Swiss Bank Accounts for Non-Residents

swiss banking

Swiss bank accounts for non-residents are appealing because of their perceived anonymity as well as having certain perceived business and tax advantages. Swiss bank accounts for non-residents are possible but there are issues to be mindful of when considering opening an account at a Swiss bank.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA)

For those who fondly remember the concept of a Swiss bank account as a plot in Hollywood movies where jet-setting criminals stash their money to avoid taxes and prosecution, FACTA is a force to be reckoned with. The existence of FACTA means the United States and Switzerland have an agreement that Swiss banks will turn over tax information to the Internal Revenue Service with regard to accounts held by American citizens.

Some of this reporting can be done without the account holder’s consent. Under agreements like this, Swiss bank accounts are, in the 21st century, designed to be legally compliant.

Swiss Bank Accounts For Non-Residents

Swiss bank accounts for non-residents require the applicant to be of legal age (18 years old). You are required to find a Swiss bank, request their application forms, and be prepared to submit the following documentation:

  • An unexpired passport
  • Verification of income
  • Confirmation of your address

You may be required to have some or all non-ID documents notarized or otherwise verified.

Setting Up Business Concerns In Switzerland

If your need to open a Swiss bank account involves business concerns, you may also be required to submit the following documentation. Those who are not trying to register a business in Switzerland may not be required to submit some or all of these documents, but if your Swiss bank account is a business account, ask about the submission procedures for the following:

  • Enterprise Plan
  • Trade Registry approval
  • Association Articles and Amending Documents
  • Bank statement indicating equity capital investment
  • Copies of each shareholder’s passport (must be notarized)
  • Tenancy Agreement with the company’s legal address

Opening a Corporate Account In Switzerland

If you want to open a corporate account in Switzerland the following information is also required in addition to what is mentioned above:

  • Articles and an Association Memorandum
  • Share Certificate
  • Certificate issued by the registrar
  • Proof of registered office address