Sole Proprietorship

Founding an Owner- Managed Company (Sole Proprietorship)

The owner-managed company (sole proprietorship) is ideal to start self-employment. While you are still employed, you can start preparations including acquisition of customers and planning of the company's activities step by step, without having to take the big step from one day to the next.

Founding an owner-managed company is, compared to the LLC and the PLC, fast, easy and the least expensive option. The sole proprietorship is particularly suitable for businesses with only one owner. This person does not have to be a resident of Switzerland, a domicile address is sufficient.

Seed Capital No seed capital required. Fees for the set-up will be charged.
Liability The owner is liable for any debts with his private assets as well as with the business
Company Name Free choice + Surname (of the owner)
Number of Founders ) 1 natural person (min. 18 years old, with capacity to act)
Taxes 1 tax return (owner and company together)
Commercial Accounting Mandatory for annual sales of CHF 500'000 or more
VAT Liability Mandatory for annual sales of CHF 100'000 or more
Social Insurance Social insurance contributions are mandatory. Individual registration with SVA.

The Founding Process

Good preparation is half the battle won! Building a company and putting it on course involves some unexpected surprises. That’s why a well-thought-out plan is needed. We support you and assume the formalities.

Choose the legal structure

Choose the legal structure and fill out the online form

First meeting at the Treuhandzentrum Zürich

First meeting at the Treuhandzentrum Zürich, free of charge

documentation processing

We’ll take care of documentation processing

Signing and certifying

Signing and certifying of documents at the notary’s office

Entry in the Commercial Register

Entry in the Commercial Register

Start now and take advantage of a free* first consultation

Have you decided to start an owner-managed company or are you still unsure about the right legal form? We will accompany you through the foundation process and beyond, just tell us your plans. We will contact you immediately after receiving your duly completed form to arrange an appointment for a free first meeting.

*The first consultation is free of charge if it leads to further cooperation. We charge for consulting or information only on a time and material basis.

Sole Proprietorship in Detail

Company Name and Commercial Register Entry
The company name must contain the surname, otherwise the name can be chosen freely. With annual sales of CHF 100'000 or more, an entry in the Commercial Register becomes mandatory. Owner-managed companies that are already registered in the Commercial Register have their names protected, so that no other business owner in the same place (political community and associated economic space) can use this name. The entry in the Commercial Register makes it possible to register additional persons entitled to sign up. .

Liability
In the event of bankruptcy, the sole proprietor is liable first and foremost with his/her business assets. If this is not sufficient, he/she is personally and unlimitedly liable with the private assets. Owner-managed companies registered in the Commercial Register are subject to debt collection procedure leading to bankruptcy proceedings.

Accounting and VAT
The obligation to maintain accounting records with balance sheet and income statement starts from annual sales of CHF 500,000. Up to this point, it is sufficient to keep a record of income, expenses and the financial situation. However, since the annual sales limit for the obligation to pay VAT is CHF 100’000, in most cases commercial accounting is carried out after this sales figure has been reached.

Social Security and Taxes
As an individual owner, registering with the compensation office of the respective canton is an important step. It decides whether self-employment is recognized. Without this confirmation of self-employment, the social security contributions must be settled through the respective client.

Those earning their main income from self-employment have the option of obtaining their pension capital from the second pillar (only if they take out capital within a year of taking up self-employment). The second pillar withdrawal triggers capital tax.

At the same time, contributions to the income compensation scheme (EO) are made with the AHV contributions. As a self-employed person, no contributions to unemployment insurance (ALV) can be made into the fund, since he or she is not entitled to unemployment benefits. Accident insurance is the individual‘s responsibility too. If no contributions are made to the pension fund (2nd pillar), 20 per cent of the net earned income can be paid to the third pillar, taking into account a cap. We are happy to inform you about the maximum amount of the purchase in the third pillar, which can be deducted in the private tax return.

Appointment for free first consultation

Benefit from our know-how: Contact us for a first meeting and get personal advice from one of our experts.

Team Startup Zentrum Zurich