Choosing the legal form for your company

A new business can have one of two forms:

Capital companies

Almost 99% of companies with which the Vaud Economic Promotion works are capital companies. Limited liability companies (Sàrls) and joint-stock limited companies (SAs) are in this class of legal form. The liability of the owners of such businesses is limited to their stake in the capital.

For Sàrl companies

The equity capital must be a minimum of CHF 20,000, fully paid-up in cash and/or in kind when the company is created. A Sàrl requires the following bodies: a meeting of partners, one or more managing directors and an independent auditor.

For SA companies

The capital must be of a minimum of CHF 100,000 when the company is constituted, and 20% of the capital to a value of at least CHF 50,000 must be paid-up by the shareholders in cash and/or in kind. An SA requires the following bodies: a general meeting, a board of directors, and an independent auditor.


The creator of a partnership and any associates only have limited liability for their assets. The cost of setting up a business of this kind is also limited. In this category of legal form, you have the choice between sole proprietorship (RI), partnership (SNC), and limited partnership.

Set-Up Guide

Establishing and Managing a Company

More information

For a detailed comparison of the legal forms available in Switzerland, please refer to the Swiss Confederation’s website.