How to find company information in Switzerland

Practical Guide

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How is it possible to access company information in Switzerland?

The official company website of all officially registered Swiss Companies is the Central Business Name Index (Zentraler Firmenindex, “Zefix”):

The website contains information on all companies that are entered into a Cantonal Register of Commerce. Each of the 26 Swiss Cantons maintains an own website on the Companies whose domicile is in the respective Canton:

You may access company information from both the Central Business Name Index and the Web-sites of the Cantonal Registers of Commerce. Both are equally official. The search function of Zefix as well as of the Website of the Cantonal Registers of Commerce are available in German, French, Italian and English.

However, the information about the company itself is only available in the language(s) of the Can-ton in which the company is domiciled.

The Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC) contains the latest official information and legally required announcements from companies (deletion, change, new registration, change of business name, change of legal form, change of capital, merger, demerger, etc.).

Via the official website of the SOGC (!/gazette) or via Zefix ( you may search for SOGC publications. Also the SOGC website is held in German, French, Italian an English, and all publications are accessible in all four languages.

What company information is publicly available in Switzerland?

Access to information on all legal entities, institutions under public law, partnerships and, if regis-tered, sole proprietorships.

Company information available online for free:

  • Name
  • Address/Legal seat
  • Registered office
  • Legal form
  • UID
  • CH-ID
  • Status (active/liquidation/deleted)
  • Purpose
  • Date of registration
  • Date of articles of association
  • SOGC publications
  • Qualified facts (e.g. date of change of articles of association)

Depending on the type of company: personal details of the president and members of the board, the shareholders, share capital, share denomination, signature powers, auditors (if any), data of the different entries into the register.

Which company documents are available in Switzerland?

An extract from the Cantonal Register of Commerce can be downloaded online and for free. However, this electronically downloaded extract has no legal binding effect. Only the extract issued and certified by the Cantonal Register of Commerce has legal binding ef-fect. The cost for a certified extract is approx. CHF 40 + shipping costs (no power of attorney needed for the request).

In some Cantons, the articles of association can be downloaded free of charge by means of a one-time online registration. Otherwise, the articles of association can be ordered via online order form, telephone or e-mail, both as certified or uncertified copy.

The cost for a copy of the articles of association (if they are not freely available) is CHF 1/page (with a minimum cost of CHF 10) + CHF 20 for a certified copy + shipping costs (no power of attor-ney needed for the request).

Further, the following underlying information may be requested (in each case as a certified or un-certified copy): copy all documents of the company that are necessary for the registration or muta-tion, e.g. asset transfer agreement, minutes, foundation reports, etc. Such additional information is not available electronically, and, depending on the Canton, it may neither be requested online. The cost for such underlying documents is CHF 1/page (with a minimum cost of CHF 10) + CHF 20 for a certified copy + shipping costs (no power of attorney needed for the request).

Orders are delivered within 2-3 working days within Switzerland.

What other company-related information is available in Switzerland?

Every active company in Switzerland receives a uniform company identification number (UID).

This UID serves to relieve the administrative burden on companies and to ensure efficient cooper-ation between the authorities.

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) operates the UID Register: By searching by company name or UID, you may receive either the UID or the company name, respectively, its status, address, legal form, as well as its VAT number and relevant information.

When founding or renaming a company, a business name search helps to check whether the name is already used by another company.

Via either a business name search or a list of all similar names may be ordered. The cost of such search or list, respectively, is CHF 40. The page is available in German, French and Italian only.

The electronic database provides free information on IP rights. Such page is available in the four official languages of Switzerland (German, French, Italian and Romansh) plus in English. However, this electronic database does not contain the international registrations of trademarks with protective effect in Switzerland. Such information may, however, be found in the online Register of the World Intellectual Property Organization:

Is it possible in Switzerland to obtain information on pending litigation against a company, its shareholders or legal representatives?

No, in Switzerland this information is not public.

However, if a company goes bankrupt or I liquidated, respectively, such information is published in the SOGC and registered into the corresponding Register of Commerce and viewable on Zefix.

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