The Canton of Zurich - The economic motor of Switzerland
As one of the world's best places for quality of life and with top universities including ETH Zurich, R&D centers like Google and IBM Research can draw on a reservoir of skilled local and international professionals. Home to vibrant cities steeped in culture and an awardwinning international airport, Zurich also offers a balanced mix of innovation-driven industry clusters. The largest cluster is finance followed by ICT, life sciences and cleantech. Zurich's thriving life sciences cluster features a high share of innovative medical firms and university spin-off activities.
The Business and Economic Development Division of the Canton of Zurich is your point of contact for business guidance, including location evaluations, setting up a business and local cluster integration.
- Corporate tax rate
Effective corporate tax rate: 21.15% (City of Zurich)
- Tax proposal of the Zurich government to take effect on January 1, 2021: 19.7%
- Envisaged proposal of the Zurich government to take effect on January 1, 2023: 18.2%
Both proposals will be subject to public vote.
- Individual tax rate
Rated progressively depending on the taxable income amount. Basic cantonal and federal tax varies between 0.0 - 24.5 % and the tax multiplier of the corresponding municipality applies. For highly qualified individuals, see the analysis here. Wealth tax varies between 0 and 3% (basic cantonal tax).
- Guiding thoughts & policies regarding tax holiday
In agreement with the responsible municipality, the cantonal council may grant tax relief (maximum of 50%) for the initial year and the nine following years. A prerequisite is that new businesses are established which serve the economic interests of the canton or operate a new line of business and create a large number of jobs. No tax reliefs will be granted if a new business is in direct competition to existing enterprises that are subject to regular taxation. The tax reliefs are granted as a percentage reduction on taxes on profits and capital. These reductions may be subject to conditions with respect to reporting and repayment of taxes that have not been levied, should the company move away from Zurich within a given period of time.
- Innovation support & R&D grants
As part of the corporate tax reform, the Canton of Zurich intends to, inter alia, introduce the following (effective as of January 1, 2020):
- An additional tax deduction of 50% of the actual research and development costs incurred in Switzerland directly by the taxable company or indirectly by third parties in Switzerland.
- A tax reduction of 90% on profits from patents and similar intangibles. Determination of profit shall be in keeping with OECD accepted specifications.
- Implementation of these measures will translate into a tax burden between 11.2 and 18.2%(City of Zurich), depending on the nature of the respective business activity and where it is performed.
- Predominant industries
Banking and finance, insurance, information and communications technology, life sciences, hightech, tourism
- Flagship companies
UBS, Credit Suisse, Zurich, Swiss Re, IBM Research, Google, Bucher Industries, Sonova, Zimmer Biomet, Tecan, Barry Callebaut, Autoneum
- Recent additions
Facebook, Oracle Labs, Takeda, Vetements, ICBC, Magic Leap, Hyundai Electric, Matternet