What we do for you before moving to Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the worlds best expat countries, with some of the highest living standards and a well-educated, multilingual population. Yet moving to Switzerland can still be stressful and difficult, if you don’t do it right. Mistakes can cost you money.

Enzo Caputo, Swiss banking lawyer and relocation expert, says the challenges faced by expats vary a bit depending on where in Switzerland they live.

Switzerland is a multi-cultural country with 4 languages. Its kind-of an island in Europe, its not part of the EU. And the cantons are autonomous republics, so all do things differently to each other.
But there are some issues common to most people moving to Switzerland. Here are four things everyone planning a move to Switzerland should think about:

Finding the right place to live

Switzerland is a real estate market dictated by landlords. In the main cities, demand out-strips supply many times over.

There may be up to 60 applications per apartment. You need to make sure that your application is top of the pile says Enzo Caputo.

The easiest way to do this is to use a registered relocation agent to help you through the process. Your agent can also be a Swiss law firm having experience with HNWI private clients knowing their needs and expectations better than any other agent. We offer impeccable relocation services for you and your family to Switzerland. A good relocation agent will not only have extensive contacts with landlords, but will also know how to guide you through the process to help you secure the home that you want. Furthermore, we are in a position to negotiate the lump sum taxation agreement with the local tax authorities for you. A professional tax lawyer negotiating your future tax bills can save you a lot of money. We will negotiate the lump sum taxation agreement for you. We know which cantons are the best and which municipalities need new tax money and are willing to offer best conditions with best tax treatment.

It also important to make sure you get good advice on the lease. For instance, if you want to leave an apartment in Switzerland, under a standard Swiss lease you have to give three monthsnotice in advance respecting the right formalities, terms and conditions.

We can assist you with all the problems you might have while moving to Switzerland and avoid them even before they happen.

If flexibility is important to you, you need to make sure that you get the right clauses in the lease to make sure you dont find yourself in a difficult situation.

We help you to find the right international school for your children. Switzerland has a long tradition with the best private schools in the world.

Immigration: Visa and B-Permit

If youre a citizen of an EU country, moving to Switzerland isnt like moving within the EU. To move to Switzerland, you need to have a lease on an apartment or to buy a real estate, says Enzo Caputo. To complicate matters further, a referendum last year backed further curbs on migration from the EU and for other countries. These restrictions have yet to be adapted within the legal framework, they could well present further difficulties to our new guests in Switzerland.

We build bridges for you

Things are even tougher for people from outside the EU. Even those with a job as a specialist in a specific sector and a rental contract have to grapple with quotas. This necessitates prior planning – and knowing what youre doing. You need to start the process several months in advance, as your application needs to be approved by the Immigration Officer and the competent tax authorities. With the right contacts and our support you will move to Switzerland hassle-free and without worrying. Getting advice before you start the process will save you a lot of stress further down the line.

Culture shock

If youre moving to Switzerland from Europe or North America, say, you might not expect culture shock to be a problem in Switzerland. But sometimes the fact that expats in Switzerland expect there not to be differences means they are all the more shocked when issues arise. If youre French, for instance, you need to be aware that though the language is the same, the culture is different. The Swiss start work early, and finish early. Punctuality is key factor and a sign of respect, in contrast to in France. Shops are closed on Sundays – something the people here voted for in a referendum.The extent to which you are affected by culture shock depends a bit on how much you choose to stay in the expat bubble. You can live a bit offshore, in an international community and in your work environment. But when you want to get into the real Switzerland youll find it different. But Switzerland is very welcoming to the foreign population and people are used to expats, so people will understand you, says Enzo Caputo.

My recommendation to you

It is imperative to collect specific advice tailor-made to your specific needs and expectations before you start the process.

If you need specific information tailor-made to your situation you should pick up the phone and give me a call +41 44 212 44 04. The first consultation is free of charge. Do not hesitate.

Moving to Switzerland and taking advantage of the lump sum taxation regime

There are many asset protection strategies you can consider. You can interpose certain legal entities or you can set up an insurance wrapper. You can structure your wealth in many different ways. You can diversify your assets in different banks located in different jurisdictions. You can participate to the program Citizenship by Investment and even buy a new passport in St. Kitts & Nevis or Dominica and open bank accounts using the new passport. One of the most efficient asset protection strategies is to relocate in a secure and stable jurisdiction. If you are successful and wealthy you have multiple choice of places where to live such as Malta, Monaco, Cyprus, Canada etc.. Each location has its particular advantages. Some of them have very attractive tax laws, some have very warm climate, some have a welcoming and multicultural population. Switzerland is in a position to offer and combine all the advantages: wonderful alpine skiing facilities, hot summers, high living standard with political and economic stability, social peace, multi-cultural cities, excellent health care infrastructure, very low crime rate and excellent public services. It offers the best private schools in the world since decades, first-class infrastructure like Singapore and Finland, effective law enforcement, efficient protection of intellectual property rights, moderate taxation, high productivity with high quality products and services. High quality buildings and properties are satisfying the most demanding and sophisticated individuals. You do not need body guards. Personal safety is assured at day and night.

Celebrities living in Switzerland

All this advantages attracted many celebrities from all over the world such as Frida Lyngstad from Abba Pop-Group, Roger Moore alias James Bond, Tina Turner, Alain Delon, Phil Collins, Victor Vekselberg, Russian investor, Latsis family, Greek shipping tycoon, Bernie Ecclestone, Michael Schuhmacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Kimi Raikkonen, Jean Alesi, Sebastian Vettel and others representing Formula 1, Athina Onassis, Boris Becker, Ana Ivanovic, Yannick Noah, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Laura Pausini, Celine Dion, Daniel Hechter, Dimitry Ryboloviev, Ermenegildo Zegna and many others. They all choose to relocate to Switzerland.

Lump-sum taxation regime

In Switzerland there are different levels of taxation: federal, cantonal and municipal level. The applicant should not conduct professional activity in Switzerland. Currently, the Canton of Zug requires a minimal taxable income of CHF 300000 and a minimal net wealth of CHF 6 million, whereas for the Canton Schwyz the minimal taxable income should be at least CHF 500000 per year and the corresponding net wealth at least CHF 10 million. Canton Zurich has recently abolished the lump-sum taxation regime. The political climate is not favourable and the demanded requirements are becoming more and more stringent due to the high demand coming from all over the world. The financial crisis and the illusive Arab spring has increased the number of filed and pending applications. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate the option to relocate to Switzerland now or as soon as possible.

Under the lump-sum taxation, the income tax basis is calculated based on the annual living expenses of the applicant and his family living in the same household. Based on a control-calculation (in German: Kontrollrechnung) the annual living expenses should not be less than 7 times (this leverage factor was increased from 5 to 7 recently due to the huge demand and political situation) the yearly rental expenditures for the apartment or the house where the applicant will be resident. This figure will constitute a surrogate tax base to calculate the taxable income. The taxable inco