+41 41 7605784

Company foundations in Switzerland in 2018 – barely past the record

Last year, there were 43,220 new entries in the commercial register throughout Switzerland. That was slightly less than in the record year before, but it can still be said that the economy is doing well. However, the placement of new entries is very different. The good trend could not be continued in every canton.

Strong differences between the individual cantons

If you look at the individual cantons, it quickly becomes clear how much the numbers differ. It is important in this context, however, that the percentages are not considered detached, but in conjunction with the absolute numbers. In the major regions of Eastern Switzerland, Espace Mittelland and Zurich, there were fewer new entries, while in other areas significantly more companies were founded. Central Switzerland recorded an increase of 11%, while northwestern Switzerland had just 1% and in southern Switzerland 2% new registrations. Most start-ups were in the canton of Zug with 25%. Two-digit figures could also be found in the cantons Appenzell Ausserrhoden with 18%, Uri with 16% and Glarus with 13%.


A company does not necessarily have to be founded, there is also the opportunity to buy an already established company! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us -> Contact


Popularity scale of different legal forms

For many years, the GmbH has been one of the most popular legal forms in Switzerland. After all, their share of companies is 38.5%. The individual companies are very close to a share of 32.8%. These figures come from the start-up analysis of the institute for young enterprises from last year. At 20%, the corporation is also at the top of the start-ups. Collective societies only have a share of 3%. According to the IFJ, the GmbH was able to gain 4% and in the corporation it was 2%.

Expressed in figures, between January and June 2018, there were 4439 new entries in joint-stock companies, 8550 new companies in limited liability companies and 7284 new start-ups of sole proprietorships. The collective societies have recorded an increase of 682 entries during this time. 1292 new companies were founded at various other company forms. This means that all company forms have either recorded a plus or at least the same number compared to the same period of 2017. The only exceptions are the collective companies, which have recorded a decline of 4%.

The 3 most popular legal form for company foundations in Switzerland in 2018:

  1. Limited liability company (GmbH) 38.5%
  2. Sole proprietorship 32.8%
  3. Aktiengesellschaft (AG) 20%


The economic mood is excellent

Overall, the mood among the new founders is excellent, even if there are strong regional differences. Due to the structure of the individual cantons, these distributions are not a big surprise. Most companies were founded with a share of 65.75% in German-speaking Switzerland. This corresponds to 13,762 new foundations. With a far distance follows the Romandie. The French-speaking part of Switzerland accounts for 29.18% of new start-ups, and Ticino still has 5.06% of new start-ups.

If one looks more closely at the numbers, one notices that the individual companies are still in second place after the GmbH, but have lost a little in percent in favor of the AG. The fact that the stock corporation is growing in popularity is mainly due to the nature of the liability. Public limited companies are not liable with their private assets but with their business assets.

In general, it can be concluded that the survival rates of the newly founded companies are very good. About 83% of all newly founded companies are still active one year later. Survival rates often depend on the industry. For example, companies in the health and social care sector are usually long-lived, and according to statistics, only three out of every three companies in gastronomy companies are in the third year.