The Benefits of Switzerland for International Business

Switzerland has long had the reputation of being pro-business as well as a high-quality location for international companies to open accounts. This reputation is due in part to the country’s established location and their low tax regime, making it a great place to open accounts and create holding companies that will be involved in other companies. These holding companies will manage participation in companies but won’t actually conduct any business in Switzerland.

Regulations That Apply to a Swiss Holding Company

There are a number of rules and regulations that apply to each holding company that is opened in Switzerland to make sure that it is legal. One of the conditions that the company must meet is that it doesn’t have any commercial activities in Switzerland. The only exception to this is long-term asset management of the same company. In addition, the company has to own at least 2 million dollars or one-fifth of outstanding assets from other companies.

Benefits of a Holding Company

There are a number of tax benefits that you can enjoy if you open a Swiss holding company. The tax rate that you have will be determined in part by the company’s income as well as investments in foreign companies. This results in profits, interest income, and dividends all being exempt from tax payments. These are only exempt as long as the holding company meets certain conditions, including the valuation of the members.

Other Advantages

The most obvious advantage of a holding company in Switzerland is the tax break that you will enjoy, but there are other advantages as well, including no withholding tax. This applies to royalty payments made by Swiss companies, but can translate into large savings. These companies have a way to reclaim tax that they have paid relating to a sale of investments within the holding. VAT refunds are a great way for holding companies to save even more money.

Characteristics of Holding Companies

These companies have to have at least 10% of their shares with voting rights attached to them. This percentage was recently dropped from 20% to encourage more investors to open these holding companies. In addition, these holding companies do not have a minimum holding period. Members of these holding companies usually have two-thirds or more of their assets and income coming from their participation in the company.

If you are thinking about opening a holding company in Switzerland it is important that you understand exactly what they are and how they operate. These legal entities are usually joint stock companies or limited liability companies and work by buying shares of other companies. These companies may be international or local, depending on your preference. Talking to a tax advisor is a great first step before opening a holding company in Switzerland.