Minthical is a business created and based in Lausanne, Switzerland by two young entrepreneurs. It is the best insight you can get for starting a company here.
In between managing projects, Magda, Co-Founder of Minthical, takes a minute to relax over a cup of matcha and answer some of the questions you might have:
- What do you legally need to start a company?
You are not obliged to register a company when you want to open your own business. You can start functioning without the registration until you hit the 100k revenue line. I would however advise registering the company, as many clients/suppliers check if the company is registered. To register you need to go to the Registre du Commerce and in a few minutes your company will be registered. You will need to fill in a document they give you and have your ID and permit on you. You will be able to register your company as a partnership or a small company owned by an individual, however if you wish to create a sàrl or SA entity, you will need the help of a notary.
- Why starting a company in Switzerland?
Starting a company in Switzerland goes hand in hand with security. You will also have less troubles with administration and various other documents and financial institutions. The legislation is very clear, very easy to put in practice and not as costly as one would think. You will also keep the Swiss quality reputation which can facilitate opening some doors, especially on an international level. I also believe that Switzerland is in full expansion, becomes less traditional and shifts towards a more modern approach and smaller and medium companies are highly required on the market to toy with the big fish. And more often than not, they are very successful and professional.
- What do you think it is the most beneficial point about starting a company here?
It is quite easy to start your own company and the state supports smaller and medium companies by taxing you less or from the moment you hit a certain threshold. Banks are also offering various start-up packages which means you will pay less taxes in your first year and believe me, this is very helpful. The market seems quite open to the idea of a start-up and many companies, even the larger ones agree to work with start-ups if they can prove themselves and provide a quality service/product. We have experienced only positive attitudes from companies around us and they gave us a chance when we most needed. And then, let’s not forget the “made in Switzerland” or the Swiss factor that floats on top of your name and reputation. It is strict in the way in which you perform your business, but it is highly well perceived by all other companies abroad. If you decide to move internationally, the Swiss factor will weigh in your favour.
- Is being a foreigner a barrier when founding a company here?
Not at all. As long as you have a place to set your headquarters and a Swiss work permit, you will encounter no problems. I assume the permit must have a certain length and security to it, however you can easily open a company as a foreigner. The first company my partners and I opened had a Swiss amongst us, however for the second one, it is just two Romanians holding a B permit.
- From a tax point of view, is it interesting to start a business here?
It is interesting as you are taxed on the profit you declare and if you don’t have a profit, you won’t pay taxes. So, for a start-up it is highly helpful not to have to think about these taxes. You will pay benefits and pension for employees, but I guess this is a normal step for any company. You then have a second important aspect regarding tax. Each canton has a different tax so you can decide to open your company in a different region that would have less taxes. For example, Vaud has less taxes than Geneva.
- If it weren’t Switzerland, where would you base your company?
Not sure I can answer this now. Perhaps Romania as I am Romanian. We opened a second office there as well and have opened some other businesses in Romania, but that’s strictly because I am Romanian. Perhaps I would go for Singapore or London instead of Switzerland, but purely from a market perspective, I don’t really know the legal system anywhere else but Switzerland and Romania.
- Why do you think people from other countries trust a Swiss company?
For the quality, professionalism and strictness with which Swiss tackle each new project. I believe they have always been committed to what they believed in and fought for it until they achieved the best results.
- As a communication’s agency, do you feel there is a healthy competition in the market?
I am not sure what healthy would mean in this situation, but there is competition in our field, however I have witnessed both negative and positive attitudes towards our business. We had companies that badmouthed us, which in the end proved successful for us so yaay, and we have competitors with whom we work and we send clients across when one cannot handle a project. I would really like to be able to work more in this way and build stronger partnerships like this. Companies here can understand that if you send some projects their way, they will in turn favour you for other projects and it all turns into a win-win situation. Partnerships are very useful in any situation.
The cup of matcha is finished and emails are popping up! Now, we’re back to business.