Commercial Register

Entry into the Commercial Register is a requirement of establishment for some legal forms (e.g. joint-stock company, limited liability company, cooperative, foundation).

Other types of businesses (e.g.sole proprietorships, partnership, association, public law institution) generally exist without a Commercial Register entry, but are obligated from the start of business operations to enter themselves if they are running a trade, manufacturing, or other commercial type of business (Art. 934 Abs. 1 OR).

Natural persons who operate a commercial business only have to enter their sole proprietorship into the Commercial Register if they also earn a gross income of at least CHF 100,000 in one year (annual sales) (Art. 36 HRegV). Natural persons who operate a business and are not obligated to register have the right to enter their sole proprietorship into the Commercial Register.

First clarify with the Eidgenössische Amt für das Handelsregister whether the desired company name is still free. If yes, simply register your sole proprietorship or partnership. If you want to found a joint-stock company or a limited liability company, you need articles of association and must deposit the shares or equity with a bank or transfer assets to the new company. Tip: it's best to obtain advice from a fiduciary and send all documents to the Commercial Register in advance for review.