06 July 2017 / article

This is what you need to know when you want to relocate to Switzerland

Located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is a stable and safe harbour with a highly attractive legal and tax framework. This is what you need to know when you start considering relocating your family and/or your business to Switzerland. Early planning and preparation are key to a successful residency in Switzerland.

Relocation to Switzerland

Relocating to Switzerland needs to be well-planned to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the border and after relocation. An early assessment of the legal and tax requirements should always be the first step.

The relocation to Switzerland should be driven mainly by your personal preference about where you would like to live. An experienced Swiss adviser together with an experienced moving company can assist you in a smooth relocation process, in particular with the Swiss customs authorities at time of physical immigration.

Tax in Switzerland

Switzerland offers a very competitive and advantageous tax environment to individuals and companies. International, highly-attractive income and wealth tax rates, as well as corporate income and capital tax rates, combined with responsive and customer-oriented tax authorities, offer the perfect location to work or settle in.

In general, tax free private capital gains and/or instruments like the lump-sum taxation regime can be ideally used for succession and estate planning. Combined with the fact that spouses and children are in general exempt from gift and inheritance taxes, a family business owned for generations can be smoothly transferred to the next generation.

Residence permit in Switzerland

Residence and work permits are available for EU/EFTA citizens. For non-EU/EFTA citizens residence and working permits are subject to stricter conditions, such as yearly quotas and qualification requirements. To obtain such a residence and working permit the filing of a proper and well-prepared application is required.

Housing in Switzerland

The acquisition of real estate in Switzerland by foreign citizens, i.e. EU/EFTA citizens as well as non-EU/EFTA citizens, is subject to requirements. In general, individuals with a Swiss residence permit are allowed to acquire real estate as primary residence and secondary (holiday) home without limitations (further general requirements may be applicable).

Social security and Insurance

Switzerland’s broad network of bilateral and multilateral social security agreements helps to avoid contribution payments to the social security systems of multiple countries and the fragmentation of the social security coverage.

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