A total of 43,453 new companies were registered in the commercial register last year. This equates to a rise of five per cent over 2016, according to figures from the IFJ Institut für Jungunternehmen.
The largest growth (20 per cent) was registered in the canton of Zug, followed by the cantons of Schaffhausen (+14 per cent), Basel-Landschaft (+13 per cent) and Uri (+12 per cent).
In terms of numbers, the most companies were founded in the canton of Zurich (7,775), followed by the cantons of Vaud (4,393) and Geneva (3,717).
Increases in the number of new companies were particularly pronounced in the major German-speaking and western Swiss regions. There was a decline in Ticino alone.
With a proportion of 38 per cent, the limited liability company (GmbH) remained the most popular legal structure. The joint-stock company (AG) and the collective proprietorship followed with proportions of 21 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.
In contrast to the sole trader and collective proprietorship structures, the owners of GmbH entities bear liability only for the business assets – thus protecting private assets. GmbHs also have a lower outlay of 20,000 Swiss francs, compared to 100,000 francs for AGs.
The sectors with the largest number of new companies in 2017 were consulting, handicrafts, retail, business services and hospitality.
The IFJ Institut für Jungunternehmen has premises in Schlieren, St.Gallen and Lausanne. A support initiative, it accompanies startup companies from conception to foundation.