Teichmann International > Zurich, Switzerland > Firm Profile

Teichmann International
BAHNHOFSTRASSE 82
ZURICH 8001
Switzerland

What we do: Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is a Swiss law firm with offices in Zurich, St. Gallen, and Frauenfeld. We are well equipped to advise and represent businesses and private clients in a discrete, trustworthy, and competent manner. We offer business consultancy, legal services, litigation, notarial services as well as legal advice in commercial and private decisions.

Our clients, many of whom have trusted us for years, have international backgrounds and work in many different fields. What sets our work apart from other law firms is our exhaustive set of skills and languages. In addition, our experts have enjoyed an excellent education and are experienced in dealing with complex transnational and cross-border cases. In particular, our law firm has several foreign desks, namely CSI, Italy, Germany, and Turkey, which cover complex transnational matters and frequently collaborate with experts around the world for the benefit of our international clients.

One of our core competencies lies in compliance. Our banking and finance department advises financial institutions, banks, and high-net worth individuals in Switzerland and abroad in all matters concerning banking and financial markets law. We are best known for our leading expertise in financial crime and anti-money-laundering prevention.

We assist our clients in dealing with regulatory issues, banking disputes, the financing of transactions, debt capital matters and more. Our seasoned legal experts have deep knowledge of the banking and finance sector, not least because most of them have enjoyed an interdisciplinary education. Our attorneys are experienced in banking litigation and financial infrastructures regulations. Moreover, our expertise extends to international lending transactions, collective investment schemes, and lending transactions.

Not only do our attorneys have an excellent understanding of the Swiss market, but we also offer access to a broad network of international legal experts that offer their valuable advice in transnational cases. Our firm is regularly instructed by national and foreign banks as well as private equity funds.

Teichmann International’s managing partner, Fabian Teichmann, has trained compliance officers of more than 30 banks as well as other financial institutions in financial markets compliance and anti-money-laundering mechanisms. He is among the most published authors in Switzerland regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. Our research identifies aspects of regulation that need improvement and thus contributes to the improvement of compliance measures in the banking sector.

Moreover, we make sure to stay well-informed and up to date regarding business innovations and trends to be able to provide the best possible services for our clients. Our FinTech department provides the full range of legal services FinTech innovators and financial service providers require when developing and adopting goods and services, including cryptocurrencies, digital banking, peer-to-peer lending, e-payment platforms, crowdfunding, blockchain, and more. Our expertise extends to data protection, due diligence and regulatory compliance, commercial contracts, M&A, capital raising, competition law, employment, consumer protection, and more. We help both startups and established corporations entering the FinTech domain with achieving their growth and commercial objectives. 

In addition, we evaluate our clients’ compliance and business models and represent them before the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority when it comes to approval and licensing proceedings. Our particular expertise in this regard extends to duties arising from Swiss anti-money laundering provisions. We also advise clients on the execution of financing rounds and other complex transactions.

Our corporate clients include innovative technology firms, financial service providers, venture capitalist and private equity houses, and others. We also advise FinTech innovators on suitable strategies for the establishment and expansion of their startups. In this, we focus on regulatory, tax, and compliance matters. Because our law firm has an integrated notary’s office at its disposal, we are optimally equipped to assist our clients in the notarization of important documents and drafting contracts. Furthermore, we advice clients within the scope of token sales, Initial Coin Offerings, and more to ensure compliance with Swiss regulations and legislation. Moreover, we advise high net worth individuals concerning investments, risk dispersion, and taxation in relation to FinTech matters.

Nonetheless, our experts handle cases relating to various other legal fields. The department also advises and represents private clients in matters relating to criminal law, family and matrimonial law, employment law, contract law, and more. Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG does not only support you in legal matters – we offer advise in any situation for the entire family. This is true for both pretrial legal advice and your representation in front of all Swiss courts.

Our firm also advises and represents clients before national and international arbitration courts both in Switzerland and abroad, primarily handling the interests of clients in commercial matters. In this, business-management aspects are always prioritized next to legal consideration.

We conduct litigation before all Swiss courts while attaching particular importance to procedural law because cases are often won or lost based on the finer details of procedural law. For instance, the department has in the past utilized its deep knowledge on criminal procedural law to effect the unfreezing of seized assets within the scope of mutual legal assistance proceedings.

Nonetheless, amicable settlements always have priority for our firm. We are known for our holistic approach to conflict resolution. Our seasoned legal experts are experienced in anticipating conflicts and developing strategies to mitigate court proceedings. Our first steps always revolve around finding an amicable solution that considers the needs of both parties. We explore the option of a settlement that benefits our clients by negotiating with the opposing parties and participating in mediation and settlement conferences with judges.

If court proceedings cannot be avoided, our lawyers represent clients in a competent and reliable manner. Within the scope of these legal proceedings, our lawyers appropriately assess opportunities and risks for our clients. Our experts also collaborate with the Swiss and international authorities to achieve pragmatic and favorable results for all parties involved.

Our litigation services are frequently used by private clients in a wide range of legal areas including criminal, employment and family law. Besides private clients, we represent corporations from various industries in handling complex lawsuits and arbitrations both domestically and abroad. Our expertise extends to both civil and criminal litigation. In this, our litigation attorneys manage all phases of the litigation from the investigation, pleadings, and discovery through the pre-trial, settlement, and appeal processes.

For our private clients, we frequently handle cases involving wealth and estate planning, relocations to Switzerland or dealings with luxury goods and trusts. In addition, our expertise in white-collar crime and compliance allows us to handle cases related to the sanctioning of individuals and freezing of assets or asset seizures. These cases frequently involve politically exposed persons and high-profile clients from all over the world.

The legal experts in this department regularly advise clients in matters of lump-sum taxation, inheritance, finances, risk diversification, and more. The department establishes Swiss bank accounts for foreign high-net worth clients to help them mitigate risks associated with their local banking system, inflation, political exposition or other reasons. Because the department has an integrated notary’s office at its command, our experts are able to deliver comprehensive services from a single source.

Mission:Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is an established expert in all matters regarding compliance and white-collar crime that bases its work on the values of its clients. We strive to establish close connections that are shaped by mutual trust to our clients.

We are aware that our clients operate in an environment that is shaped by the pursuit of quick success, which places much responsibility in our hands. We conquer the associated challenges with confidence and determination. All matters are resolved by our experts efficiently and with the utmost professionalism and quality. Our actions are always focused on the desired outcome and we offer our clients realistic and concrete solutions. Our clients’ contentment is the ultimate goal. Since legal issues are often highly complex, it is important to have a trustworthy and reliable partner in these matters.

Naturally, we offer profound expertise that has been acquired via an excellent and broad academic education. Said expertise is the foundation of any competent legal consultation and notarial matters. All solutions devised by Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG are immaculate and implemented in a timely and discrete manner.

We strive to offer our clients more than pure legal advice; we offer support in any situation. We aim to be more than just a service provider – a strong partner. Aside from offering legal and notarial services we do not neglect our clients’ economic and private circumstances.

With respect to your interests and goals we develop potential solutions for their achievement. Our clients are usually integrated in this process and help shape it – Ultimately you decide which road will be taken. However, you are free to change your mind throughout this process, we do not believe that a rigid concept is beneficial when dealing with the challenges posed by today’s business environment.

Through constant and open communication we are able to respond to inquiries in any situation and legal matter in a timely manner. It is our calling to investigate legal matters and offer the best support possible to our clients. We are always excited to confront new challenges.

The desired, intense cooperation with our clients required trust on both ends; ideally, a longstanding and appreciative relationship can be formed. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Dr. iur. Dr. rer. pol. Fabian Teichmann, LL.M.teichmann@teichmann-law.ch+41442010221
English
German
Swiss German
French
Italian
Russian
Portuguese
Turkish
Serbian
LCIA European Council
Swiss and Zurich Bar Associations

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is a Swiss law firm with offices in Zurich, St. Gallen, and Frauenfeld. We are well equipped to advise and represent businesses and private clients in a discrete, trustworthy, and competent manner. We offer business consultancy, legal services, litigation, notarial services as well as legal advice in commercial and private decisions.

We assist our clients in dealing with regulatory issues, banking disputes, the financing of transactions, debt capital matters and more. Our seasoned legal experts have deep knowledge of the banking and finance sector, not least because most of them have enjoyed an interdisciplinary education. Our attorneys are experienced in banking litigation and financial infrastructures regulations. Moreover, our expertise extends to international lending transactions, collective investment schemes, and lending transactions.

Teichmann International’s managing partner, Fabian Teichmann, has trained compliance officers of more than 30 banks as well as other financial institutions in financial markets compliance and anti-money-laundering mechanisms. He is among the most published authors in Switzerland regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. Our research identifies aspects of regulation that need improvement and thus contributes to the improvement of compliance measures in the banking sector.

In addition, we evaluate our clients’ compliance and business models and represent them before the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority when it comes to approval and licensing proceedings. Our particular expertise in this regard extends to duties arising from Swiss anti-money laundering provisions. We also advise clients on the execution of financing rounds and other complex transactions.

The clients

Our corporate clients include innovative technology firms, financial service providers, venture capitalist and private equity houses, and others. We also advise FinTech innovators on suitable strategies for the establishment and expansion of their startups. In this, we focus on regulatory, tax, and compliance matters. Because our law firm has an integrated notary’s office at its disposal, we are optimally equipped to assist our clients in the notarization of important documents and drafting contracts. Furthermore, we advice clients within the scope of token sales, Initial Coin Offerings, and more to ensure compliance with Swiss regulations and legislation. Moreover, we advise high net worth individuals concerning investments, risk dispersion, and taxation in relation to FinTech matters.

Our firm also advises and represents clients before national and international arbitration courts both in Switzerland and abroad, primarily handling the interests of clients in commercial matters. In this, business-management aspects are always prioritized next to legal consideration.
We conduct litigation before all Swiss courts while attaching particular importance to procedural law because cases are often won or lost based on the finer details of procedural law. For instance, the department has in the past utilized its deep knowledge on criminal procedural law to effect the unfreezing of seized assets within the scope of mutual legal assistance proceedings.

Nonetheless, amicable settlements always have priority for our firm. We are known for our holistic approach to conflict resolution. Our seasoned legal experts are experienced in anticipating conflicts and developing strategies to mitigate court proceedings. Our first steps always revolve around finding an amicable solution that considers the needs of both parties. We explore the option of a settlement that benefits our clients by negotiating with the opposing parties and participating in mediation and settlement conferences with judges.

Our litigation services are frequently used by private clients in a wide range of legal areas including criminal, employment and family law. Besides private clients, we represent corporations from various industries in handling complex lawsuits and arbitrations both domestically and abroad. Our expertise extends to both civil and criminal litigation. In this, our litigation attorneys manage all phases of the litigation from the investigation, pleadings, and discovery through the pre-trial, settlement, and appeal processes.

For our private clients, we frequently handle cases involving wealth and estate planning, relocations to Switzerland or dealings with luxury goods and trusts. In addition, our expertise in white-collar crime and compliance allows us to handle cases related to the sanctioning of individuals and freezing of assets or asset seizures. These cases frequently involve politically exposed persons and high-profile clients from all over the world.

The legal experts in this department regularly advise clients in matters of lump-sum taxation, inheritance, finances, risk diversification, and more. The department establishes Swiss bank accounts for foreign high-net worth clients to help them mitigate risks associated with their local banking system, inflation, political exposition or other reasons. Because the department has an integrated notary’s office at its command, our experts are able to deliver comprehensive services from a single source.
The team

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG consists of a diverse team of people who speak a wide range of languages such as: English, German, Swiss German, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Serbian, Romanian.

The Network

Not only do our attorneys have an excellent understanding of the Swiss market, but we also offer access to a broad network of international legal experts that offer their valuable advice in transnational cases. Our firm is regularly instructed by national and foreign banks as well as private equity funds.


At Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG we believe that the diverse dimensions of our lawyers, professionals and staff helps us to lead our clients. As a team, we are united by our enthusiasm for client success.

Inclusion is an important value of how we do business and an integral part of our outreach efforts, operations and strategic plans, including a supplier diversity initiative.

Mission Statement

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is an established expert in all aspects of compliance and white-collar crime, which bases its business on the values of its customers. We strive to establish close ties shaped by mutual trust with our clients.

We are aware that our clients operate in an environment that is shaped by the pursuit of rapid success, which places a great deal of responsibility in our hands. We conquer the associated challenges with confidence and determination. All problems are solved by our experts efficiently and with the utmost professionalism and quality. Our actions are always focused on the desired result and we offer our clients realistic and concrete solutions. The satisfaction of our customers is the ultimate goal. As legal issues are often extremely complex, it is important to have a reliable and trustworthy partner in these matters.

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is committed to recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting talented lawyers and staff with diverse experience and backgrounds. For us, diversity encompasses a variety of characteristics, lifestyles and perspectives; including race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, education, veteran status, disability, socioeconomic status, family and marital status. We strongly believe that our inclusive environment is critical to both the quality of our client service and the personal satisfaction of our attorneys and staff. The result of our commitment is a team of attorneys and staff who are diverse as individuals, but united by our enthusiasm to serve our clients through the practice of law in our communities.

Through constant and open communication, we are able to respond to requests in any legal situation and matter in a timely manner. It is our calling to investigate legal issues and provide the best possible support to our clients. We are always happy to take on new challenges.

Intense and desired cooperation with our clients has required trust on both sides; ideally, a long-lasting and appreciative relationship can be formed.


CLIENT: C.C.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I had a wonderful experience with Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG. They are very professional, responsive and knowledgeable. They always respond promptly to my questions and concerns. In particular, the cooperation with Mr. Teichmann was simply excellent. His friendly manner, good communication and thorough knowledge of the Swiss legal system made a very good impression on me. I would certainly recommend Teichmann International to anyone in need of exceptional legal services.”


CLIENT: R.B.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I would wholeheartedly recommend the services of this law firm especially for those seeking assistance in family law. I was impressed with the staff of this office, they are all extremely professional and extremely good at what they do. They are able to grasp complex issues very quickly and reach favourable solutions in the shortest possible time. Sometimes family law can be scary and uncertain, but you will feel more than cared for if you seek their services.”


CLIENT: J.R.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I have had a very good experience with this law firm and the staff is very professional, knowledgeable and good at handling litigation cases. In particular, Mr Teichmann has a lot of experience in the Swiss legal system and litigation. In addition, the team here gives phenomenal attention to clients and their needs. I would always recommend Teichmann International to other clients should they face a similar case.”


CLIENT: F. D:
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I was extraordinarily pleased with the Zurich team of this law firm. The team here is always approachable and dedicated to achieving a successful outcome. They were able to get exactly what I wanted in the divorce and child custody decree. I appreciated the professionalism they showed at an extremely difficult and sensitive time in my life. If you want a team that will fight for what you deserve, then they are it.”


CLIENT: S.F.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “With Teichmann International, you can have every confidence that your legal matter is in good hands. The staff at this law firm is extremely professional and very compassionate. The attorneys are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and demonstrate excellent communication with their clients to keep them informed at all times. I turned to them with a family law matter and was very impressed with the analytical skills of the attorneys.”


CLIENT: L.N.B.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I can only recommend Teichmann International with full confidence. The team is efficient and dynamic, culturally diverse and has the highest standards of professional excellence. I was pleasantly impressed with their experience in many areas of employment law as well as the perseverance and compassion with which they defend their clients. If you need legal help in employment related matters, you can turn to them with full confidence.”


CLIENT: V.B.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “I am extremely grateful to Mr. Teichmann who is a consummate professional and got me an excellent result at sentencing and now I am waiting for him to handle a forfeiture. In addition, I am grateful to the entire team at Teichmann International for their amazing client care and attention to detail. The extremely high quality of the work carried out should be emphasised. All aspects and details are very well analysed. Totally worth the money.”


CLIENT: V.T.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “Teichmann International has an extremely professional and hard-working team. I would especially like to thank Mr. Teichmann, who is an excellent lawyer and the driving force that takes the firm forward and ensures that they provide top-notch service. I was also impressed that I was able to communicate with him in my native language (Russian) but also that I could contact him 24/7. In addition, he has extensive experience litigating serious and high-profile tax matters. I am very grateful for his commitment and dedication and highly recommend him.”


CLIENT: B.T.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “We appreciate Mr. Teichmann for his interdisciplinary approach. He is not only an excellent lawyer and notary public, but also holds degrees in management, accounting and finance, as well as in psychology and neuroscience. Fabian Teichmann has unique analytical skills and continues to surprise us with his creative ideas.”


CLIENT: F.U.
COMPANY/FIRM:
TESTIMONIAL: “Fabian Teichmann is the best lawyer I’ve ever had. He has superb technocratic expertise and is available 24/7. All of our complex requests were handled immediately. He is a real pleasure to work with.”


CLIENT: C.E.
COMPANY/FIRM: Global Trading Company
TESTIMONIAL: “Our global trading company has operations in several jurisdictions. Therefore, we need a global lawyer who understands how to deal with people around the world. Fabian Teichmann is uniquely equipped to handle complex multinational transactions. He is both a lawyer and an entrepreneur. Fabian truly understands what we need.”

Switzerland

Switzerland is recognised worldwide as a leading country in many respects. It has an extremely high quality of life (2nd place in the United Nations Development Programme 2020 Human Development Index ranking), international credibility, political and social stability, a transparent legal system, a liberal and highly competitive economy, a strategic geographical position and multiculturalism. No wonder, then, that Switzerland is becoming a destination for many people, companies and investors every year.

Although Switzerland did not escape the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world, the country managed the crisis through a wise balance between necessary containment measures and protecting the economy. During the COVID-19 crisis, Swiss people and businesses were much less restricted than their European neighbours and were able to continue to live and operate with relative freedom.

Despite Switzerland’s extremely attractive conditions for doing business, it is extremely important to familiarise yourself with local laws and regulations, as well as the main features of the country’s social and economic structure.

Business environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly taught Switzerland the importance of flexibility and adaptation. Switzerland has seen a massive increase in smart working solutions and digitisation of both everyday life and business practices. Although digital working methods were not common before the crisis, the country has responded particularly well to the challenges of COVID-19, which have been addressed through rapid adaptation. It is likely that the vast majority of workers will continue to work smart even after the pandemic is fully defeated.

In addition to COVID-19-related digitisation, Switzerland remains a safe haven and a land of opportunity for both people and companies.

Liberal and competitive economy

Switzerland’s formula for success is partly based on a highly liberal economic system. In 2021, Switzerland ranked 4th worldwide in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom: this recognised that Switzerland has the freest economy in Europe. The country has high productivity and few price regulations; its liberal labour laws, with no general federal minimum wage, are balanced by a strong welfare system to prevent people from falling into poverty. Switzerland is also party to several international trade agreements and offers a transparent and efficient investment structure. This combination of factors helps Switzerland to be competitive at the highest level.

Strong social and political stability

Switzerland is a federal state based on cooperation and concordance. Its political system disperses power both horizontally (between the different branches) and vertically (between the state and federal levels). Even within the different branches, power is shared and exercised through compromise. A good example is the Federal Council (i.e. the federal government): none of its seven councillors has more power than the others, and internal discussions end with a vote, whose decision is presented to the people as the will of the whole council. This continual search for agreement leads to robust political stability and acceptance. The Swiss people also have massive participation rights. They can intervene directly by voting to amend the constitution or to prescribe a course of action to the federal (or state) government. This participatory freedom helps to achieve political acceptance and ultimately stability. Riots and turmoil are very rare in Switzerland. In addition, the country’s excellent social welfare system ensures that no one facing poverty is left behind: everyone gets at least the means to lead a decent life.

Very high average quality of life, high purchasing power and strong currency

Switzerland is known for its very high average wages and extremely good quality of life. In general, the Swiss have a high purchasing power, which makes the country a profitable market. The strength of the Swiss franc also makes Switzerland a safe place for investment and business in general.

Skilled workforce

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019, Switzerland has the best educated workers in the world. This distinction is due in part to the country’s excellent public education system. Switzerland is home to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (6th place in the QS World University Rankings® 2021 – after MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Caltech and Oxford), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (14th place ) and the University of Zurich (69th place). In addition to university education, Switzerland offers excellent professional education – underpinned by an excellent economic and industrial fabric. In fact, many apprentices who choose vocational training instead of an academic path get even better job opportunities and salaries than graduates (a perfect example is Sergio Ermotti, former CEO of UBS Bank, who started his career as an apprentice in a local bank).

International prestige

Internationally and diplomatically, Switzerland boasts a high level of prestige and credibility, being home to some of the world’s most important international organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the European headquarters of the UN, FIFA, UEFA, the IOC and over 500 NGOs. Switzerland acts internationally as a neutral and trusted mediator.

Strategic geographical position

Due to its strategic geographical position in the middle of Western Europe and the European Union, Switzerland is crossed by the most important north-south continental routes through the Alps. The country’s excellent, state-of-the-art railway system forms an essential part of the Rotterdam-Genoa route, including the 57 km Gotthard Base Tunnel: the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world. Although not an EU member state, Switzerland has managed to negotiate a number of mutually beneficial agreements with the EU, giving Swiss citizens and companies many of the same rights and freedoms as EU citizens in terms of movement of people and goods, cross-border trade and more. It takes some imagination to understand the massive benefits of these bilateral agreements for trade and for doing business in general.

What you need to know about doing business in Switzerland

Legal system in Switzerland

Switzerland has a civil law system based on a constitution that wisely combines the best parts of the French and German legal traditions. The system reflects the country’s federal structure, with a pyramid system of federal and state regulation, which sometimes leads to significant differences in how issues such as taxation and education are regulated at state level. The judicial system is generally based on three different levels (two at the state level under the Federal Supreme Court). Proceedings are generally conducted in the state language (German, French or Italian). In particular, several international agreements and treaties as well as parts of EU law are often taken into account during the proceedings.

Very high legal certainty

In general, Switzerland provides very high legal certainty. The coexistence and functioning of a functional country in general and business in particular requires the confidence of the population in the institutions and laws of their own state. Changing regulations, uncertainty and government-dependent laws make it difficult to develop long-term plans for doing business. A stable, secure legal system that can be trusted is therefore a crucial consideration when choosing a jurisdiction in which to do business. Because of Switzerland’s political system, based on concord, discussion and dispersion of power, it is difficult for any one political force to change the laws, and public participation rights perform an important oversight function. Thus, one can count on the complete stability of the country’s legal system.

Fiscal decisions and planning security

Legal certainty is also vital for tax planning security. It is essential to know how much tax will be paid before deciding whether to do business in a particular location. In Switzerland, the power to raise taxes is shared between the federal government, state governments and even municipal councils. While taxes at the federal level are the same for everyone (and every company), there are more differences at the state and municipal level, leading to tax competition between different localities. Under the Swiss system, it is possible to obtain a forecast of the tax consequences of a case or a proposed transaction (e.g. an inheritance plan or a merger of two companies). The forecast given is then binding on the authorities, provided that the case/transaction proceeds exactly as described above and that no change in the tax rules occurs in the meantime. This unique system gives companies, investors and individuals the legal certainty they need to plan and implement their business strategy without fear of unexpected taxation.

Under certain conditions, some Swiss regions offer tax reductions for companies whose products have a high added value and are manufactured for very wealthy individuals.

Company law

Swiss law distinguishes between commercial partnerships (based on personal commitment) and joint-stock companies. The most common business structure is the limited liability company (LLC), followed by the commercial companies. There are several differences between these two forms of business structure: the minimum capital is CHF 20,000 for LLCs, compared to CHF 100,000 for corporations; access to the stock exchange is reserved for corporations, while LLCs are usually more convenient for smaller businesses. Both LLCs and corporations are set up by notarial deed, payment of paid-up capital and entry in the register of companies. Setting up a limited company in Switzerland is relatively simple and can be done in a few weeks. However, the procedure and details can still be overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with the legal framework. It is therefore advisable to consult a lawyer to ensure that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.

Advanced blockchain regulations

The Swiss federal government and state authorities have a very positive and open attitude towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in general. Switzerland has recognised the opportunity to take a global leadership role in this sector and has remained open to new developments. Especially at the state level, blockchain-based technologies are being considered and regulated. In the canton of Zug, for example, it is possible to pay taxes with cryptocurrencies.

In 2016, the Federal Council announced its intention to reduce barriers to entry for FinTech companies. The plan comprises three pillars.

The first sets a 60-day deadline for holding money in settlement accounts. This is particularly interesting for crowdfunding service providers because it allows them to operate without having to obtain a banking license, which they would normally have to do. The second pillar allows a commercial company to engage in activities that would normally require a bank licence. Up to a total amount of CHF 1 million, a provider can accept public funds without having to be licensed and supervised by the financial market regulator (FINMA). The third pillar is a new FinTech licence granted by FINMA. This licence allows non-deposit taking lenders to operate under less stringent requirements than traditional banks. However, such FinTech companies cannot accept funds exceeding CHF 100 million in total. To obtain a licence, the company must maintain a capital of at least 5% of the public funds accepted or CHF 300,000 (whichever is higher).

This example shows Switzerland’s pioneering trend in cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based technologies.

Excellent asset protection mechanisms

Asset protection refers to planning aimed at reducing future conflicts and ultimately preventing the loss of wealth. Swiss law offers many opportunities to plan wisely for the protection of one’s assets. One rudimentary but effective way to protect one’s wealth from possible future legal claims is to transfer assets to another – trusted – person, such as a descendant. Another tool is the foundation. With a few rare exceptions, a so-called family foundation (designed to financially support a family or other group of people) cannot be set up directly in Switzerland because it is not considered to be of public benefit. Such a foundation can be set up in another country, such as Lichtenstein, and receive funds from Switzerland. Another asset protection mechanism is the trust. This institute does not yet exist in Swiss law, but foreign trusts are recognised in Switzerland and the possibility of introducing trusts into the Swiss legal system is currently being evaluated. The establishment of a corporation or an LLC is a good means to keep private financial means separate from business assets, as well as to protect personal wealth through the limited liability mechanism. It is also worth considering matrimonial property regimes and estate planning, both of which can be used to keep personal wealth safe from third parties. To avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities when considering how to protect assets, it is advisable to seek legal advice quickly.

High compliance standards

Switzerland has high compliance standards. For listed companies, the “Swiss Code of Best Corporate Governance Practices” is the main source of law. Compliance usually involves compliance with the law as well as with behavioural guidelines (e.g. codes of conduct and directives). In addition, it requires a commitment to act with integrity and ethics. Compliance ultimately depends on effective management, and compliance breaches are almost always the result of management weaknesses. In Switzerland, compliance with compliance standards is a high priority in order to avoid investigations, criminal proceedings and legal liability. Before doing business in Switzerland, it is essential to seek legal advice on how to comply with the law and meet the highest standards of compliance.

Top tips to takeaway “What to know before Investing”

To sum up, Switzerland is a small country in the middle of Europe, a melting pot of European cultures, languages and religions, with an extremely complex structure of different cantons and layered political and legal systems. Despite having very few natural resources, the country manages to compete internationally at the highest level. Cultural differences within Switzerland are characteristic of its social fabric. When doing business, this must be taken into account. While in Geneva and the Italian-speaking southern region business is more informal, Mediterranean and emotional, in the northern region of Zurich business follows more structured and formal rituals. Overall, Switzerland is a land of opportunity, where people can enjoy an excellent quality of life, high purchasing power and outstanding educational opportunities and job prospects.

Switzerland’s legal and bureaucratic system is customer-friendly, uncomplicated and fast, providing an optimal framework for doing business. However, before starting a new business, it is essential to seek professional legal advice on Swiss company law, taxation, compliance regulations and asset protection planning. However, if accurate planning cannot prevent a legal dispute from arising and a settlement cannot be reached by agreement, the Swiss court system is generally considered to be fast and efficient.

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG is a law firm and notary with offices in Zurich and St. Gallen. Through a process of self-critical and ambitious reflection over many years, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG has created an exceptional concept for a law firm. The firm assists both individuals and companies in very different legal matters and areas, from the beginning to the end of a dispute. In addition, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG assists its clients in many other types of legal matters, such as succession planning, asset protection planning, corporate governance and compliance, as well as mergers and takeovers.

Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG employs professionals from all different cultural and professional backgrounds, creating a multilingual team that speaks and understands more than ten different languages. The firm’s employees specialise in many different areas, including business and company law, antitrust, money laundering, white collar crime, family office, family law, contract law, criminal law and more.

Dr. Fabian Teichmann, LL.M. , Managing Partner

Why do clients choose you?

I am known for my holistic approach. I earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance (Bocconi University) and graduate degrees in management (Harvard University) and in accounting and finance (University of St. Gallen) before attending law school. I subsequently earned a PhD in law (University of Zurich), an LL.M. degree (King’s College London) and a doctorate in economics and social sciences (University of Kassel). Hence, when analysing legal issues, I always apply a well-rounded analytical perspective.  

In addition, I am known for my entrepreneurial spirit. I founded Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG and so know what it is like to build up a law firm. I have also managed consulting and trading firms in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, England and the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, I understand the needs of entrepreneurs and can easily relate to them. 

Furthermore, my clients seem to appreciate my responsiveness. They know that I work 365 days per year and do not take holidays. Eighty hour work weeks are part of my routine. Hence, I always respond quickly when a client needs me. After all, clients who are facing trouble want to talk immediately to the person they trust, rather than waiting a few days. 

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

I invest a lot of time and resources into continuing education. For instance, I have taken courses in psychology at King’s College London in order to better understand my clients and our opponents. Being able to detect a counterparty’s psychological weaknesses during negotiations and lawsuits is a valuable skill. I also continue taking management courses at Harvard University in order to further improve my skills as managing partner. 

Furthermore, I conduct a lot of research. I am convinced that continuously analysing the latest legal developments helps me to provide my clients with innovative insights. Also, my research confers credibility in front of judges and among colleagues. My scientific articles have been published in over 30 different academic journals and are regularly cited by courts and other legal practitioners. 

In addition, I measure the market’s pulse by teaching at various universities. For example, I teach courses on financial markets compliance to experienced compliance officers in an executive programme at Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration, and to prosecutors at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna. Interactive class discussions help me understand where the market is going while also giving back to society.  

Finally, I drive our company’s digitalisation strategy. I believe that law firms should be entirely digitalised. We have an obligation towards our clients to be as efficient as possible. Hence, we scan all documents and store them in the cloud, so that files can be accessed from anywhere in the world. We also use the latest enterprise communication software. This allows effective and efficient communication internally and with clients. 

What makes you a suitable partner for international clients?

I grew up with peers from over 35 countries during my time at Institut auf dem Rosenberg, one of Switzerland’s leading boarding schools. I learned to deal with different cultures and came to appreciate various backgrounds. When I set up our law firm, I wanted our brand to signal that we welcome clients from all over the world. Hence, I chose the name ‘Teichmann International’. 

Our clients appreciate that they can communicate with me in eight languages. My undergraduate degree programme at Bocconi University was taught in Italian, while my first master’s degree programme at Harvard University was taught in English. I currently spend several hours per day talking to clients in Russian. International clients appreciate the opportunity to explain their legal issues in their native language to someone who understands both their culture and Swiss law. 

Also, we have offices in various Swiss cantons, and so can help clients in various regions. Furthermore, clients can access our network and ‘Teichmann International’ consulting firms in various jurisdictions. 

Why do lawyers choose to work at your firm?

Employees are our greatest resource and we treat them accordingly. Many have been attracted by the firm’s dynamic environment. Particularly among our young lawyers, this environment is perceived as very stimulating for personal development and growth. As a firm, we have expanded very quickly during recent years.  

Also, our employees appreciate the opportunity to work on high profile matters. Filing for a lump-sum taxation ruling for an individual on the Forbes’ list tends to be more interesting than compiling standard tax declarations. Likewise, representing oligarchs in white-collar-crime matters is often more intellectually stimulating than handling petty crime cases. 

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

From my perspective, compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations is becoming increasingly important. Recent whistleblower cases and the new EU Whistleblowing Directive show that ever more attention is being focused on compliance. Meanwhile, companies are tending to file complaints for non-compliance against competitors. Having recently written books on anti-bribery compliance incentives, money laundering, terrorism financing and other compliance issues, I am very well equipped to support our clients during these challenging times.  

Fabian Teichmann, Managing Partner, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG

Interview with Dr. iur. Dr. rer. Pol., LL.M Fabian Teichmannm, Managing Partner

Why do clients choose you?

I am known for my holistic approach. I earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance (Bocconi University) and graduate degrees in management (Harvard University) and in accounting and finance (University of St. Gallen) before attending law school. I subsequently earned a PhD in law (University of Zurich), an LL.M. degree (King’s College London) and a doctorate in economics and social sciences (University of Kassel). Hence, when analysing legal issues, I always apply a well-rounded analytical perspective.

In addition, I am known for my entrepreneurial spirit. I founded Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG and so know what it is like to build up a law firm. I have also managed consulting and trading firms in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, England and the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, I understand the needs of entrepreneurs and can easily relate to them.

Furthermore, my clients seem to appreciate my responsiveness. They know that I work 365 days per year and do not take holidays. Eighty hour work weeks are part of my routine. Hence, I always respond quickly when a client needs me. After all, clients who are facing trouble want to talk immediately to the person they trust, rather than waiting a few days.

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

I invest a lot of time and resources into continuing education. For instance, I have taken courses in psychology at King’s College London in order to better understand my clients and our opponents. Being able to detect a counterparty’s psychological weaknesses during negotiations and lawsuits is a valuable skill. I also continue taking management courses at Harvard University in order to further improve my skills as managing partner.

Furthermore, I conduct a lot of research. I am convinced that continuously analysing the latest legal developments helps me to provide my clients with innovative insights. Also, my research confers credibility in front of judges and among colleagues. My scientific articles have been published in over 30 different academic journals and are regularly cited by courts and other legal practitioners.

In addition, I measure the market’s pulse by teaching at various universities. For example, I teach courses on financial markets compliance to experienced compliance officers in an executive programme at Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration, and to prosecutors at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna. Interactive class discussions help me understand where the market is going while also giving back to society.

Finally, I drive our company’s digitalisation strategy. I believe that law firms should be entirely digitalised. We have an obligation towards our clients to be as efficient as possible. Hence, we scan all documents and store them in the cloud, so that files can be accessed from anywhere in the world. We also use the latest enterprise communication software. This allows effective and efficient communication internally and with clients.

What makes you a suitable partner for international clients?

I grew up with peers from over 35 countries during my time at Institut auf dem Rosenberg, one of Switzerland’s leading boarding schools. I learned to deal with different cultures and came to appreciate various backgrounds. When I set up our law firm, I wanted our brand to signal that we welcome clients from all over the world. Hence, I chose the name ‘Teichmann International’.

Our clients appreciate that they can communicate with me in eight languages. My undergraduate degree programme at Bocconi University was taught in Italian, while my first master’s degree programme at Harvard University was taught in English. I currently spend several hours per day talking to clients in Russian. International clients appreciate the opportunity to explain their legal issues in their native language to someone who understands both their culture and Swiss law.

Also, we have offices in various Swiss cantons, and so can help clients in various regions. Furthermore, clients can access our network and ‘Teichmann International’ consulting firms in various jurisdictions.

Why do lawyers choose to work at your firm?

Employees are our greatest resource and we treat them accordingly. Many have been attracted by the firm’s dynamic environment. Particularly among our young lawyers, this environment is perceived as very stimulating for personal development and growth. As a firm, we have expanded very quickly during recent years.

Also, our employees appreciate the opportunity to work on high profile matters. Filing for a lump-sum taxation ruling for an individual on the Forbes’ list tends to be more interesting than compiling standard tax declarations. Likewise, representing oligarchs in white-collar-crime matters is often more intellectually stimulating than handling petty crime cases.

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

From my perspective, compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations is becoming increasingly important. Recent whistleblower cases and the new EU Whistleblowing Directive show that ever more attention is being focused on compliance. Meanwhile, companies are tending to file complaints for non-compliance against competitors. Having recently written books on anti-bribery compliance incentives, money laundering, terrorism financing and other compliance issues, I am very well equipped to support our clients during these challenging times.