Opening a branch office in Switzerland

The costs and requirements for opening a branch office in Switzerland are very similar to incorporating a new company in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, a branch office is a satellite of the foreign parent company without a separate legal identity. Consequently, the parent company is liable for the activities of the branch office.

Further, the Swiss branch office must operate in a way that represents the business of the foreign parent company. Likewise, Swiss branch offices are treated like any other Swiss company.

Like a Swiss company, the Swiss branch office must have a registered office in the region where set up and at least one Swiss resident director. Moreover, it must be registered with the official Swiss Commercial Register (all of which we provide).

Like Swiss companies, Swiss branches can be incorporated under the usual several business forms. We can help determine which is best for you.

Advantages of a Swiss branch office 

When making the decision between a branch office and subsidiary in Switzerland, the company’s managers should consider a couple things. For one, for a branch office there is no need to pay in the usual minimum share capital. Moreover,  Swiss branch offices generally benefit from lower taxes compared to a subsidiary.

Many times the parent company is domiciled in a foreign country with a tax treaty with Switzerland. This ensures the avoidance of double taxation. As such, the profits made from the operations of the Swiss branch office can be exempt from taxation under certain circumstances. Moreover, the Swiss branch office can be exempt from withholding tax which otherwise might be applicable to payments made to its parent company.

The main requirements when opening a branch office in Switzerland

When registering a Swiss branch, the representatives of the foreign company must provide a set of corporate documents to the local authorities that are compulsory for the registration. Naturally, we assist with those requirements.

The Swiss branch must have a suitable trading name, which has to contain the name of the foreign parent company. Additionally, it must contain the country of the parent company, and the Swiss city/canton where the branch is seated.

To open a branch office in Switzerland, you will need a Swiss resident director. Moreover, you’ll need a registered office address in the Canton where you want to set up the Swiss branch office. Naturally, we provide both of these requirements in our branch office package.

We can assist you with understanding the difference between opening a subsidiary vs a branch office in Switzerland. Once you’re ready, we can assist with all requirements for opening a foreign company branch office in Switzerland.


Contact us for more information.