The formation of a sole proprietorship is uncomplicated and does not require any minimum contributions. Sole proprietorships are companies without their own legal personality. Many new entrepreneurs who set up a micro or small company choose this legal form for the beginning.
It is the most popular legal form in Switzerland: with a LLC, the personal liability of the shareholders can be excluded. The amount of liability is limited to the share capital. A LLC is a company with its own legal personality in which one or more persons form their own company. Each shareholder is liable up to the amount of his registered share capital.
Personal liability can be excluded with a public limited company. In addition, it enjoys a very good reputation among the public. A joint-stock company is a company with its own legal personality for whose liabilities only the company's assets are liable.
If you wish to establish a company together with a partner, the general partnership can be the appropriate legal form. As with a sole proprietorship, no minimum contribution is required. A general partnership is a company in which two or more natural persons form a joint company for the purpose of commercial activity.
The foundation of an association is uncomplicated and requires no minimum contributions. The association is a legal entity. An association that commercially operates a trade and / or is subject to auditing must register in the commercial register. Associations, which dedicate themselves to a political, religious, scientific, artistic, charitable, sociable or other non-economic task, are not obliged to do so. However, the statutes must in any case be available in writing and provide information about the purpose of the association, its means and its organisation.
The establishment of a branch is straightforward and does not require any minimum deposits. The branch is a commercially run enterprise which is legally part of a principal enterprise on which it depends. The branch carries on a similar activity to the main company in its own premises and enjoys a certain degree of economic autonomy.
With the establishment of a foundation, assets are made independent for a specific purpose. This means that it no longer belongs to the founder but to the foundation for a fixed period of time. The foundation is a legal entity chaired by the Board of Trustees. The foundation is established by a notarial deed or a will. With the exception of the family foundation and the church foundation, the foundation must be registered in the commercial register.
A cooperative focuses on the idea of promotion and economic self-help. The cooperative is also suitable for pursuing an entrepreneurial activity. The cooperative's «inner» corporate values, such as a clearly defined right of co-determination, speak in favour of the principle of the head vote and direct democracy. At least seven persons are required to found a cooperative, whereby the administration must consist of at least three members.
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