In a nutshell
Tightening of transparency requirements for private companies
Hardly noticed by the public, the Federal Council is introducing new regulations for shareholders of Swiss private companies with extensive impact as of 1 November 2019: The breach of reporting and documentation obligations concerning beneficial owners becomes a criminal offence. Bearer shares are abolished for the most part and their holders risk expropriation if they are not careful.
The Revised Swiss Foreigners and Integration Law (AIG) – What Citizens of Non-EU/EFTA Countries Need to Know
The revised Swiss Foreigners and Integration Law (formerly "Ausländergesetz", AuG, now "Ausländer- und Integrationsgesetz", AIG) has entered into force on January 1, 2019. The AIG aims to better integrate foreigners into the Swiss workplace and society. It presents foreigners as well as their spouses and minor children with stricter requirements when applying for B- or C-permits. This newsletter summarizes the categories of Swiss residence permits followed by an overview of the most important changes of the AIG. This newsletter only covers citizens of Non-EU/EFTA states (Third Country Citizens).
New law on the statute of limitations from 1st January 2020
On 1st January 2020, new rules governing the statutes of limitations under Swiss law will enter into force. In this newsletter, Jean-Rodolphe Fiechter and Alexandre Kirschmann highlight the main changes introduced by the amendment approved on 15 June 2018. Although the legislator refrained from a complete overhaul of the legal framework governing the statutes of limitations, several major changes deserve special attention, such as the extension of certain time limits (in case of personal injury or death), a new ground for suspension and new rules governing waivers, which play an important role in practice. This newsletter further focuses on other novelties and particularities introduced by the amendment and discusses questions and remarks which the amendment already triggers at this stage.
The French property gains tax: constant changes
Acquiring, holding and transferring real estate in France, whether against payment or free of charge, often raises difficult questions for Swiss citizens, both in terms of civil law and taxation. Especially with regard to property gains tax (so-called "impôt sur la plus-value"), there has been quite an amount of confusion in the last (not even ten) years - both at the legislative level and in court decisions. Finally, after the tax system recently took on an almost confiscatory form, the situation of Swiss owners of French properties has improved considerably. In the following, this development will be outlined briefly.
The added-value charge on planning advantages
In accordance with the revised RPG, the Cantons have to provide that any planning advantages connected with new zoning are compensated for by way of a charge. In addition, the Cantons are free to levy additional added-value charges for other planning advantages. Since the Cantons must introduce the added-value charge in the event of new zonings by 30 April 2019; otherwise, they must not create any new building zones (Article 38a(4) and (5) RPG). Hence, several Cantons are currently adapting their statutory provisions or have introduced corresponding legislative proceedings. This newsletter intends to provide a overview of the added-value charge under Article 5 RPG and points out selected aspects of the structure of the added-value charge in the Cantons of Aargau, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Geneva, Vaud, Ticino and Zurich.
The FinTech licence comes into force on 1 January 2019
Within just two years, Swiss lawmakers have implemented three measures to lower the barriers to market entry for FinTech companies, promote innovation in the financial centre and thus strengthen its competitiveness. On 1 January 2019, the provisions for the last of three measures, the FinTech licence, will come into force.
Planned repeal of rental value taxation and increase in dividend taxation – Tax tips for homeowners and business owners
With the planned repeal of the rental value taxation and the increase in dividend taxation, two legislative projects are currently pending, which will significantly impact homeowners and business owners and should therefore be planned well in advance. This newsletter points out the planned revisions and possible tax-saving options.
Latest news on SIA design contracts
At the end of October, the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA) published new versions of its service and fee regulations, together with associated calculation aids. The changes became necessary due to an intervention by the Swiss Competition Commission. In June, the SIA also published a new SIA supplementary agreement BIM, which can be used for the contractual regulation of BIM-specific issues. Dr. Mario Marti, Head of the Kellerhals Carrard Practice Group Construction and Real Estate, presents the changes in our current newsletter.
Warranty and condominium ownership: new case law
In a landmark ruling the Federal Supreme Court has changed its jurisprudence on the employers’ rectification claims under a contract for works and services in a condominium ownership scenario. With their decision the Lausanne judges strengthened the position of the employers. Dr Bernd Hauck (Kellerhals Carrard Practice Group Construction and Real Estate) analyses the ruling and its consequences in the below newsletter. His explanations are followed by some thoughts on possible contractual answers to the new decision of the Federal Supreme Court.
Information series on new financial legislation
On 15th June 2018 the National Council and the Council of States approved the Financial Services Act (FIDLEG) and the Financial Institutions Act (FINIG). After expiry of the three-month referendum deadline, the Federal Council will decide whether or not it will be adopted. At present it is not expected that the referendum will be held, meaning the first part will probably enter into force on 1st January 2019 (Fintech draft), and the rest on 1st January 2020.
In six separate publications we will explain the effects of FIDLEG and FINIG:
New obligation to report job openings: What must employers do?
The Federal Council and Parliament have introduced a new obligation to report job openings in order to implement the federal public initiative "Against Mass Immigration" (Art. 121a Federal Constitution) with effect as of 1 July 2018. This requires scores of employers to make adjustments to their recruitment and hiring procedures. Employers are advised to examine the new legal requirements and make the necessary adjustments.
Additional compensation of the contractor or planner in the event of construction disruption, despite flat-rate price or cost ceiling?
In the scope of a construction project, contractors or planners are regularly confronted with the problem that factors unforeseeable at the time of conclusion of the contract can have an influence on the agreed construction process. These factors might have a negative cost impact.
Dr. Bernd Hauck and Tobias Rebmann, the authors of the attached "In a nutshell" analyse, if the contractor or the planner are entitled to additional compensation in case of a so-called construction disruption, i.e. a scenario whereby the principal fails to cooperate and therefore increases the costs for the contractor or planner.
Extension of Swiss Value Added Tax (VAT) liability / Amendment of VAT rates
Changes in asset management as a result of the FinSA and FinIA
COMCO’s adaptations to the Communication on Vertical Restraints to bring it into line with the Gaba judgment
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation – What Swiss companies need to know
Building Information Modeling: a number of considerations from the point of view of contract law
In a nutshell 9/2016
New provisions in the Swiss Civil Code (Family law) taking effect on 1 January 2017
In a nutshell 8/2016
Company law revision / the Federal Council’s proposal
- Rules on establishing companies and capital
- General meeting and board of directors
- Unregistered registered shares and shareholders’ rights
- Return on benefits
- Threat of insolvency, loss of capital and over-indebtedness
- Ordinance, say on pay and gender diversity
In a nutshell 7/2016
Directives from the Supervisory Authority for Occupational Pensions on the requirements for investment foundations
In a nutshell 6/2016
Wealth tax for Zurich startup companies: genuine relief or just an illusion?
In a nutshell 5/2016
Electronic signatures in practice: overview and outlook
In a nutshell 4/2016
Fintech in Switzerland: FINMA relaxes requirements for asset management agreements in the FINMA circular 2009/01
In a nutshell 3/2016
Law tightened up in the combat against private corruption
Short & Simple 2/2016
Qualified tax offences as new predicate offences to Money laundering
Short & Simple 1/2016
The Financial Market Infrastructure and Market Conduct in Securities and Derivatives Trading Act (FMIA; Financial Market Infrastructure Act)
- Changes in the approval and organisation of financial market infrastructures
- Regulation on Derivatives Trading
- Changes in disclosure of shareholdings, public takeover offers, insider trading, market manipulation and administrative assistance
short & simple 1/2015
New SFAMA Code of Conduct
short & simple 7/2014
Guidelines on informing investors about structured products from September 2014
short & simple 4/2014
New SFAMA Guidelines on the Distribution of Collective Investment Schemes from 22 May 2014
short & simple 3/2014
Guidelines on Duties regarding the charging and use of Fees and Costs (Transparency Guidelines; TGL) from 22 May 2014
short & simple 4/2013
Revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) – minutes requirements under Art. 24 para. 3 CISA in application of the guidelines of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA)
short & simple November 2013
Final „Minder“ Ordinance – Summary of Changes
short & simple 3/2013
Revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) – The legal Framework of Dirstribution after the issue of the Circular 2013/9 “Distribution under the Collective Investment Schemes legislation” (RS 2013/9)
short & simple 2/2013
EU/Switzerland: Exchange of information and documents between competition authorities
kurz & bündig 1/2013
Minder initiative – need for action?
Download PDF (English summary)
short & simple 7/2012
Revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act - Amendments to Distribution
short & simple 6/2012
Revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act - Amendments to Management
short & simple 5/2012
Revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act - Amendments to Custody