No bearer shares in Switzerland

Published 12 June 2019 by Zwicky Windlin & Partner

In the internal parliamentary settlement of differences regarding the Federal Act on the Implementation of Recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes of 12.06.2019, the Swiss National Council (one of two Federal Parliament chambers) has moved away from its previous position, known as "grandfathering" (guaranteed existence of existing bearer shares), and followed the Federal Council and Swiss Council of States (the other Federal Parliament chamber). Even if the business now goes to the Council of States again, it is clear that bearer shares will be completely abolished. This means that once the law comes into force, it will no longer be possible to establish new companies in Switzerland with bearer shares and existing companies with bearer shares will have to convert the shares into registered shares. The conversion period will be 18 months from the date of entry into force of the law. Assumable, the new law will come into force in the autumn of this year, already.

Please do not hesitate and contact me in case you or your client do require assistance with incorporations or with said change into registered shares.

Diego Benz, d.benz@zwplaw.ch