Switzerland

QUICK FACTS

Location : Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

Capital : Bern

Total Area : 41,277 sq km

8,179,294 (July 2016 est.)

Population distribution: population distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement

Languages :
German (official) 63.5%, French (official) 22.5%, Italian (official) 8.1%, English 4.4%, Portuguese 3.4%, Albanian 3.1%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Spanish 2.2%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 6.6%

German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main language (2013 est.)

Religion : Roman Catholic 38.2%, Protestant 26.9%, other Christian 5.6%, Muslim 5%, other 1.6%, none 21.4%, unspecified 1.3% (2013 est.)

Ethnic groups : German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%

Government type : federal republic (formally a confederation)

GDP – per capita : $59,400 (2016 est.)

Climate : temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Legal system : civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character

Unemployment rate : 3.4% (2016 est.)

Visa free countries : 172 (2016)

Overview of the country – geographical Situation, accessibility

Flag of Switzerland

Internationally renowned, Switzerland is a small country, strategically located in the heart of Europe. Because of its excellent infrastructure, Switzerland has an undeniable interest for people wishing to invest or obtain a right of residence. Composed of 26 cantons having their own taxation, Switzerland is one of the most attractive countries, both to live there and to invest there. Over the last few decades, Switzerland owed its demographic growth mainly to immigration, which implies a developed integration policy.

 

Rate of tax system on the physical persons living in the country

In some Swiss cantons there is a tax package, which means that tax residents in Switzerland can opt for this privileged status. According to the canton chosen, this flat rate is negotiated and can vary between 150,000 and 200,000 Swiss francs, Geneva being the canton at the highest cost.

Individuals residing in Switzerland, benefiting from a negotiated tax package, enjoy a preserved confidentiality as to the extent of their global assets and their income.

Concerning corporate tax, there are two types of taxation: federal and cantonal, which vary between 12 and 20%, according to the geographical situation of the company. A participating holding company can be completely exempt from cantonal tax and the federal tax does not exceed 7.83% on dividends.

The standard VAT rate for Switzerland is 8%.

It is clear that a thorough study is necessary before any expatriation.

Physical and legal Security of the country

Switzerland is a country of great political and military neutrality, which makes it a prominent place in the peace processes around the world. Having refused to belong to Europe, it retains its independence, while being a member of the Schengen area. Switzerland is a federation with a direct democracy. It is a politically and legally stable country.

Programs of economic investments set up by the government of the country host, with new residents

The promotion of the country is a major element of Swiss economic policy. It is carried out in close collaboration with the economic players and the cantons. In a program “Switzerland: Promotion of Trade and Investment”, activities to promote foreign investment in Switzerland are organized and coordinated at the request of the Confederation.

The mission of the cantonal economic promotion services is to present the advantages of an establishment in their canton, to manage contacts with potential investors, to submit concrete offers to set up and organize, through regional bodies and municipalities, the supervision of investors on the spot, even after the investment has been made.

Quality of Life

With a very high per capita GDP, ranked 4th in the world, Switzerland is a country, with a Christian majority, where life is good. English is spoken and used, most of the time, in business and professional circles. The Swiss architects have a reputation worldwide known for the originality and high quality finish of their constructions for domestic use and other buildings.

Countries for which visas are not necessary any more

As a member of the Schengen area, Switzerland offers its residents visa-free access to many countries in Europe.