Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook

  • Author : Markus Heeb
  • Date : April 2012
ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Markus Heeb TEP is a Managing Partner at Consularis AG in Zurich

The first two editions of the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook proved to be an essential guide for a wide range of business practitioners and individuals. This third guise has been revised and expanded, targeting a wide range of readers, such as lawyers, tax consultants, business advisors, private client advisors, entrepreneurs and investors.

The book’s main purpose is to provide an overview of different subjects that may be useful when doing business in Switzerland. It covers specific aspects of law, taxation, banking and insurance. Numerous top-class co-authors have contributed to chapters and the foreword comes from Johann Schneider-Amman, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs.

The introduction will be particularly interesting to readers who are not yet familiar with Switzerland or who would like to learn more about the country’s economic standing and political structure (including its position in the EU and relations with the US). This chapter is supplemented by numerous testimonials from well-known companies of differing sizes and sectors who explain why Switzerland was their choice for opening regional or even global headquarters.

The main section looks at a wide range of legal, tax and banking topics, which provides a helpful introduction to topics such as contracts, real-estate competition, intellectual property, matrimonial property and inheritance law. The taxation part includes every aspect of tax, which may be relevant to individuals as well as corporations. It is no small achievement by the highly qualified authors to have managed to pack in very complex topics such as corporate income and capital taxes, and taxation of holding and domicile companies.

‘It is no small achievement by the highly qualified authors to have managed to pack in very complex topics’

In the banking section, the focus is on areas such as private banking in general, banking and financial market regulation, collective investment schemes in Switzerland, and the Swiss anti-money laundering regulation. It briefly mentions the difficult political environment, with particular pressure from the US. This book is therefore a practitioner’s guide that concentrates on current laws and rules, avoiding too many speculations. However, the current political environment and the increasing pressure on Swiss banks will definitely leave serious and deep footprints on Switzerland’s banking landscape and it will be interesting to see how its near and mid-term future may influence the fourth edition of the book.

As a qualified lawyer and a private client practitioner, I was impressed by how many aspects of different subjects were addressed and explained in a very sophisticated and yet understandable, clear and precise manner. In my view, this book is a unique chance to acquire an encyclopaedia that covers many interesting themes. I believe it is mandatory reading for anyone who needs to understand how to do business or invest in Switzerland.

TITLE: Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook (3rd edition, 2011)EDITED BY: Christian H Kalin
ISBN: 978-3-280-07235-6
PUBLISHER: Orell Fuessli Verlag AG


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