06.04 Swiss commercial register

06 Company Law

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The Swiss commercial register is an official database managed by the cantons (member states of Swiss Confederation): www.zefix.ch. It contains the main information on registered companies.

The register publishes a company’s legal reports and makes them transparent. By law, it is governed by the Register of Commerce Ordinance.

Some companies or institutions only come into existence when they are entered in the commercial register. For these companies the entry in the commercial register is called constitutive*. This applies to the corporation (CO 643 I), the corporation mit with limited partners (CO 764 II i.c.w. CO 643 I), the limited liability company (CO 779 I), the cooperative (CO 838 I) and the foundation (CC 52 I).

The following information is recorded in the register of commerce:

    • Sole proprietorships with an annual turnover in excess of CHF 100’000
    • General partnerships
    • Limited partnerships
    • Corporations (*constitutive)
    • Corporation with limited partners (*constitutive)
    • Limited liability companies (*constitutive)
    • Cooperatives (*constitutive)
    • Associations running a commercially managed business
    • Foundations (apart from family and religious foundations)
    • Branches of foreign and Swiss companies

The registration includes, among other items:

    • The name (corporate name)
    • The year of establishment
    • The head office and corporate purpose
    • The names of the partners, members of the board of directors, management and authorized signatories
    • The capital structure
    • Auditing body, if any

Source: Swiss Confederation, How does the trade register work?

06 Company Law