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Entering an association in the commercial register

You want to register your association in the commercial register? You'll find all you need to know here.

The answer in detail

In the event of registration of the association in the commercial register, there are a number of things to consider

Does an association need to be entered in the commercial register?

Of the approximately 100,000 associations in Switzerland, around 10,000 are entered in the commercial register. In general, associations are not obligated, but are entitled to be entered in the commercial register. One advantage is the publicity effect of the commercial register. The entry can generate a certain amount of credibility, and it is easier to provide proof abroad, for example, that the association really exists. An association only has an obligation to be entered in the commercial register if it operates a commercial business or is subject to audit requirements. 

What is a commercial business?

A profit-making activity is an activity that has a certain term, is carried out independently, and is comparable to a commercial or production enterprise (for example, regarding sales, organization, financing). 

What does subject to audit requirements mean?

An association is subject to audit requirements if in two subsequent financial years two of the following amounts are exceeded:

  • Balance sheet total of CHF 10 million
  • Sales revenues of CHF 20 million
  • Average annual total of 50 full-time equivalent positions

What do I need to keep in mind when submitting an entry?

As well as the registration itself, all authorized signatories must sign a signature list and have their signatures authenticated. If the association does not have its own legal domicile (own offices), a person should additionally be defined who grants the association a so-called legal domicile at their address. The association can be reached at this c/o address, and communications of all types can be sent there. This person confirms their agreement in a domicile acceptance statement.  The signature list, the domicile acceptance statement, and the registration are submitted together to the Commercial Registry Office.

Here you will find useful free templates for the registration of your association, for the signature list, and for the domicile acceptance statement.

Important documents
Vorlage Anmeldung eines Vereins beim Handelsregisteramt
Vorlage Unterschriftenblatt
Vorlage Domizilannahmeerklärung