We are a full-service business law firm. This enables us to render all our services as integrated services across legal areas. Most of our clients are multinational businesses. The firm was established 1911, so we have a history of 105 years now. This makes us one of the oldest and most successful law firms in Switzerland. We operate through offices in Zurich and Geneva.

With a firm history of 105 years we have an exceptionally long track record. We are also known to have a long tradition in tax services. It would be fair to say that our law firm was among the first in Switzerland to offer tax services to international clients. As a full-service law firm, we serve business clients from a broad range of industries, as well as private clients.

In terms of industry focus, we have a long tradition in advising clients in the financial services industry, including banking, capital markets, commodities and real estate, and in the pharmaceutical / life science and IT industry, including fintech. We serve these clients through dedicated industry practice groups where we combine industry knowledge with crosssectional legal expertise.
New clients are often derived from existing client relationships, where existing clients refer new clients to us. We are also represented at important industry events where we meet existing and new clients. And we proactively approach our clients to discuss recent developments both in the business environment and in the legal environment they are operating in.

The Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III The Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III combines existing strengths of the Swiss tax system with new opportunities. For example, Switzerland continues with the unilateral tax exemption for income collected through a permanent establishment outside Switzerland. As part of the Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III measures, the general corporate income tax rates will be reduced in many Swiss Cantons. A corporate income tax burden of 12% – 14% will be available in an increasing number of Swiss Cantons as the standard rate, that is without a requirement to apply any additional tax planning measures.

With its strong pharmaceutical / life science industry, Switzerland is an important hub for innovation. There also is an impressive number of very innovative IT firms present in Switzerland. If you look at fintech, this ties in with a very developed and strong financial services industry. In this environment, tax benefits such as the patent box help to further encourage innovation.

Another interesting measure under Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III is the R&D super deduction. To support innovative industries, this will allow for a tax-effective deduction of up to 150% of qualifying R&D spending. Notably, utmost care has been taken in the legislative process to design all these measures in line with OECD requirements, that is Switzerland offers stable and sustainable solutions.

Having said that, will the reforms make the region an attractive location for business to remain, or even relocate to? Well, we already now see the number of company migrations to Switzerland increasing. With its low corporate income tax rates, Switzerland is very attractive. And not only does the government promote this attractive environment. With its healthy budget and responsible spending policy Switzerland is able and willing to offer low tax rates on a sustainable / long-term basis.

Company: Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd
Name: Nils Harbeke
Email: Nils.Harbeke@ 
Address: Loewenstrasse 1, CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 217 91 11