Photo 1
My Swiss Company ®

The Dividend Distribution Process in Switzerland: An Overview

In Switzerland, dividend distribution begins with evaluating the available profits during the annual general meeting of shareholders. Once approved, dividends are allocated proportionally to the held shares and disbursed to shareholders in accordance with Swiss tax legislation. This process aims to ensure a fair distribution of profits while adhering to legal requirements.

The Dividend Distribution Process in Switzerland: An Overview

Dividends represent a crucial portion of earnings for shareholders of a company, thus reflecting its financial health. In Switzerland, the dividend distribution process is regulated by law and governed by various standards to ensure an equitable distribution of profits to shareholders. We provide an overview of the dividend distribution process in Switzerland, shedding light on key steps and legal requirements.

  1. Evaluation of Results and Profits Before being able to distribute dividends, a company in Switzerland must assess its financial results and determine the amount of profits available for distribution. Companies take into account expenses, legal reserves, amortizations, and other elements to calculate these profits.
  2. Annual General Meeting of Shareholders The decision to distribute dividends is usually made during the annual general meeting of shareholders. During this meeting, shareholders vote to approve or reject the distribution of dividends and set the amount to be distributed.
  3. Ratification of Annual Accounts Before the general meeting, the company’s annual accounts must be prepared and submitted for approval by the shareholders. These annual accounts include the balance sheet, the income statement, and other important financial information.
  4. Allocation of Dividends Once shareholders have approved the distribution of dividends, they decide on the amount to allocate. This amount is typically expressed as dividends per share and is distributed proportionally based on each shareholder’s ownership.
  5. Payment of Dividends Dividends are then paid to shareholders according to the terms and timelines defined during the general meeting. Payment can be made via bank transfer or through the company’s financial intermediary.
  6. Taxation of Dividends In Switzerland, dividends are subject to a withholding tax, which is currently set at 35%. However, this rate may vary based on tax treaties between Switzerland and other countries.
  7. Compliance with Legal Requirements It is essential that the dividend distribution process in Switzerland complies with the applicable legal requirements. Companies must adhere to the regulations of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) and other relevant laws, as well as the company’s bylaws.

The dividend distribution process in Switzerland is guided by key steps aimed at ensuring a fair distribution of profits to shareholders while complying with applicable laws and regulations. Shareholders and companies must follow these steps appropriately to ensure transparent and effective management of dividend distribution.

Contact us to initiate your initial consultation now. We would be delighted to meet you and define the next steps for managing the dividend distribution of your company in Switzerland.

Fill out our contact form or call us at +41(0)22 566 82 44.