SWITZERLAND: WORLDWIDE TRADING CENTRE
Thanks to its geographical position, political stability and well established banking tradition, Switzerland is a world leader in raw materials trading with a sector that employs 10,000 people and generates total turnover approaching 20 billion francs in transit trade. In other words, the trading sector is a centre of strategic activity for the Swiss economy, contributing 3.5% of the national GDP with more than 500 active companies.
No special authorisations are required for anyone who wants to operate in this sector, nor are there any limitations on the type of company that can be used to carry out trading activities.
The most popular legal form of company is the Società Anonima (SA), a type of public limited company that requires minimum share capital of 100,000 francs for its formation, of which only 20% or 50,000 francs must be fully paid up.
Bearing in mind that much of the business undertaken is foreign to foreign, trading companies can be considered as auxiliary companies and therefore be subject to more favourable taxation. The extensive flexibility of the “Ticino System” allows the new taxpayer to get in contact with the Tax Authority and assess their tax position, reaching an ad hoc solution by agreement between the parties.