Doing business

Current business situation

Though not a European Union (EU) member state, Switzerland has become increasingly integrated with the EU by concluding bilateral issue-specific accords.

Business culture

Swiss business people are experienced in conducting international business. While broadly similar to Australian business practice the Swiss approach has a higher emphasis on order, hierarchy and formality. It is usual that company representatives address each other by their surname.

For meetings, especially at the executive level, approximately six weeks’ notice is required. Punctuality is very important, if you are late for a meeting call ahead to advise and give as much notice as possible. The peak summer holiday months of July and August are difficult to arrange meetings. In addition, many companies shut down over the Christmas and New Year period.

Switzerland's four official languages, traditionally spoken in different regions of the country, are German, French, Italian and Rumantsch. English is widely spoken but it is courteous to check.

Setting up in Market

Switzerland Global Enterprise has information for those considering setting up a business.

Banking and finance

Zurich is the centre for international business and commerce and has more banks per inhabitant than any other country in the world - Banks in Zurich.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Switzerland Global Enterprise
Swiss Customs Administration

News and media

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ)
Le Temps

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.