Entrepreneurship in Switzerland
Entrepreneurial forces are mixed in Switzerland. The country has created an environment that makes starting a business or investing in one relatively easy. The legal environment is such that obtaining permits and visas is neither difficult nor time intensive. The tax system is designed to attract investment to the country. There is no capital gains tax in Switzerland. The population is highly educated (near 100 percent literacy). This results in a very competent but expensive labor force.
There are some experts who argue that much of Switzerland’s innovation and entrepreneurship comes from the outside. Internally, innovation is not taught and there is a fair level of risk aversion. Entrepreneurship as a field of study is, however, gaining acceptance and momentum.
• There are twice as many men as women entrepreneurs in Switzerland.
• As of 2003, Taxes for operating income for a business is about 24.5%
• As of 2002, GDP per capita is about $64,000 compared to $77,000 for US
• Switzerland has a strong and stable economy, low inflation (2.8%), low unemployment (2.7%), and a highly qualified workforce.
• Population: 7.5 Million
• There are no taxes on the money you invest in Switzerland – not on capital gains, and not on interest. Except: If your account is in Swiss francs, or you invest in US securities from your Swiss bank account
• The Swiss take punctuality for business and social meetings very seriously and expect that you will do likewise
• The Swiss tend to get right down to business after a few minutes of general discussion
• Many Swiss businessmen would be embarrassed if a foreign businesswoman invited them to dinner. Swiss men are very conservative and still expect to pay for a meal. If possible, a foreign businesswoman should invite a Swiss businessman to lunch rather than dinner.