Startup Process Startup Process

Startup Process

Here you can find out step by step exactly what the startup process looks like and what needs to be done in the individual phases.


Once you have drawn up a rough concept or a business plan, you'll need to select an appropriate legal form. It may be that you require an authorization for your activity.

An entry in the commercial register may be a legal requirement for a sole proprietorship (Art. 36, Commercial Register Ordinance). Not all activities are recognized for the purposes of AHV /AVS (Old Age and Survivors' Insurance). Owners of sole proprietorships in particular should clarify this aspect.

You also need to clarify your insurance requirements and obligations. If you have questions regarding AHV, IV (Disability Insurance), EO (Income Compensation Insurance), BVG/LPP (the Federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans), private pension options, family and child allowances and daily benefits under medical or accident insurance, you will find that the Swiss Accident Insurance Institution (SUVA) and the Compensation Fund can help you.

One of the most important preparatory steps is to ensure that financing and premises are available for your business. Have you already decided on a company name? A homepage (for which you must reserve an internet address) and a corporate identity (including logo, letterhead, etc.) will quickly create a professional image for your business.


Your company needs elected governing bodies and an organizational chart by the time it is incorporated, if not before. If your sole proprietorship is obliged to do so, you should register with the commercial registry office. For limited companies such as a GmbH and an AG, you must pay the share capital or equity capital into a blocked account. We shall be glad to open a suitable Capital payment account for you.

Notarized Certification of Incorporation for an AG and GmbH

Prepare the following incorporation documents before you visit the notary:

  • Personal details of the founders
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Registration form for the commercial registry office, with declaration of domicile if required
  • Declaration of acceptance of election by the Board of Directors (AG), or by the Management Board (GmbH) if required
  • Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors regarding constitution of the board, appointment of the chairperson and signing authority (AG) or resolutions regarding arrangements for the chairmanship of the Management Board, and the appointment of additional persons authorized to represent the company (GmbH)
  • Declaration of acceptance of election by the auditors if required (unless the company opts out of auditing)
  • Confirmation of capital payment
  • Contracts to clarify contributions in kind and/or acquisition of assets if they are to be credited when the share capital is paid up. An incorporation report and a confirmation of audit by an approved auditor are required if the company's articles of incorporation grant special privileges.

The next step is to register with the commercial registry office. Once your company has been entered in the commercial register, it acquires the right to exist as a legal entity. Congratulations on your newly established company!

After Incorporation

Once your entry has been made in the commercial register (for a GmbH and AG), or once you are running your business as a commercial operation and you have reached the turnover threshold of CHF 100,000 (for sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships), you are obliged to keep accounts and retain documents in safekeeping. Register with the Compensation Fund, the local authority in your company's location and with the telephone company as appropriate. Clarify your VAT obligations. As part of your preparations, you clarified your insurance requirements and now you can take out the policies. These activities mark the start of the build-up phase for your company.

Are you concerned about your pension situation? Credit Suisse offers pension solutions for SMEs. We shall also be glad to assist you with installing and setting up an interface between your accounting software and Credit Suisse's online banking service. To ensure that the relevant offerings are available to you, please contact our SME advisors in the business center or open a banking relationship here in just a few steps – simply and without paper.

Do you have questions?

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