Launching a fintech startup: Why launch a fintech project in Switzerland?

Switzerland, one of the most stable countries in the world, offers a perfect environment for fintech projects. This…

Switzerland, one of the most stable countries in the world, offers a perfect environment for fintech projects. This jurisdiction is chosen by many successful entrepreneurs to launch their fintech startups. This new article is about the fintech project launching process in Switzerland and covers all the advantages and pitfalls of this jurisdiction.

Why is Switzerland so appealing for fintech projects?

Switzerland is known for its consistent legal and political framework. According to statistics, 10% of European fintech businesses today are based in Switzerland, predominantly in Zurich.

Switzerland’s benefits include:

  • Low corporate taxes;
  • Attractive “sandbox” license for fintech startups;
  • Multiple double taxation treaties.

Fintech industry growth in Switzerland would be impossible without the active involvement of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA.

Low taxes

The federal corporate tax rate is 8.5%. One should keep in mind that each canton (administrative unit in Switzerland) has its own tax laws and rates so tax liabilities may vary depending on the canton.

The maximum corporate tax rate including all federal and canton taxes is 11.9% to 21.6%.

Beneficial environment for cryptocurrency startups in Switzerland

Switzerland has liberal cryptocurrency laws. Cryptocurrencies here are regulated the same way as the common currencies.

Switzerland, and the canton of Zug in particular, takes every step to become the global cryptocurrency hub. Zug gained the reputation of a global business center for blockchain companies. The country adopted multiple laws and has been focusing on cryptocurrencies last year to support the industry.

Which projects could benefit from Switzerland?

Switzerland is perfect for projects involving operations with e-money. SRO membership, an alternative to the European electronic money institution license (EMI), gives the right to provide financial intermediation services.

Financial intermediation within the SRO membership includes the following activities:

  • Lending transactions;
  • Payment transaction-related services, including money transfers on behalf of other persons or on behalf of parties issuing or managing such payment instruments as credit cards and traveler’s checks;
  • Trading in banknotes and coins, money market instruments, foreign currencies, precious metals, goods, and securities, as well as in derivates thereof, for one’s own account or for the account of other persons;
  • Asset management;
  • Investing as investment consultants;
  • Depositing and managing securities.

Special fintech license

Fintech license issues started on January 1, 2019. Fintech companies often interact directly with client funds. The fintech license allows its holders to accept private deposits amounting up to 100 million Swiss francs within their business operations. The license, however, does not permit to invest deposits or pay deposit interest.

Boasting a simpler application and audit process, the license would also be suitable for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, and may as well appeal to payment service providers and banks intending to enter the fintech sector. It should be noted that the fintech license can be only obtained by companies registered and operating in Switzerland.

SBSB lawyers have been launching fintech projects for over 7 years now. We will help you pick the perfect jurisdiction, taking into account all the specific aspects of your fintech project. Join our Telegram chat for a free consultation.

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