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The Commercial Register holds the most important information on businesses in Switzerland. The Commercial Register makes the information on the legal niceties of businesses accessible to the public and thus makes the situation more transparent. Anyone who sets up a business must normally have it recorded in the Commercial Register.
Registration, inspection and copies of the registration
The registration and the preliminary examination of the details is carried out by the commercial registry where the business is situated. Cantonal registrations are then approved by the Federal Commercial Registry Office (FCRO) and published in the Official Commercial Gazette (SOCG). Anyone can inspect Commercial Register data. The Central Business Names Index (Zefix) allows information to be obtained via the internet. True copies from the registration at the Commercial Register can be ordered from cantonal commercial registries.
Business names: choosing a name, searches and protection
Limits are placed on the name you can give to a business. The form of name must satisfy certain rules that are both general and specifically related to business names. Before applying to the commercial registry, it is worth checking whether the name of your business is not already being used by another company, as names entered in the Commercial Register enjoy varying degrees of protection depending on the form of the company or business. Zefix allows a search to be carried out free of charge on the Internet, but offers no guarantees as to the results. The FCRO also offers a business name search service.