In order to establish a company in Switzerland, a minimum share capital (or "capital stock") must be provided in the early stages of incorporation. The Swiss share capital that must be submitted for forming a corporation (or public limited company) is 100,000 CHF, whereas for a limited liability a company, the amount is 20,000 Swiss francs. The share capital must be fully subscribed when the company is incorporated (or in the event of a subsequent increase of its capital). The entire amount of 100,000 CHF is not necessary to be fully paid-in in the beginning, however the payment should be made no later than during the liquidation or in the event of bankruptcy.
At least 20% of the share capital or at least 50.000 CHF (whichever has the highest value) must be deposited at the time of the first meeting of the company’s shareholders (or in the event of any capital increase after the incorporation).
According to the Swiss Code of Obligations, new share capital can be created or increased by means of ordinary, authorised or conditional capital. Regardless the type of capital, whenever the share capital is formed or increased, approval from the shareholders must be obtained.
Regarding the public limited company in Switzerland, the highest risk faced by the shareholders is the risk of losing their share capital
, in case the company files for bankruptcy. Although the formation expenses are higher for this type of legal entity
, it is popular because it provides a few advantages for small businesses in Switzerland
, in terms of liability, capital regulations and other matters.