SME policy: Simplifying administration

Front view of a man working at his desk

Excessive bureaucracy slows down companies. Switzerland is trying to reduce administrative burden through a series of initiatives.

Authorizations, forms, supporting documents—excessive bureaucracy creates extra hassle for companies. To avoid slowing down economic growth, Switzerland is working to reduce the administrative burden for SMEs as much as possible. This strategy was introduced years ago and has paid off so far. Switzerland is now one of the countries with the lowest administrative burden in the world, as shown in the studies on the following page:

But Switzerland is not resting on its laurels. Reducing administrative burden is one of its ongoing missions, especially as many other countries are constantly improving their performance. Certain formalities in Switzerland are still too cumbersome for companies. Plus, e-governance—services for completing administrative formalities electronically—could be expanded further. E-governance plays a key role in Switzerland's policy to support SMEs and is presented on the following page:

Switzerland has introduced a range of measures to reduce the administrative burden for SMEs, such as:

  • An area-based component: These are measures to reduce administrative burden in a number of areas identified as problematic for companies.
  • An institutional component: These are committees whose main goal is to find ways to reduce the administrative burden.
  • A tools component: These are tools developed to help identify sources of administrative burden and prevent measures that would make it more cumbersome.

These three components are explained in greater detail in the following sub-sections.

Priority areas

On September 2, 2015, the Swiss Federal Council approved 31 new measures to reduce the administrative burden for companies and make them more competitive in a context marked by a strong Swiss franc. The priority areas include electronic payment of VAT, simplification of customs procedures and creation of a single point of contact for administrative formalities. These measures are in addition to some twenty others proposed in 2011, three-quarters of which have already been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

Tools and committees for reducing the administrative burden

The Federal Council has created a number of tools and committees to simplify formalities involving public administration. Here is an overview.


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Last modification 18.07.2018

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