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Old 04.09.2009, 11:17
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Own company with NON EU B Permit

Hi

Recently I've read somewhere that as of 2008, B permit holders (EU or NON EU) can have their own companies or become a shareholder of a company in Switzerland.

I am currently in the process of founding a company where I will get around 33% share along with two other partners whom are from England and Germany. So everyone gets 1/3 each.

Before knocking on Migrationsamt doors (or arbeitsamt I suppose), does anyone know how this process works for a NON EU B permit holder? We are even expecting to make a shareholder agerement as soon as in the next 2 weeks.. Do I need to get permission first before signing the agreement? How long does it take to get permission to be a partner for swiss company? What are the requirements?

Ofcourse, I am not just being lazy and asking these questions here without doing my own research. I'd just apprecaite very much any feedback while I am working on this case.

Regards
Baris
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Old 04.09.2009, 13:22
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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Hi

Recently I've read somewhere that as of 2008, B permit holders (EU or NON EU) can have their own companies or become a shareholder of a company in Switzerland.

I am currently in the process of founding a company where I will get around 33% share along with two other partners whom are from England and Germany. So everyone gets 1/3 each.

Before knocking on Migrationsamt doors (or arbeitsamt I suppose), does anyone know how this process works for a NON EU B permit holder? We are even expecting to make a shareholder agreement as soon as in the next 2 weeks.. Do I need to get permission first before signing the agreement? How long does it take to get permission to be a partner for swiss company? What are the requirements?

Ofcourse, I am not just being lazy and asking these questions here without doing my own research. I'd just apprecaite very much any feedback while I am working on this case.

Regards
Baris
The answer to your direct question is here: http://www.mon-entreprise.ch/ressortissant-hors-ue.html and elsewhere on that site.

But your question doesn't go far enough. The fact is that ANYONE can seek authorisation for a foreign company to do business in Switzerland and any national of a country with a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with Switzerland can start a firm or open a branch of a firm from his or her own country.

But such authorisation does not give permission to work in Switzerland, only to invest. And since starting an enterprise in Switzerland requires various permits even for a Swiss or EU citizen, there are still bureaucratic hurdles. But the commercial attaché of your country can help. (That was, once upon a time, my profession.)

Now, for an EU company -- typically an English company registered at Companies House -- opening a branch or subsidiary in Switzerland should be trivial. And if a third-country national has the right to live and work in an EU country, then under the Rush Portuguesa (a European Court of Justice case, you can Google it) that person can be sent to Switzerland to work for up to one year. (I have not reviewed Swiss practice in this area, but EU law firmly includes that right -- part of the "acquis" -- and it should be applied in Switzerland as well (subject to implementation of the Feb. 2009 vote).)

In short: it should not be the ownership which is in question so much as the rights devolving from that ownership. And the answer depends on your country's treaty status with Switzerland if domestic law is not more favourable.
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  #3  
Old 04.09.2009, 14:20
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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The fact is that ANYONE can seek authorisation for a foreign company to do business in Switzerland and any national of a country with a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with Switzerland can start a firm or open a branch of a firm from his or her own country.

But such authorisation does not give permission to work in Switzerland, only to invest.
Well, that's not exactly correct, EU or non-EU...
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Old 04.09.2009, 14:29
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Well, that's not exactly correct, EU or non-EU...
The operative term is "seek".

Approval will come in due course if the nature of the firm is consistent with Swiss law including treaty law.

Discretion is limited to areas of what might be called "lawful monopoly" or "lawful cartel".

This being my former line of work I try to be careful with language. Watch the "weasel words" because they mean a lot.
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Old 04.09.2009, 14:52
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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The operative term is "seek".

Approval will come in due course if the nature of the firm is consistent with Swiss law including treaty law.

Discretion is limited to areas of what might be called "lawful monopoly" or "lawful cartel".

This being my former line of work I try to be careful with language. Watch the "weasel words" because they mean a lot.
The operative terms are contained within art. 19 Aliens' Law (which in practice amounts to the contrary of "But such authorisation does not give permission to work in Switzerland, only to invest".)

You might also want to take note that your reference site is outdated. You should have noticed this going no further than paragraph two.
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Old 04.09.2009, 17:20
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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The operative terms are contained within art. 19 Aliens' Law (which in practice amounts to the contrary of "But such authorisation does not give permission to work in Switzerland, only to invest".)

You might also want to take note that your reference site is outdated. You should have noticed this going no further than paragraph two.
You seem not to have understood what I wrote. When I said, perhaps too much in Legalese for you to get the point, that "the operative term is 'seek'" means that anyone can seek anything. It's a tautology, not a point you or anyone else can argue with. Whether the request will be granted depends on treaty law more than on the Aliens Law. The right to portfolio investment, and under certain circumstances to live and work in a country to manage that investment, is guaranteed under treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation. It is one of the tasks of an embassy to seek redress when and if its citizens are denied guarantees against discrimination enshrined in such a treaty. I suspect that discrimination is rare in Switzerland, although like most OECD countries they will be aware of fraudulent use of treaties -- typically investment and tax treaties -- to gain undeserved advantage. (This usually means that investments are directed via a convenient third country in order to take advantage of treaty benefits not otherwise available.)

What else Switzerland or any other country chooses to do about admitting aliens to invest and/or work is up to them. I did not address that point. If I had, as always I would have provided a link to the law or the explanation.

If anything I posted is obsolete I'm sorry. If it's a nongovernmental site then one should complain to them. I'm not about to bother unless it is incidental to a project I am working on professionally. Perhaps you are professionally involved in inward investment in which case I should defer to you. I have not had governmental responsibility in this area in a number of years, since my retirement. I wouldn't have bothered commenting in this thread if I had not once had some involvement in US practice in the matter of investment treaties. (I was, briefly, acting commercial attaché in Bern, but unsurprisingly the issue never came up there.)

For what it's worth, if one wants to encourage qualified professionals to take the time to answer questions in a forum one ought to be gentle with them in disagreement or in signalling error.

Last edited by andy02; 04.09.2009 at 17:40.
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Old 04.09.2009, 18:00
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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For what it's worth, if one wants to encourage qualified professionals to take the time to answer questions in a forum one ought to be gentle with them in disagreement or in signalling error.
The problem here is you have assumed the OP meant to ask another question which, were I the op, I would find a little patronising. You've gone off on a slightly different topic about which you obviously know quite a bit but which, imo, helps the op not one iota if he/she could be bothered to read it.

The question is about ownership. The other unasked questions which you answered may well have come later but for now, the answer to the op's question is "yes".
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Old 04.09.2009, 18:23
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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For what it's worth, if one wants to encourage qualified professionals to take the time to answer questions in a forum one ought to be gentle with them in disagreement or in signalling error.
So in the future you're going to be gentle with me if I get that right...
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Old 04.09.2009, 19:07
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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Hi

Recently I've read somewhere that as of 2008, B permit holders (EU or NON EU) can have their own companies or become a shareholder of a company in Switzerland.

I am currently in the process of founding a company where I will get around 33% share along with two other partners whom are from England and Germany. So everyone gets 1/3 each.

Before knocking on Migrationsamt doors (or arbeitsamt I suppose), does anyone know how this process works for a NON EU B permit holder? We are even expecting to make a shareholder agerement as soon as in the next 2 weeks.. Do I need to get permission first before signing the agreement? How long does it take to get permission to be a partner for swiss company? What are the requirements?

Ofcourse, I am not just being lazy and asking these questions here without doing my own research. I'd just apprecaite very much any feedback while I am working on this case.

Regards
Baris
Are your EU partners resident in Switzerland?
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  #10  
Old 04.09.2009, 20:54
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

we are three shareholders.
actually..
20% will be owned by a CH company
40% by a UK citizen, living in CH with a C permit
40% me.. non EU B permit living in Switzerland. (b permit is due to my other employer which is a bank).

so I am just curious, if I am allowed to be a shareholder of a CH company with my non EU B permit that is given due to my other regular job.
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Old 04.09.2009, 21:00
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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we are three shareholders.
actually..
20% will be owned by a CH company
40% by a UK citizen, living in CH with a C permit
40% me.. non EU B permit living in Switzerland. (b permit is due to my other employer which is a bank).

so I am just curious, if I am allowed to be a shareholder of a CH company with my non EU B permit that is given due to my other regular job.
Yes, from the perspective of the Swiss authorities.

However, check with your employer - some banks have an exclusivity clause whereby their employees are not allowed to have an interest is a company as it may lead to a conflict of interest.
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Old 04.09.2009, 22:30
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Re: Own company with NON EU B Permit

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we are three shareholders.
actually..
20% will be owned by a CH company
40% by a UK citizen, living in CH with a C permit
40% me.. non EU B permit living in Switzerland. (b permit is due to my other employer which is a bank).

so I am just curious, if I am allowed to be a shareholder of a CH company with my non EU B permit that is given due to my other regular job.
Law requires 1 of the partners to be a legal Swiss resident. Others can live anywhere and need no Swiss permits. None need be Swiss.

So there is no obstacle for the Registrar of Companies to register you as co-owner.
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