A Swiss holding company holds and manages the shares and long-term financial investments in other companies. The most common legal structures for holding companies in Switzerland are Public limited company (SA) and Limited Liability Company (Sàrl).

What advantages do holding companies have?

  • Double taxation treaties: if the subsidiaries are located abroad, the holding company will benefit from certain tax advantages.
  • Tax deductions: the nature of the company’s revenue will determine its tax rate. Businesses that are strictly holding companies can take advantage of tax reductions or tax credits.

What steps are involved?

  • Trade: the company cannot undertake any business trade in Switzerland, except for managing long-term business assets and the investments of its subsidiaries.
  • Shares: the company must hold at least 20% of a company’s stock. Turnover or total revenue can be obtained from the stock (dividends and capital gains), but also from cooperatives and other types of shares.
  • Where incorporated as a Public limited company (SA): the minimum capital required is CHF 100’000, 50% of which must be paid up on opening the account.
  • Where incorporated as a Limited Liability Company (Sàrl): the minimum capital required is CHF 20’000, all of which must be paid up on opening the account.
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