The Swiss Joint-Stock Company And Its Advantages
Joint stock companies are one of the most common forms of corporations established in Switzerland. It is abbreviated as AG which is short for Aktiengesellschaft or SA which stands for Societe Anonyme. These companies follow the rules and regulations laid down in the Articles 620 to 723 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
The minimum share capital required as an initial investment is 100,000 CHF. This share capital can comprise of bearer shares and registered shares. The minimum face value of the shares is 10 CHF. Half of the share capital must be deposited in a temporary bank account before the company is registered.
A joint stock company can be established by a minimum of one founder. At least one of the founders should be a Swiss resident. The founders do not have to be registered at the Registry Office so this helps members maintain their anonymity if they would want to.
A joint stock company is managed by a Board of Directors. A majority of the board of directors must be residents of Switzerland. It is not necessary for the Board of Directors to be shareholders in the company. An Annual General Meeting is held every year in the company to approve the annual accounts. The meetings related to the Joint Stock Company must be held within Swiss territory.
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The costs of administration for a joint stock company are comparatively high. It is necessary for the company to appoint an auditor who will issue the annual balance sheet and also make the annual financial statements available. The financial statement which detail the company’s accounts will be published if the company is listed on the stock exchange.
The shareholders in the company will not be held liable for any obligations other than their investment in the share capital.
The advantages of establishing a Swiss Joint Stock Company are:
The shareholders can remain anonymous. This helps the shareholders who do not want to reveal their identity and it can also be helpful for foreign investors who do not want to be caught in too many regulations.
When it comes to the company’s assets, the limitation of responsibility for the shareholders makes it easy for them. With limited responsibility there is less chance of the shareholders losing too much in the company.
Publishing of Financial Statements
Financial statements are published only when the company is listed on the Stock Exchange. The fact that the financial statements do not have to be published by all Joint Stock Exchanges helps the companies maintain their confidentiality in matters of finance.
A Joint Stock Company is Switzerland is considered to be an advantageous investment by many foreign investors. It is claimed that a Swiss Joint Stock company can be set up easily and the fact that it allows investors to maintain anonymity attracts many foreign investments in Joint Stock Companies in the country. These are the basics of the Swiss Joint Stock Company and the main advantages. There are a lot more details that must be considered by those who are planning an investment. Ideally a lawyer in Switzerland can be helpful in such endeavours.