Checklist - The most important steps in the preparation phase
Tipps from STARTUPS.CH
We will show you step by step how you can best prepare yourself for professional independence and what you should bear in mind when doing so. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Costumer Care Centre.
Formulate the business idea
The basis of your company is a good business idea. Ideally, it should be innovative, have a unique selling point and be compatible with your interests, hobbies or profession, so that you can combine different activities.
Ask yourself and your friends and family where your strengths and weaknesses lie. What can you already do? What do you still have to learn? Where do you need external support?
Think about who your customer should be. Divide the company into smaller homogeneous groups and decide on some segments you want to address with your product or service.
Creating a business plan
Create a business plan that contains the most essential information about your company to have a complete overview. In this way you can bring structure into the uncertain future and deal with problems early on.
During the self-analysis you got to know yourself better. Now you can start to deal with the topics in which you want to improve your skills. For example, visit our free seminar Founding a company.
You should trust experts when it comes to the points on which you want to get support. Get advice from experts and do your bookkeeping and tax returns. We recommend STARTUPS.CH.
Choose legal form
The next step is to decide on the legal form your company should have. Below we will introduce you to the three most popular forms of sole proprietorship, limited liability company and public limited company.
Determine the persons involved
Depending on the chosen legal form, you must decide which other persons - such as partners, shareholders and board members - should participate in your company.
A minimum capital of CHF 20,000 and CHF 100,000 respectively is required for a limited liability company and a public limited company.
Determine the domicile of the company
Determine where the domicile and therefore the headquarters of your company should be located. Here you must already decide whether you want to run your company from home or whether you want an official company headquarters at an external address.
Choose the appropriate legal form for your company
Basically, you should choose a legal form that is individually aligned to your business. We recommend these three forms of business for your entry into self-employment: Sole proprietorship, limited liability company or public limited company.
Would you like to carry out a commercial activity on your own in your self-employment, and pursue your idea without restrictions? Then the most popular legal form for founders in Switzerland is the right choice. The establishment of a sole proprietorship is uncomplicated, does not require a minimum investment and has no legal personality of its own. Many dadpreneurs who set up a company choose this legal form to start with.
No minimum capital is required when setting up a sole proprietorship.
Purpose of use
A sole proprietorship is suitable for businesses that are managed by one person.
Number of persons
Only one person can be the owner.
If you are setting up a sole proprietorship, the only rule on the name is that your surname must be included. You are also free to use your first name or other imaginative or factual names.
Advantages of a sole proprietorship
The sole proprietorship enables an uncomplicated and informal activity.
No compliance with company law provisions is required.
No minimum capital is required.
There is no double tax burden on income and assets, as there is largely no distinction between business and private assets.
Disadvantages of a sole proprietorship
You as the owner have unlimited liability with your private assets.
You cannot bring in partners who are involved in the company.
There is no unemployment benefit.
Depending on the canton, you may not receive child or education allowances.
The limited liability company simply explained
The limited liability company is a legal form with legal personality in which you, alone or together with other persons, form a company. The respective liability of the partners is limited to the amount of their registered share capital.
The minimum capital of a limited liability company is CHF 20,000.
Purpose of use
The limited liability company is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
Number of persons
At least one partner and one manager are required. You can hold both positions at the same time. A managing director with signing authority must be resident in Switzerland.
You are free to choose the name of your company. The only rule is that you must add the suffix GmbH to the company name.
Advantages of a limited liability company
At CHF 20,000 the minimum capital is comparatively low.
You are only liable with your business assets and not with your private assets.
Participation by other shareholders is possible.
Disadvantages of a limited liability company
There is a publication obligation for the distribution of the shares. The shareholders are therefore not anonymous.
You have more regulations with this legal form than with the sole proprietorship, because you have to comply with the company law regulations.
You will be taxed twice at the level of the limited liability company and as a shareholder.
The public limited company simply explained
The public limited company enjoys a good reputation among the public. With it, personal liability can be excluded, since only the business assets can be held liable for the liabilities. The public limited company has legal personality.
In the case of a public limited company, the minimum capital is CHF 100,000, of which at least CHF 50,000 must be paid in cash.
Purpose of use
The public limited company is suitable for all profit-oriented companies.
Number of persons
There must be at least one shareholder and one board member. One person may hold both positions simultaneously. One board member with signing authority must be a resident of Switzerland.
When establishing a public limited company, you can define a freely chosen company name with the addition AG.
Advantages of a public limited company
The anonymity of investors and shareholders can be guaranteed.
You and all other shareholders are only liable with the business assets and thus with the share of the share capital.
The transfer of shares is simple.
Disadvantages of a public limited company
The foundation of a public limited company involves high costs and complex formalities.
The minimum capital is comparatively high at CHF 100,000.
You have a double tax burden on income and assets.