In this article, we’ll share how to open a business bank account in Switzerland. This will include account opening for operating entities registered in Switzerland, foreign jurisdictions, and offshore.
That said, business banking options in Switzerland depend on the operations of your business, where your business is registered, where it operates from, and several other key factors. In this article, we’re going to help you navigate each of these factors and start the process of opening a Swiss bank account for your entity.
This article is part of our free series on how to open a bank account in Switzerland, which you can access by clicking here right now.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- How to Open a Business Bank Account in Switzerland
- Can a Foreign Open a Business Bank Account in Switzerland?
- Benefits of Business Banking in Switzerland
- Frequently Asked Swiss Banking Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Swiss Bank Accounts?
How to Open a Business Bank Account in Switzerland
A business bank account in Switzerland is a viable option for businesses looking to access private banking services beyond a standard transactional account. That said, opening Swiss business bank accounts requires overcoming strict onboarding procedures, making significant qualifying deposits, and meeting specific requirements.
With this in mind, Switzerland may be a suitable option for foreign and offshore companies looking to tap into specific private banking services. However, very few Swiss banks accept foreign or offshore companies. So, it’s important to know which banks to approach before applying.
Of course, each bank in Switzerland has its own account opening procedures, document requirements, and deposit requirements that each business will need to meet. Additionally, it’s important to note that the opening procedures, deposits, and other costs for banking in Switzerland will vary depending on the type of company applying for an account.
That said, to successfully open an offshore bank account in Switzerland, foreign businesses will need to make a qualifying deposit that reflects the type of banking services they are trying to access. Of course, deposits can vary between banks. Though, most non-resident companies will need to make an initial deposit between US $500,000 and US $3,000,000.
Additionally, specific documents are often a requirement for foreign businesses. These documents include both business documentation and personal documentation. Business documentation includes company financial statements, bank reference letters, proof of address, and active contracts. On the other hand, personal documentation typically includes government-issued identification for all owners and directors, and in certain cases, it also includes proof of address or residency.
In the following sections of the article, we’ll share how you can find banks in Switzerland that actively accept foreign businesses and those that allow remote opening.
Do You Want Our Free Business Banking Guide?
Get our Free Business Banking Starter Guide when you join our newsletter.
Can a Foreigner Open a Business Bank Account in Switzerland?
Yes, a foreigner can open a business bank account in Switzerland. However, not all banks in Switzerland accept non-resident companies. And, of the banks that do, most of them have difficult business and personal bank account opening requirements that need to be met.
This is why it’s crucial to also understand the account opening process, required documents, and the qualifying deposit levels before approaching a bank. In fact, bank selection is the most important step in successfully opening a business bank account in Switzerland. That said, depending on the type of business you have, there could be risks of banking in Switzerland you may need to consider, which you can learn more about by clicking here and accessing our free guide.
So, let’s take a closer look at the types of clients who can open business bank accounts in Switzerland.
Clients That Can Open Switzerland Corporate Bank Accounts
- Companies with complex international structures
- Companies with international & cross-border clients
- Foreign entities looking for private banking
- Offshore companies
- Swiss companies
Of course, it is worth noting again that each bank in Switzerland will have its own onboarding process and specific entities and business activities that they accept. With this in mind, it’s important to confirm whether each bank’s requirements match your company before applying to open an account. This is especially true if you require an account to send money to Switzerland since some banks here may have restrictions on how money can be received.
Unfortunately, accessing this level of information is extremely difficult. In fact, even when contacting banks, many bankers are unaware of the compliance requirements and restrictions that applicants may face. Not to mention the struggle of getting bankers to respond to you in a timely manner.
That said, if you have Swiss financial obligations, a requirement to bank in Swiss Francs, the official currency of Switzerland, or own property in Switzerland, then opening a Swiss bank account may be a suitable option.
To help you with this, our team shares actionable bank intelligence in our GlobalBanks IQ Database, including specific requirements, account opening procedures, and more for top banks in Switzerland and abroad.
Benefits of Business Banking in Switzerland
The benefits of business banking in Switzerland ultimately depend on your specific business profile and the corporate banking services your company requires. In other words, the industry you operate in, where your business is located, why you want to bank in Switzerland, and any additional corporate banking services your business requires.
Of course, not all banks in Switzerland offer the same corporate banking services and benefits. So, it’s important to consider the exact benefits you are looking for prior to applying for a Swiss corporate account.
You can do this by using the information available in the GlobalBanks IQ Database or by accessing bank-specific information from our advanced international banking reports.
Here is a look at some of the benefits that attract business owners to Switzerland in the first place.
Benefits of Business Bank Accounts in Switzerland
- Access to stable and financially sound banks
- Private banking and financial services
- Access to a wide range of international investment products
- Accessible online banking services
- Attractive corporate banking services
- Banks with strong correspondent relationships
- And much more…
Frequently Asked Swiss Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring how to open a business bank account in Switzerland. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
How Do I Open a Business Bank Account in Switzerland?
To open a bank account in Switzerland, you will need to meet the bank account opening requirements. These requirements may include account application forms, proof of identification of all shareholders, company financial statements, bank reference letters, professional reference letters, qualifying deposits, and more.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Switzerland?
Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Switzerland. This is true whether a foreigner is looking to open a personal, business, offshore, private, or wealth management account. That said, each Swiss bank will have its own acceptance criteria, and not all foreigners will be eligible to open with every bank. So, it’s important to know which banks and bankers to approach before applying.
Can a US Company Open a Bank Account in Switzerland?
Yes, a US company can open a bank account in Switzerland. However, it is extremely rare for a US company to do so, and only a very select few banks will consider opening an account. With this in mind, bank selection is critical. Likewise, the US company needs to be able (and willing) to make a significant deposit in order to incentivize the bank to take on the additional compliance and due diligence costs of opening and managing the account.
How Much Money Do You Need to Open a Swiss Bank Account?
How much money you need to open a Swiss bank account ultimately depends on your residency, the bank, and banking services you’re after. Generally speaking, if you’re looking to unlock top-tier benefits you’ll be expected to deposit at least US $1,000,000. However, if you’re looking to tap into Swiss private banking services, you’ll likely need to deposit as much as US $3,000,000.
Do You Want Help Opening Swiss Bank Accounts?
If so, you can get access to GlobalBanks IQ in just a few clicks.
GlobalBanks IQ is our flagship international bank account opening solution. It gives you instant access to the…
+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why
+ Step-by-step reports to open bank accounts in the best banking hubs
+ GlobalBanks international bank database & detailed bank profiles
+ Tried & tested banks for high-risk, offshore, & non-resident clients
+ Plus, get YOUR most pressing bank account opening questions answered by our team!
And “yes!” GlobalBanks IQ helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.
In fact, GlobalBanks IQ even helps non-resident, foreign & offshore entities open bank accounts.
To learn more about opening accounts with GlobalBanks IQ, just click here now. Or, contact us directly with any questions!