Reserving a Company Name in Switzerland

Reserving a Company Name in Switzerland

Updated on Tuesday 21st July 2020

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Reserving-a-Company-Name-in-SwitzerlandRegister a business name in Switzerland

The following types of Swiss companies are required to register a trade name when carrying out business activities:

  • - Swiss sole proprietorships,
  • - general and limited partnerships,
  • - corporations with unlimited partners,
  • - limited liability companies,
  • - non-profit organizations,
  • - foundations.

The registration of the business name in Switzerland is required in order for all relevant authorities to be able to identify the company. Business name registration is the first step towards company incorporation in Switzerland and is preceded by the approval of the name.

Business names can also be registered as trademarks in Switzerland.

The Central Business Name Index in Switzerland

Company name reservation in Switzerland must be done accordingly to the Commercial Register. A company’s name must provide information regarding the commercial activities to be undertaken by the company and must be unique. In order to verify a company’s name availability, one can check the Central Business Name Index within the Swiss Commercial Register. The reservation of the business name with the Commercial Register is done at cantonal level by submitting an application form and other relevant documents according to the Swiss Commercial Law. All business names will be then transferred to the Central Business Name Index within the Federal Commercial Registry in Berne.

As mentioned above one of the Central Business Name Index’s roles is to make sure a Swiss company’s business name is unique. However, it is important to know that sole proprietorships are required to register a business name under the Commercial Register Ordinance.

For details about the requirements reserving a sole trader’s business name you can ask our lawyers in Switzerland.

What are the characteristics of Swiss business names?

The name of a Swiss company may be chosen freely, as long as it is unique. Also, according to the Swiss Code of Obligations, a company’s name may not be misleading and used to for advertising purposes. The Swiss legislation also allows a company to insert geographical areas in its business name, as long as it reflects the commercial activity of the business. Business name reservation and approval in Switzerland is quite simple and takes about a week.

If you need help with the business name reservation or company incorporation please contact our law firm in Switzerland.