Married entrepreneurs have to consider what the potential outcome would be for each spouse in the event of bankruptcy.
There are three types of marital property arrangements in Switzerland: joint ownership of acquired property, community of property and separation of property. They govern the ownership of property during the marriage and the way in which assets and debts are distributed in the event of divorce or death.
In the absence of a specific marriage contract, the applicable laws are those governing joint ownership of acquired property, whereby the respective marital property is clearly separated. This means that the self-employed are only liable for the company’s debts up to the value of their own assets (which includes assets and inheritances contributed during the marriage). The spouse’s assets are not included in this case. Therefore no separation of property is necessary.
If the joint ownership of acquired property arrangement is dissolved, i.e. in the event of divorce, death or a change in arrangements, each partner will receive half of the joint property belonging to their spouse. However, the spouse is not liable for debts in this case.