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François Bianchi, Notary public at Notaires Associés

History and summary of the sale of real estate in Switzerland to foreigners

Since the 1960s, Swiss law has very strictly limited the sale of real estate to foreigners. Initially, the objectives were to reserve the land for nationals and combat rising prices. Only holiday homes could be sold to foreigners, in some tourist places. Since 1997, the law also allows foreign investors to purchase commercial property (industrial halls, hotels, commercial premises, but not housing intended to be rented) and the acquisition of a main residence by a foreign national residing in Switzerland has been facilitated. The agreements between the Swiss Confederation and the European Union (EU) on the free movement of persons led to a major change in the law in 2002, which now allows any EU citizen to acquire real estate in Switzerland, as long as they are domiciled in Switzerland.

The current law can be summarized as follows:

  • foreigners domiciled abroad...

Alain Moreau & Jean-Luc Bochatay, FBT Avocats

The repeal of the Solidarity Tax on Wealth (ISF), effective 1st January 2018, and its replacement by a wealth tax exclusively applicable to real estate (IFI) seem, at first glance, to offer many advantages.  However, this conclusion requires considerable qualification,particularly with regard to non-residents owning real estate in France either directly or through legal holding structures (French or foreign companies, civil or commercial companies, trusts, foundations, life insurance policies or endowment contracts).

The Concept of “Indirect Real Estate Ownership”and the Tax Treaties Issue

France has signed many treaties pertaining to wealth tax.  As the definition of wealth in these treaties is relatively broad, they should all in practice remain applicable under the IFI.  This is good news for residents of treaty countries, in particular those holding...

Fabien Gillioz, Partner at Ochsner & Associés

In 2017, the investment volume of Initial Coin Offering (ICOs) surpassed venture capital funding. These ICOs happened even in unregulated (or at least poorly regulated) territory. It is important for both investors and companies to be aware of the regulatory and legal framework so that they can reduce the risks of administrative, civil and/or criminal liabilities. We believe that the next generation of fundraising which will be fully compliant with regulations around the world will no longer be ICOs, but the offering of security token (“STOs”).

What is a security token ?

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has been the first regulator in the world to explicitly define what is a security token, more particularly an “asset token” as such term has been defined in the FINMA Guidelines on ICO issued in February 2018. The FINMA definition of asset token is the following: ”Asset tokens represent assets such as a debt or equity cl...

Chaplin’s World by Grévin provides an immersive, fun and timeless experience through the life and work of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Voted number one museum in Switzerland by users of Trip Advisor in 2017 and 2018, this new, one-of-a-kind destination also won the prize for best museum in Europe in 2018. 

Chaplin’s World can be privatized by individuals and companies. Make memories you’ll never forget with the Tramp! 

The Manor de Ban: a peek inside the family album

Discover Chaplin, the private man–husband, father, friend–at Manoir de Ban and become guests for a day of the man who hosted the greatest celebrities of his time in Corsier-sur-Vevey. Grévin’s unparalleled know-how grants you an inside look at Chaplin’s private and family life in Switzerland in the last 25 years of his life. 

You’ll be able to visit Charlie and Oona’s private apartments. Filled with furniture designed by Chaplin himself, his bedroom holds thousands of memories of a life well lived: a portra...

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