"Lex Amazon" in Switzerland – changes for distance selling companies in context


The revision of the Swiss VAT Law (VATL) passed by Parliament in 2016 came into force for the most part on 1 January 2018; however, foreign distance sellers of dispatched goods have not felt any effects until 1 January 2019. With the de facto abolition of the tax exemption for small consignments and low-value goods, foreign distance selling companies will no longer have a competitive advantage over domestic competitors.

Small consignments are defined as consignments that would trigger a tax of CHF 5 or less. The tax amount of CHF 5 corresponds to a goods value of CHF 65 for goods that would be taxable at the standard rate and CHF 200 for goods that would benefit from the reduced rate (e.g. magazines). If a foreign seller of such items achieves an annual turnover in the Swiss market of more than CHF 100,000, he will be obliged to register for VAT in Switzerland and hence, declare the turnover to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) and pay VAT at 7.7% standard rate or 2.5% reduced rate.

Read the following article by our VAT specialist Heinrich Spühler on the new mail order regulation (from 1.1.2019) and see what effects the "Lex Amazon" will have on the affected customers and players involved.

Provision and succession in SMEs

Provision and succession in SMEs

SMEs currently account for 99.8% of the total number of Swiss companies and some 549,400 companies. According to the new "Succession Study SME Switzerland 2018" by the business information service Bisnode D&B, 13.4% of companies in Switzerland (i.e. one in seven) currently have a succession problem or "open successions". Since succession often has a direct influence on the prosperity of the company and its employees, careful, tailor-made planning is required - as are answers to unusual questions. SwissLegal as an association of independent commercial law firms is regularly confronted with SME succession planning. Two aspects that are often overlooked were the subject of the following article in German (published in the business guide, supplement to the SonntagsZeitung of 25.11.2018) written by our colleagues from Chur and St. Gallen. We wish you a pleasant reading.

What do Roger Federer, Lindsey Vonn and SwissLegal have in common?

... on the sweet tracks of Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn

This year SwissLegal again addressed a special thank you to the employees of the "Back-Office" - they did so at the world-famous Chocolateria der Lindt & Sprüngli in Kilchberg, where world stars such as Roger Federer, Lindsey Vonn as well as stars and starlets from the international film and music scene touched the chocolate ladle. After a very cordial and informative reception, the SwissLegal guests were given the opportunity to learn about the sweet secrets of the chocolate factory and its history under the expert guidance as well as to demonstrate their own creativity in practice.
Please find the whole article (in German) and other sweet secrets about Swiss chocolate in the enclosed report - it's worth taking a bite!

Update zur Thematik Retrozessionen

Update zur Thematik Retrozessionen

Retrozessionen beschäftigen die Schweizer Gerichte schon über ein Jahrzehnt. Im Jahre 2006 hat das Bundesgericht entschieden, dass Retrozessionen im Vermögensverwaltungsgeschäft (worunter auch Provisionszahlungen, Bestandespflegekommissionen, Kickbacks, etc. fallen) offengelegt und herausgegeben werden müssen, sofern keine andere Vereinbarung mit dem Kunden abgeschlossen wurde. Dieser Grundsatzentscheid wurde in den folgenden Jahren weiterentwickelt. So hat das Bundesgericht etwa im Jahre 2012 festgelegt, dass eine Pflicht zur Offenlegung und Herausgabe von Retrozessionen auch konzernintern gilt.

Im Sommer 2017 hat das Bundesgericht im Zusammenhang mit einem Versicherungsfall entschieden, dass in Bezug auf Retrozessionen die ordentliche Verjährungsfrist von zehn Jahren anwendbar ist. Die entsprechende Verjährungsfrist beginnt für jede einzelne Retrozession an dem Tage, an welchem der Beauftragte diese erhalten hat.

SwissLegal – Legal partner of a visionary building project in the heart of Switzerland

SwissLegal Zurich and Schwyz - Legal partner of a visionary building project

On a privileged southern slope in Schwyz, 50 exclusive, high-quality apartments and villas with sophisticated architecture are currently being built - the MÄTTIVOR. SwissLegal Zurich and Schwyz were involved in the project from the outset as legal partners due to their many years of experience with real estate projects and their broad expertise.

Read in the following article (in German) how SwissLegal succeeds in generating real added value for the client through its broad range of services...