Compulsory accounting

The Swiss Code of Obligations fixes the regulations on proper accounting. This is based on an inventory, a full balance sheet, and a profit and loss statement.

In Switzerland, the following companies are obliged to draw up and present accounts that comply with the regulations provided for by the Code of Obligations (Article 957 et seq.):

  • Legal entities (corporations (SAs), limited liability companies (SARLs), limited partnerships, cooperative companies, associations and foundations)
  • Sole proprietorships and partnerships (both general and limited) that had a turnover of more than CHF 500,000 in the previous financial year.

Sole proprietorships and partnerships with a turnover of less than CHF 500,000 must, at a minimum, use simplified accounting. This should include income, expenses and assets.

The accounting requirement includes drawing up an inventory (Article 958c(2), CO), as well as a full balance sheet and a profit and loss statement, with supporting documents.

The accounting documents and various reports associated with company accounting must be retained for at least ten years (Article 958f, CO). Special provisions also apply to documents archived in an electronic or equivalent format (Article 958f (3), CO).


Last modification 27.08.2020

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