The Canton of Zurich lost most of the companies in Switzerland.

View of the city of Zurich and the Lake Zurich, from the Hotel Uto Kulm, on the Utliberg in Zurich on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.  (Keystone/Michael Buholzer)
Many companies are leaving the canton of Zurich. what are the reasons?

Build: Keystone

About 350 companies relocated within Switzerland: none is losing as many companies as canton Zurich. A canton in western Switzerland, on the other hand, may await an influx.

The population in the canton of Zurich continues to grow, but more and more companies are saying goodbye. According to information from Tages-Anzeiger, about 1,500 companies decided to try their luck in another canton. In contrast, there are only 1,150 new companies. Zurich is thus mourning the loss of about 350 businesses – no other Swiss canton has lost so many.

This was the result of an assessment by information services provider Crif, which examined the Swiss Commercial Register. However, the analysis only includes activities within Switzerland. Accordingly, any immigration or emigration abroad cannot be counted. There are over 120,000 businesses registered in Zurich.

The Canton of Wallace recorded the largest increase

Most of the companies that moved their headquarters moved to the tax-efficient canton of Zug. Higher taxes – For Mario Bonato from the business-oriented think tank Avenir Suisse, this is one of the main reasons for moving forward. He explained to NZZ that Switzerland’s second highest corporate income tax rate was unacceptable for an economic canton.

No reason for the moves is recorded in the CRIFF analysis. However, more favorable tax conditions may not be the only explanation: 210 companies opted for a corporate headquarters in Aargau – the profit tax there is 17.42 percent. However, the Swiss average is only 14.68 percent.

The canton of Wallace recorded the largest increase in companies, with 120 new companies settled here. The tax argument should not be decisive here either. The Western Swiss canton imposes a high profit tax of 17.12 percent.

What about start-ups in Zurich?

As NZZ writes, the profit tax is unlikely to play a role for many companies leaving Zurich. Among them are mainly small companies, such as sole proprietorships, painting and plastering companies or dog salons.

Mario Bonato of Avenir Suisse also points out in a blog entry that the canton of Zurich also performs below average in terms of start-ups. In NZZ, Zurich’s director of economics Carmen Walker Spah completely disagrees. “Zurich is by far the most important canton for start-ups,” she explains. Nearly half of all top 100 start-ups in Germany are located there.


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