If I want to start a small retailer which will import products from the far east and sell them in a small store in Switzerland, what do I need to do? I am not a resident of CH but I have the right to enter on my (US non-diplomatic) passport.

Part will be legal and part will be logistical.

Is there something I'm not thinking of?

  • This is from this compound question in an attempt to split it to fit site rules.
    – Traveler
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 12:07
  • Not sure how something is a requirement if it's not legal? Isn't it then just a recommended thing? Can you clarify?
    – uncovery
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 22:50
  • You may edit in the links to the split questions.
    – Jonas
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


Switzerland is a highly diverse country given its small size. The three main language regions (German/French/Italian) are culturally oriented toward their same-language neighbors, so a fad in Germany might not even be known to the French-speaking population of Switzerland.

Furthermore, there is a noticeable cultural divide between cities and the countryside; products that may be acceptable to sell in a city may not be well received in the countryside.

The foreign population can also be segregated to different language regions.

In short: If you consider opening a store, you should do thorough market research to identify where in Switzerland the store should be located.


I don't know witch kind of Visa you have on your passport, but you need a permit to be a resident in CH to open a company there, otherwise you need to find a business partner with a permanent resident permit in CH or with the CH nationality.

If you like you could also use a fiduciary company that will open the company following your direction.

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