The Swiss Confederation is a landlocked country located in Central Europe, and member of the EFTA. It borders to the north with Germany, to the west with France, to the south with Italy and to the east with Austria and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is a confederate republic of 26 states, called cantons. Bern is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country’s financial centers are located in the cities of Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Lugano. It is inhabited by more than 8 million people. Switzerland is one of the most culturally diverse European countries, home of a larger number of immigrants. It is also multilingual confederation with four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Its official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF).
Despite its lack of natural resources, Switzerland is one of the most stable, developed and prosperous countries worldwide, with a high skilled labor force, and home to some of the most important multinational corporations. Its GDP per capita is the second highest in Europe, only surpassed by Luxembourg, and the ninth worldwide.
Its most important economic activities in Switzerland are the chemical industry, medical technology, the pharmaceutical industry, the manufacture of musical and measuring instruments, real estate, financial services and tourism. The country’s main exports are medicaments, glycosides and vaccines, watches, orthopedic appliances, precious jewelry, chemicals and electronic machinery, which are renowned for their quality and innovation, ranking the first country in the Global Innovation Index (2016). Switzerland is also a large exporter of arms, ammunition and small calibers. And also known for its cheese, wine and chocolate and a mountain tourist destination.
Switzerland is also one of the largest financial centers worldwide. Swiss banks offer a wide range of offshore banking services to corporations and individuals. Historically, its policy of neutrality, without participating in any international conflict, its political and economic stability and its banking secrecy guaranteed by law, attracted foreign capital into Swiss banks. Currently, Switzerland still is one of the global leaders in Asset Management worldwide.
Switzerland also offers several tax incentives, for its incorporated companies engaging business outside the country. Profits derived from foreign branches or PE or foreign real properties and profits undistributed by foreign subsidiaries may not be subject to taxation. And in some cases a Swiss GmbH may be totally or partially exempt from cantonal and communal taxes if it is structured as a holding company or its business is mainly conducted abroad, and may be taxed at an effective tax rate between 7.83% to 11% on foreign-source remitted income.
At Flag Theory, we offer strategic locations to internationalize your life, business and personal finances to maximize your freedom, privacy and wealth. Below, you can find further information on why and how to set up a company in Switzerland, open an offshore bank account, banking and investment options and how to get residency and citizenship in the Helvetic Confederation.
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