The question of succession has not been resolved by more than one in ten SMEs

Two pawns a distance apart with arrow marks between them.

(04.05.2022) Transferring a company remains problematic for many small and medium-sized companies in Switzerland. According to Dun&Bradstreet, a data and analytics consulting firm, 15.1% of Swiss SMEs have not yet found a buyer.

Among the 614,000 companies analyzed, approximately 93,000 SMEs were experiencing succession problems in Switzerland in April 2022. To come to this conclusion, Dun&Bradstreet analyzed the age of owners of sole proprietorships, partners (limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership) and board members (limited company) listed in the commercial register.

Companies with between 1 and 9 employees and 10 and 49 employees are the most affected, with open succession rates of 15.2% and 15.7% respectively. For companies with 50 to 249 employees, this falls to 7.9%.

When it comes to business transfers, not all sectors of the economy are equal. The biggest problems are found in the printing and publishing sector (23.2%), in architects' offices (18.9%), and in the business and tax consultancy and repair services sectors (both 18.4%).

Regarding legal forms, sole proprietorships are particularly affected, with more than one fifth of the companies concerned (21.8%). The percentage of companies with an open succession is lower for corporations (15.7%) and even more so for limited liability companies (9.8%).


Last modification 04.05.2022

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