Cryptocurrency Licence in Switzerland

Cryptocurrency Licence in Switzerland

The financial regulator in Switzerland is the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, and all cryptocurrency companies must obtain a license to regulate their financial transactions. The process of obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Switzerland takes between 4 and 6 months.

Based on the FINMA recommendations, virtually all activities in the cryptocurrency domain are subject to one of the following licenses (depending on the business model of the company, its crypto activities may be subject to multiple licenses at the same time):

  • License of financial intermediary (fintech)
  • Licence for banking services
  • Investment fund licence
  • Securities dealer’s license

As a rule, the Swedish company must obtain one of the following licenses in order to provide cryptocurrency services: a Fintec license and a license for banking services. Bank license allows to attract unlimited number of deposits from natural or legal persons. The capital requirement of the company applying for the license is 10 million euros. The Fintech license allows accepting deposits of up to 100 million euros, and the capital requirements are much lower. The regulator’s main requirement for the size of the authorized capital is that companies with this type of financial licence must maintain a statutory capital of at least 3 per cent of deposits made by customers and at least 300,000 euros.

Requirements for the company

Companies interested in obtaining a licence to exchange and store cryptocurrency in Switzerland must comply with the requirements for registration of a legal person in Switzerland.

  • For a GMBH-type company, the authorized capital is EUR 20,000
  • For a company of type AG, the authorized capital is EUR 100,000

The company must have at least one shareholder and one director.

License of financial intermediary (fintech)

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), financial intermediaries that are not members of a self-regulating organization require a licence from FINMA. Before a licence can be issued to a financial intermediary (DSFI), the operating company must comply with the licensing conditions set out in the Act (Article 14 AMLA).

The financial intermediary shall:

  • Be entered in the business register as a place of business and have an official business permit.
  • Be able to meet AMLA requirements with appropriate organizational structure and internal regulations.
  • Have a good reputation and be able to guarantee both compliance with its obligations under AMLA and proper conduct of business. These conditions apply both to the organization itself and to those responsible for its administration and management.

Annexes must demonstrate that prospective licensees will comply with all licensing requirements specified in the Act or will do so as soon as the permit is obtained.

Applications must be submitted in the official language of the Swiss Confederation and signed by the applicant. Applications submitted by the applicant’s legal representative must be

signed by this person. A certified copy of the person’s power of attorney should also be attached.

FINMA will process the application after it has been correctly and fully filed. If necessary, the applicant may be requested to provide additional information or documents to establish full compliance with licensing requirements.

The license of the financial intermediary (fintech) allows the company to both store and trade in virtual currencies, with the management of the company as well as the location of the company in Switzerland.

Necessary documents

The following documents are required for those wishing to apply for a licence from a financial intermediary (fincht) in Switzerland:

  • Copies of identity documents (owner and director’s passport)
  • Copies of residence permits in Switzerland for foreign nationals
  • CV members of the company
  • Certificates of education of participants
  • Certificate of absence of criminal record of company participants
  • Confirmation of source of funds
  • Documentation describing the internal organization of the company: 1) The business plan, including the budget for the next 3 financial years, with a plan of realistic, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios; 2) Detailed information on the custody of clients’ deposits

If the shareholders and / or directors are legal entities, a complete set of the company’s published documents must be provided.

Taxation of cryptocurrency companies in Switzerland

Corporate income tax is levied at the federal, municipal and cantonal levels.e

The municipal/cantonal tax ranges from 1.5 per cent for the canton of Lucerne to 12.8 per cent for the canton of Fribourg. Each canton has its own peculiarities.

Each canton has its own tax legislation and collects cantonal and communal income and capital taxes at different rates. The combined effective tax rate ranges from 11.5 per cent to 24.2 per cent, depending on the location of the company in Switzerland.

Under certain conditions, companies with a predominantly foreign business may have cantonal and communal tax exemptions or exemptions and be taxed at an effective tax rate of 7,83% to 11% on profits from foreign sources.

The effective rate of federal tax is 7.83% – 8.5% and is levied on the total amount remaining after basic taxes.

The company’s dividends are also taxed, depending on the country of residence of the company’s owners. Standard rate for dividend payment – 35%

Capital tax on the company: It is levied only at the cantonal level at a rate ranging from 0.01 per cent to 0.5 per cent of the amount of capital paid (depending on the canton).


100,000 EUR
  • Incorporation service charge
  • Opening a share capital blocked account
  • Notarization, and delivery of the documents
  • Official fees of the commercial register
  • Independent director nominee services
  • AML/compliance officer services
  • Registered domicile
  • Assistance with license obtaining
  • Application forms filled and their submission to authority
  • Analysis of the existing documents, website, structure
  • Terms and Conditions, internal policies

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At the moment, the main services of our company are legal and compliance solutions for FinTech projects. Our offices are located in Tallinn, Vilnius, and Warsaw. The legal team can assist with legal analysis, project structuring, and legal regulation.

Company in Estonia OÜ

Registration number: 14153440
Licence number: FIU000186
Phone: + 372 5683 0881
Email: [email protected]
Address: Sepise 1, Tallinn, 11415, Estonia

Company in Lithuania UAB

Registration number: 304377400
Phone: +370 669 55747
Email: [email protected]
Address: Lvovo g. 25, 7th floor, Vilnius, 09320, Lithuania

IT Expert Consultancy Sp. z o.o

Registration number: 38421992700000
Phone: +485 7358 1016
Email: [email protected]
Address: Twarda 18, 15th floor, Warszawa, 00-824, Poland

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