Success tips when doing business in Switzerland
Healy Consultants recommends the following points to all our Clients engaging in a Switzerland company setup:
- The Client should prepare a comprehensive business formation plan which includes i) an extensive market study ii) an evaluation of competitors and iii) a complete feasibility study of the plan;
- The Client must perform a detailed study of the sector where he/she is planning to setup the business; this will optimize your work productivity;
- The Client should try and learn the local language (German) because it is the lingua franca and so, important for building a business network;
- The Client must have a website in the German language; this will be an efficient marketing tool;
- Prior to business setup, the Client must have a proper exit strategy in order to map out potential accomplishments for the future. This will help the firm manage its finances efficiently;
- It is important that the Client communicate with us regarding any problems that he/she faces; our experts regularly help young businesses succeed in foreign countries.
Switzerland office culture tends towards conservatism and remains largely ethnocentric (inclination towards one’s own cultural group); a cautious attitude, therefore, exists. So, we feel it is important prepare oneself and these are our suggestions:
- You must make appointments, even, for social meetings; you must always be punctual;
- You should dress well but remain understated. Ostentatious dresses will not be well received;
- You should refrain from asking personal questions. Questions about occupation, age, religion etc. must not be brought up in an official setting;
- Swiss society is unusually formal. People must be addressed by their professional titles unless requested otherwise;
- Business entertainment is mostly done in restaurants and lunch meetings are more common than breakfast ones;
- Gifts should only be exchanged after the successful conclusion of negotiations; if done before, it will be perceived as bribery or flattery;
- You must inquire about the English-language proficiency of a business man beforehand; an interpreter must be arranged to increase efficiency;
- Generally, Swiss people don’t enter into personal relationships easily. However, you must still try and build some rapport; it will help build a business network;
- In Swiss business culture, there is a reluctance to take risks; you will be expected to provide substantial information before any consensus is reached;
- Office culture has a deeply entrenched and rigid hierarchy; respect for seniors is the only way to be successful;
- The Swiss are highly reliable and efficient in their business dealings; so always remember to put your best foot forward.
Interesting facts about Switzerland
- Switzerland has no national language, flower, animal or motto;
- Switzerland has four national languages – German, Italian, French and Romansh;
- Switzerland has the 9th highest GDP per capita in the world;
- President of Switzerland is elected only for a one year period;
- Switzerland is a direct democracy; if people don’t like a law, they can simply put it to a national vote;
- Switzerland has an anti-powerpoint political party; It is dedicated to decreasing official use of Powerpoint presentations;
- Voting rights for all women in Switzerland did not exist until 1990;
- Switzerland has such a strong history of political neutrality that it only joined the UN in 2002;
- In 2007, Switzerland accidently invaded Lichtenstein when 170 Swiss soldiers got lost during a training exercise and ended up crossing the border;
- Switzerland, currently, has more than 250,000 nuclear bomb shelters; all citizens are required by law to have access to one;
- Red Cross was formed in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland; the flag of Red Cross is an inverted Swiss flag;
- Switzerland has a rich history of watch making; wrist watches were invented in the country in 1755. The oldest watch maker in the world is also a Swiss company Vacheron Constantin;
- There are so many lakes in Switzerland that you can never be more than 10 miles away from a lake;
- Lake Geneva has had more than 40 ship wrecks and the ships can still be seen underwater;
- In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow a lawn dressed as Elvis Presley;
- Swiss people consume the largest amounts of chocolate annually (about 23 lbs).
Frequently asked questions
How many directors are required for starting a business in Switzerland?Only 1 director is required when registering a company in Switzerland.
How many shareholders are required for registering a company in Switzerland?Only 1 shareholder is required for business registration in Switzerland.
Is it mandatory to have a resident director or shareholder for Company Registration in Switzerland?Both Switzerland LLC and AG must appoint a resident director. However, only an AG is mandated to have a majority of its shareholders as Swiss residents. As company registration agents, Healy Consultants will provide our Clients with this nominee director or shareholder service for €8,500 per annum.