IT business: Developing an IT company

This entrepreneur must heed intellectual property laws. He/she must protect the copyright for the software he/she develops.

Who creates what?

A Swiss citizen establishes a firm importing hardware and developing/adapting software for users.

Business Area/Target Group

The firm is the main importer of IT products for the Swiss market. It supplies products to around 100 commercial partners (business customers – no direct sales to end consumers). It derives another important source of income from the development and adaptation of software for users.

Selected Legal Structure

The firm has been established as a public limited company (SA) with share capital of CHF 200,000.


The firm is financially independent: the founder funded the start-up phase using personal capital and has obtained additional funds from family members. A "business angel" with an interest in the firm has also provided financial support.

The entrepreneur must take the following points into consideration, primarily:

Intellectual Property

Copyright is very similar to property rights. It guarantees the entrepreneur exclusive rights to his/her work. It also grants a number of privileges (rights in relation to duplication, amendment and transmission for the purpose of marketing under license, etc.).

There are no specific registration formalities concerning the protection of copyright for software developed by the entrepreneur. However, the software may be registered with private agencies by submitting the source code. This allows for secure, reliable codification on account of the fact that the software and the source code existed at the time of registration.

Social insurance

The entrepreneur is both a shareholder and an employee as he/she receives a salary like the other employees. The entrepreneur must register him/herself and all members of staff with the Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance (OASI) compensation fund, an accident insurance fund and a pension fund.

The investor (business angel), however, will only attend board of directors’ meetings, for which he/she will receive separate compensation. He/she is not an employee and is therefore not liable to social insurance.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

The entrepreneur expects to generate annual turnover of CHF 260,000. S/he therefore meets the prerequisites for liability to value added tax. The entrepreneur must be registered with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) within 30 days of the start of the tax period (Art. 66 LTVA (Federal Act on Value Added Tax)).


Stamp duty is generally payable when a public limited company is established if the share capital exceeds CHF 1 million (Art. 6 LT (Stamp Duty Law)).



If you wish to set up your own IT business,
simply follow the "Nine steps to setting up your own business":

Last modification 29.04.2021

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