General partnerships in Switzerland (SnC)

General partnerships in Switzerland (SnC)
A general partnership is a partnership between two or more individuals, who carry on business under a corporate name. Find out how the SnC works and what makes it special.

Table of contents

General partnership: How does it work?

What is a general partnership?

A general partnership is a partnership comprising at least 2 individuals. A SnC exists as soon as it is registered in the Commercial Registerwhich is mandatory. SnC's objective is to pursue a commercial activity.

SnC is similar to Company nameexcept that it has several members.

Benefits of SnC

A general partnership is particularly well suited to small, local businesses and craftsmen. Here are the advantages enjoyed by SnC partners:

Disadvantages of SnC

This is well below all other legal forms of enterprise.
The main reason for this is that they require proximity and trust between the partners, and also have many disadvantages.
Here are the main ones disadvantages of a general partnership:

How do I create a general partnership?

1. Written agreement

Although strongly recommended, a written agreement between the partners is not necessary. It will help protect the partners and establish the guidelines for the business activity.

2. Choice of company name

In the past, the company name had to include the name of at least one partner. Today, it can be chosen freely. It simply has to be distinct from all others already registered in Switzerland, to avoid any confusion.

To ensure that the name of your choice is available, consult the ZEFIX company register and type the desired name in the search bar.

3. Entry in the Commercial Register

The general partnership must then be entered in the Commercial Register (art. 552 para. 2 and art. 553 CO), and basic information such as the name, place of residence and nationality of the partners, or the name and registered office of the partnership, must be published.

What status for partners in a general partnership?

Partners in a general partnership are considered to be self-employed. They must therefore be recognized as such by their cantonal compensation fund.
What's more, as self-employed workers, they will be able to withdraw their 2nd pillar pension in order to start their business. They are then free to join the BVG and continue to contribute.

How can a trustee help you?

Our Geneva fiduciary, FidulexWe are here to support and advise you in your business development. Our experts offer you the following services:

Frequently asked questions about general partnerships

An SnC is a partnership between at least two individuals, carrying on business under a corporate name. It comes into existence as soon as it is entered in the Commercial Register.
Partners are considered self-employed and are taxed individually.
Partners in a general partnership are taxed individually on their share of income and assets in the company, as well as on their private income and assets.
Both SnC and Sàrl are legal entities.
However, a general partnership is a partnership, while a limited liability company is a capital company.
A Sàrl can be set up with a single partner, whereas the SnC requires two or more partners.

The creation of a company requires a written agreement between the partners (recommended), the choice of a separate company name, and compulsory registration with the Registre du Commerce.

A trustee can help you set up your business, obtain self-employed status, provide information and advice on business management, and offer corporate accounting and tax services.