Legal forms

The main legal forms of enterprises at a glance

What’s the best legal form for your company? The answer depends on a number of factors. The most important include: the capital required, the level of risk anticipated, liabilities, and the tax framework. The intended size of the business, the timeline involved, and the company’s lifecycle are also important.

Legal forms of corporations

Category

Category

Public limited company (AG)

Public limited company (AG)

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Category

Purpose

Public limited company (AG)

Commercial or non-commercial

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Commercial

Category

Founders

Public limited company (AG)

At least one shareholder

Limited liability company (GmbH)

At least one partner

Category

Capital

Public limited company (AG)

At least: CHF 100,000

(Minimum deposit:
CHF 50,000)

Limited liability company (GmbH)

At least: CHF 20,000

Capital contributions must be fully paid in.

Category

Name

Public limited company (AG)

Technical or imaginative name, legal form must be specified.

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Technical or imaginative name, addition of "GmbH" is compulsory.

Category

Liability for the company's debts

Public limited company (AG)

Exclusive liability for company assets; the only obligation for shareholders is to pay in full the share capital attributable to their shares (Liberierung).

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Exclusive liability for company assets. Optional, limited obligation to make further contributions in accordance with the Articles of Association.

The amount of the obligation for further contributions associated with a capital contribution must be defined in the Articles of Association and may not exceed twice the par value of the capital contribution. Liability only for the additional contributions associated with the respective capital contributions.

Category

Obligation to keep accounts

Public limited company (AG)

Yes

Limited liability company (GmbH)

Yes

   

The most important legal forms of partnerships

Category

Category

Collective partnerships

Collective partnerships

Sole proprietorships

Sole proprietorships

Category

Purpose

Collective partnerships

Commercial or non-commercial

Sole proprietorships

Commercial or non-commercial

Category

Founders

Collective partnerships

At least two natural persons

Sole proprietorships

Only one person

Category

Capital

Collective partnerships

No legal stipulations

Sole proprietorships

No legal stipulations

Category

Name

Collective partnerships

Family name of at least one of the partners with addition of e.g. "& Co." or "& Cie."

Sole proprietorships

Can be chosen freely; must include the family name

Category

Liability for the company's debts

Collective partnerships

Company assets, secondary personal liability of the partners on an unlimited, joint and several basis

Sole proprietorships

Business and personal assets

Category

Obligation to keep accounts

Collective partnerships

Yes, with revenues above CHF 500,000. If revenues are lower, simplified bookkeeping with listing of income, outgoings and assets

Sole proprietorships

Yes, with revenues above CHF 500,000. If revenues are lower, simplified bookkeeping with listing of income, outgoings and assets

   

Apply for an Account for Capital Deposits for an AG or GmbH

Transfer the capital deposit required by law for the foundation of a corporation to a UBS Account for Capital Deposits. Once your company has been founded, the funds will be credited to your business account.