercial register and published in the Swiss Commercial Gazette.
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BridgeWest provides company formation in Switzerland. Our assistance includes:
> drafting the Articles of Association (necessary for the company incorporation in Switzerland);
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