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Old 02.12.2018, 09:17
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Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or employees

Hi,

I'm helping a colleague setup a GmbH to transfer an already successful and active online business from another country. My main concern is being able to get a bank account with one of the top-tier Swiss banks (UBS, CS, JPG) and I remember reading that they have some strict requirements. The issues that I'm concerned the banks will have with us is:
1. We will have a nominee director (as the sole director is not CH resident)
2. No physical office in Switzerland since its an online operation
3. No employees in Switzerland, all staff are contractors from a dozen or so different countries.

The company is very active and profitable. Can anyone comment on the difficulty they see in us being able to get a bank account with a top-tier bank?

Thank you.
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Old 02.12.2018, 09:26
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

I doubt anyone will want your business, especially top tier banks.

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Hi,

I'm helping a colleague setup a GmbH to transfer an already successful and active online business from another country. My main concern is being able to get a bank account with one of the top-tier Swiss banks (UBS, CS, JPG) and I remember reading that they have some strict requirements. The issues that I'm concerned the banks will have with us is:
1. We will have a nominee director (as the sole director is not CH resident)
2. No physical office in Switzerland since its an online operation
3. No employees in Switzerland, all staff are contractors from a dozen or so different countries.

The company is very active and profitable. Can anyone comment on the difficulty they see in us being able to get a bank account with a top-tier bank?

Thank you.
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Old 02.12.2018, 09:34
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

No presence in Switzerland is a big obstacle. Why Switzerland?
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Old 02.12.2018, 09:43
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

Well its Zug specifically and because of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), low taxes and a lot of similar tech companies being there.
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Old 02.12.2018, 09:44
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

So the very definition of dodginess and you wonder why?
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Old 02.12.2018, 10:20
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

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So the very definition of dodginess and you wonder why?
Sorry I'm not following. Do you mean because the company is involved in the crypto space?
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Old 02.12.2018, 10:30
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

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Well its Zug specifically and because of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), low taxes and a lot of similar tech companies being there.

Companies in CH join trade associations for advice. The answer to your question might be available from Crypto Valley Association.

Also, is JPM meant by JPG above? JPM in CH, to the best of my knowledge, is an asset-management bank rather than a commercial bank.
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Old 02.12.2018, 10:47
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

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Sorry I'm not following. Do you mean because the company is involved in the crypto space?
Although the crypto space is fraught with frauds, no I didn't mean because of that. The dodginess part I meant is the fact that you are trying to move your business to a low-tax region without establishing any real presence so no accountability.


You'll find the Swiss are long past those practices and are cracking down on this. By law you'll be required to have X amount of employees here if you want to open up shop, go through all the legal prerequisites etc.


This isn't Jersey or Malta where authorities look the other way. At least not anymore. I would get yourself some legal advice about how to setup in Switzerland instead of relying on strangers on a forum to guide your business decisions.


The CVA would be a good starting point. The local authorities of the kanton would be another. Hope that helps.
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Old 02.12.2018, 10:49
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Thank you. Sorry my mistake, I was referring to JBP - Julius Baer Group. I just pulled tthese examples from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...er_Swiss_banks

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Although the crypto space is fraught with frauds, no I didn't mean because of that. The dodginess part I meant is the fact that you are trying to move your business to a low-tax region without establishing any real presence so no accountability.


You'll find the Swiss are long past those practices and are cracking down on this. By law you'll be required to have X amount of employees here if you want to open up shop, go through all the legal prerequisites etc.


This isn't Jersey or Malta where authorities look the other way. At least not anymore. I would get yourself some legal advice about how to setup in Switzerland instead of relying on strangers on a forum to guide your business decisions.


The CVA would be a good starting point. The local authorities of the kanton would be another. Hope that helps.
Thanks I really appreciate this advice and definitely will be getting legal advice throughout the process, right now I'm just trying to establish viability but I get that these questions are better directed at an association or lawyer. I do however have one very honest question about physical presence and lack of accountability - This business like so many other online business requires no physical offices and has a distributed (remote) workforce. This was always seen as a competitive advantage as it lowered costs and its hard to see a future where companies don't move more towards this model. Why is it automatically a sign of a dodgy business? I understand that it could be a bad signal but it appears that you're saying its an automatic disqualifier regardless of the business operation.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.12.2018 at 14:20. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:03
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

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Thanks I really appreciate this advice and definitely will be getting legal advice throughout the process, right now I'm just trying to establish viability but I get that these questions are better directed at an association or lawyer. I do however have one very honest question about physical presence and lack of accountability - This business like so many other online business requires no physical offices and has a distributed (remote) workforce. This was always seen as a competitive advantage as it lowered costs and its hard to see a future where companies don't move more towards this model. Why is it automatically a sign of a dodgy business? I understand that it could be a bad signal but it appears that you're saying its an automatic disqualifier regardless of the business operation.
Switzerland is not the place for your 'business', I don't think any Bank in Malta would except your business now, SATA probably would have done but has lost its banking license due to failures in identifying clients & money laundering rules.

Why you are proposing is tax evasion, not tax avoidance, there are very few places who are interested in this sort of business.
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:05
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

I am not saying it, the Swiss government is. I know plenty of examples where companies are required to show present of X employees before allowed to reside here.


The EU has been very specific about tax havens. All the crypto companies in Zug are actually based here and have personnel, I am not aware of any that exist only in paper.


Online as a competitive advantage is fine, as long as you were for example also resident here and had the company in your name.


These companies enjoy certain tax breaks and benefits which come out of my salary as an full time employee and resident here. Why should I fund your online business with my hard earned money when you don't intend to give anything back in this country? (I'm not Swiss btw but live and work here)


Just as an example, I think the first million in profits is tax-free for cryptos. They also get other tax incentives etc, they have sandboxes from FINMA etc


I hope now you get the point why it's not just open to everyone.
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:13
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

FREE PIECE OF ADVICE


Forget it, none of the banks top tier, middle tier, bottom tier, even lower than bottom tier will touch you !


Due diligence is expensive, unless you can bring physically no less than $30 mio, plus a good business plan showing growth, past and present they have less than zero interest in you.


You need to find a nominee director which i presume is your lawyer/accountant who will charge you handsomely for the service, they will also baulk at ANYTHING that even has the slightest whiff of bullshit as they are utimately responsible for the company and the associated problems.


Their is a way around this problem, but it cost me a lot of money to find it and to get it to work, and it does work, but it's far from free of charge.
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Old 02.12.2018, 14:01
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Re: Top-tier bank account for GmbH with nominee director, no physical office or emplo

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I do however have one very honest question about physical presence and lack of accountability - This business like so many other online business requires no physical offices and has a distributed (remote) workforce. This was always seen as a competitive advantage as it lowered costs and its hard to see a future where companies don't move more towards this model. Why is it automatically a sign of a dodgy business? I understand that it could be a bad signal but it appears that you're saying its an automatic disqualifier regardless of the business operation.
To be brutally honest, from your posts you have neither the experience nor the knowledge to do this job. advice your friend to get proper professional advice.
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