Switzerland: A Brief Outline

Switzerland is a country with a history of neutrality and political and economic stability. It is one of the most attractive locations for creating and developing a business, thanks to its competitive economic environment, outstanding training system and the work ethic of its workforce.

As a country, Switzerland is separated into three distinct linguistic and cultural regions - German, French, and Italian. English is commonly spoken, particularly with respect to business negotiations.

The majority of travelers wishing to enter Switzerland for the purpose of business trips and visits for a maximum stay of 90 days do not require a visa as long as they hold a qualifying passport.


Major Investment Opportunities

  • Micro and Nanotechology;
  • Engineering, Electrical & Metal industries;
  • Environmental, Power & Water;
  • Chemicals & Aerospace;
  • Biotechnology;
  • Business Services.


Five Tips For a Successful Venture in Switzerland

  • If you plan to relocate your business to Switzerland you will need to engage a local attorney
  • Any business entity that is required to be registered in a register of commerce must keep local books of account and is subject to the general commercial accounting principles as set forth in the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO);
  • Although English is spoken throughout Switzerland, it is best to remember the division of the country into German, Italian and French and research the area you are looking to do business in. This can impact on everything from tax packages, to selection of staff with the right set of languages, and planning for your communication on products and services;
  • There is no substitute for on the ground research, and commissioning market research before entering in to your business venture will immediately put you at an advantage in such a developed and highly competitive market;
  • The standard of living in Switzerland is very high, which means that the costs of doing business here are pretty high too. However, there are plenty of opportunities for tax planning and the relatively low corporation tax rate is often a reason that businesses choose to relocate to the country.


Legislation Relevant to Investors

  • The Swiss Code of Obligations is the main body of law, which regulates different business entities;
  • The Swiss Code of Obligations (art. 319-362), the most important legislation on employment contracts, regulates individual employment contracts, collective labor agreements, standard provision contracts for certain types of employees and, in part, social security;
  • The Swiss Federal Trademark Statute provides for the protection of trademarks for goods and services;
  • Inventions which are considered novel based on the "state of the art" and which may be used for industrial purposes can be protected under the Swiss Federal Patent Statute;
  • The Swiss Federal Copyright Statute protects literary and artistic works, including (but not limited to) written works of any kind or purpose, musical works, acoustical works, works of art (paintings, sculptures, graphical works), scientific and technical works such as drawings, maps, models, architectural works, works of applied art, visual and audiovisual works, choreographic works, computer programs and further adaptations (including translations) and compilations of works;
  • The Investment Funds Act22 and the Investment Funds Ordinance23 regulate investment funds whose managements have their legal domicile in Switzerland;
  • The Swiss Federal Cartel Statute15 applies to horizontal and vertical agreements and concerted practices affecting competition, to practices of enterprises having a dominant position, and to mergers;
  • The Stock Exchange Act sets out the framework for the regulation of Swiss securities;
  • Art. 27 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation guarantees economic freedom. All business sectors are open to foreign investment.


Switzerland & Vietnam Useful links

Portal to Internet Sites of all Swiss Authorities
Switzerland Official Portal
Find a Lawyer in Switzerland
Weblaw Useful Information
Business Culture in Switzerland
Find International Business Experts
Doing Business in Geneva
Switzerland Travel Info
UBIS-GENEVA Business & International Studies
Flights to Vietnam from Switzerland
Vietnam Embassy in Switzerland
Find a Vietnamese Translator in Switzerland


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