Figures on SMEs: Closing of companies

Establishing a company also involves running the risk of failure. After a few years, some entrepreneurs are forced to shut down.

According to the FSO Business demography statistics, the average survival rate of new businesses in Switzerland is 83.7% after a year of existence. Thus, nearly 33,000 companies created ‘ex-nihilo’ in 2018 were still active in 2019.

If we look at companies created in 2014, the survival chances are one year and is slightly higher in the secondary sector: 82.6% survived in 2015 compared to 82.3% in the tertiary sector. Businesses in the tertiary sector show a survival rate of 68.8% in 2016 compared to 69.5% in the secondary sector. After three years of existence, the trend is reversed: 59.7% in the tertiary sector and 59.4% in the secondary one. After five years of existence, these values reach 47.9% in the tertiary sector and 47.1% in the secondary sector.

FSO, Statistics on business demography 2014-2019 (next publication: December 2022)


In 2021, 14,081 cases filing for corporate and personal bankruptcy proceedings were recorded under the Federal Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act (LP), i.e., 1,169 cases more than in 2020 (+9.1%).


Last modification 24.10.2022

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