Non-Swiss nationals: Business founders from a non-EU/EFTA member state

Business owners from non-EU/EFTA member states encounter certain obstacles.  This case study shows the difficulties of a sushi vendor.

Who creates what?

A national from a non-EU/EFTA member state started a food production company.

Business area/target group

The company makes and sells biscuits. The main distribution channels are trade shows, hotels, restaurants, caterers and chain stores.

Selected legal structure/financing

The business owner started a limited company (SA). The company was financed with own funds and funds from external private investors.

This business owner must make sure to take the following into consideration:

Legal structure

Under Swiss law, any foreign national can start a public limited company provided that at least one Swiss resident is entitled to represent the company. As a result, at least one board member must have a valid residence permit and work permit.

The business owner is a national from a non-EU/EFTA State. He or she may therefore only start his or her business with partners who meet the legal requirements. In addition, the company's application for a residence permit will be thoroughly reviewed. What’s more, the company must show a demonstrated economic benefit for Switzerland and create sustainable jobs. Its business income must also reach a normal average in its industry.

Value-added tax

The small business owner has budgeted for annual sales of CHF 300,000. Consequently, this limited company must be registered with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) within 30 days (Art. 66, LTVA - Federal Act on Value-Added Tax).



Do you wish to start a food production business? 
If so, follow the “Nine Steps to Setting up Your Own Business.”

Last modification 29.04.2021

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