Cryptolicense in Switzerland: Secure, Reliable, Respectable

Switzerland is a country well known for its reputation and extreme stability, which has also made it a hub for cryptocurrency businesses and investors. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Federal Tax Administration (FTA), and Federal Council work together to create clear and comprehensive regulations for the cryptocurrency industry, providing businesses with the certainty they need to operate and grow. While the licensing process can be complex and time-consuming, the added security and stability that Switzerland offers is attractive to many businesses and investors.

Switzerland achieved its stability and high reputation by collaboration of FINMA, FTA and Federal council

Key Numbers about Cryptolicense in Switzerland

2 month

average term of obtaining license

up to 21%

corporate income tax (CIT) rate

€21,000

minimal contribution for share capital

up to 45%

personal income tax (PIT) rate

€16,000

VASP authorization under the minimum regulatory requirements

no VAT

for virtual currency exchange services

Legal Opinion about Cryptolicense in Switzerland

Ganna Voievodina

Manimama, CEO

"Switzerland's crypto licensing framework offers stability and compliance for your cryptocurrency business. Gain access to a European market, optimize tax benefits, and operate within a transparent legal system. Our legal team can guide you through the licensing process, ensuring a seamless entry into the Swiss crypto market. Contact us today to discuss your business goals".

Types of Activities with a License

Credit operations: SRO can carry out credit transactions (in particular in relation to consumer loans or mortgages, factoring, commercial financing or financial leasing).

Trade in currencies, precious metals, commodities: SRO can trade for its own account or for the account of others in banknotes and coins, money market instruments, foreign exchange, precious metals, commodities and securities (stocks and shares and value rights) as well as their derivatives.

Crypto custody and staking with individual segregated wallets: SRO can hold crypto on deposit or manage it.

Payment facilitator, payment traffic services and transfer of cryptocurrencies to a third party: SRO can provide services related to payment transactions, in particular by carrying out electronic transfers on behalf of other persons, or issue or manage means of payment such as credit cards and travellers’ cheques.

ICO of payment token: SRO can make investments as investment adviser.

Choose the Package of Services

Advanced

Set up of company ready to start cryptocurrency operational activity

€22,000

  • Company formation in Switzerland
  • Package of corporate documents
  • Individual AML/KYC policies
  • VASP authorization
  • Payment account for cryptocurrency operations
  • Local AML officer and director
  • Local office
Order now

Basic

VASP authorization under the minimum regulatory requirements

€16,000

  • Company formation in Switzerland
  • Package of corporate documents
  • Standard AML/KYC policies
  • VASP authorization
Order now

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Step by Step Description

Step 1. Creation a company

    Creation of a company with the opening of an account with a contribution to the authorized capital in the amount of CHF 5,000 (€5,250)

Step 2. Compliance with requirements of the share capital

    Opening a second account and assistance for the share capital contribution which varies depending on the type of legal entity, CHF 20,000 (€21,000) for GMBH, CHF 100,000 (€105,000) for AG

Step 3. Obtaining the status of member of SRO For KYC/AML compliance purposes

    Choosing the most suitable SRO for client’s business purposes and completing the complex process of entering a SRO

Step 4. Searching for required AML/KYC employees

    Search for exclusive AML/KYC employees with subsequent integration into the corporate structure; education; tax registration

Step 5. Obtaining the license

Obtaining authorization from FINMA to operate in the financial market

The VASP Licensing Process

Switzerland is a federal republic made up of 26 cantons, each with its own set of regulations. This means that there are both federal and cantonal regulations, and these regulations can vary from one canton to another. This variation is important to consider when selecting the most appropriate canton to establish a business.

Cryptocurrencies in Switzerland are classified as assets according to the Federal Council report on virtual currencies.Cryptocurrencies have that status because they are not accepted anywhere as a legitimate means of payment and do not have physical equivalents. It creates special requirements for crypto status in Switzerland.

FINMA offers various licenses depending on your activity, like the FinTech license for public deposits or the DLT Trading Facility license for security/payment token trading platforms

Requirements for VASP Authorization

A VASP license in Switzerland must have 1 local director, proper AML/KYC policies and proper reputation to conduct business with virtual assets

The criteria for obtaining a crypto license in Switzerland vary based on the license type and the activities and services offered by the crypto business. Key requirements include:

  • Establishment of a company (e.g., joint stock company, limited liability company, or corporation with an unlimited number of partners) in Switzerland
  • Submission of a comprehensive business plan outlining the purpose, objectives, target market, products, services, risks, governance, and compliance
  • Maintenance of sufficient capital, with a minimum of CHF 20,000 (€21,000), to cover operational and financial risks
  • Implementation of a robust organizational structure ensuring proper management, supervision, control, and reporting
  • Maintenance of a registered office within Switzerland
  • A mandate that at least one manager must be a Swiss resident
  • The appointed AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Officer should also be a Swiss resident
  • Adoption of effective risk management policies and procedures
  • Establishment of adequate internal control and audit functions
  • Adherence to relevant laws and regulations

Understanding Taxes in Switzerland

Corporate Income Tax (CIT)

  • Federal level: Switzerland levies a flat rate of 8.5% on profit after tax
  • Cantonal level: cantons add their own surcharges, resulting in an overall range of 11.9% to 21.0% depending on the specific location
  • Deadlines: due dates vary depending on the canton, typically between 6 and 9 months after the year-end

Withholding Tax (WHT)

  • Interest: 35% withholding tax applies to interest paid by Swiss banks to non-banks and on bond-like loans
  • Dividends: Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) determine the applicable rate, often lower than 35%
  • Royalties: rates vary depending on the DTA or domestic law, typically between 0% and 35%
  • Exceptions: reduced or zero rates may apply under certain conditions or DTAs

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

  • Corporate level: subject to the normal CIT rate (9%), with potential participation relief for qualifying investments
  • Individual level: exempt for movable assets like stocks and bonds. Non-movable assets like real estate may be exempt depending on circumstances
  • Social tax: an additional 15.5% social tax may apply to individual capital gains if specific conditions aren't met

Cryptocurrency exchange services are not subjected to VAT

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