Skip to main content

It’s not always the case that cash is king: what do you need to consider when forming a company through non-cash contributions?

A capital contribution is due when you form a GmbH or an AG (corporations) (see the articles on each legal form). However, you don’t necessarily have to contribute this capital in a currency such as Swiss francs: you can also make a non-cash contribution.

But be careful: if you now want to use your portfolio of shares or your stamp collection to form a company, you must have it audited by a registered auditing firm. Depending on the nature and complexity of the non-cash contribution, this audit may cost an additional CHF 400 to CHF 3,000.


What are the conditions for a non-cash contribution?

The following factors determine what you can and cannot contribute as a non-cash contribution.

The asset can be valued

You can only contribute assets that have concrete value and can be capitalised. An auditor must confirm the precise value of the contribution. Foundera is happy to organise this for you.


You must be able to transfer the asset that will be included in the company’s assets. This means that there must be no legal obstacles preventing this.


The non-cash contribution must be available immediately to the company after its entry in the commercial register.


The asset must be recoverable if the company is dissolved. This means that there must be at least a small market for the asset and it must be legally transferable.


Typical examples of non-cash contributions:

Certain non-cash contributions are relatively common and are therefore also associated with lower costs for the auditors. Common non-cash contributions include:

  • Vehicles (delivery van, driving school car, lorry)
  • Tools and machinery (furnaces, lathes, hammer drills)
  • IT hardware (laptops, screens, printers, ...)
  • Stocks of materials (raw materials, spare parts, ...)
  • Software (purchased or developed in-house)
  • Furniture


Advantages of formation with non-cash contributions:

  • Free capital can be invested on a liquid basis

  • If no cash capital at all is used for the share capital, there is no need for the bank to confirm the capital contribution.

  • Vehicles can be contributed transparently to the company’s assets.

Drawbacks of formation with non-cash contributions

  • Additional costs to pay auditor 

  • The non-cash contribution may unexpectedly lose value over the years

  • The valuation of the non-cash contribution may vary (e.g. for software)

What else might interest you:

Founding an AG in Switzerland: Advantages and Disadvantages

What is a Swiss public limited company (AG) and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this legal form? The AG is probably the most adaptable legal form in Switzerland. The ...
Dario Morf
Dario Morf

GmbH: Pros and Cons

What is a Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH) (Swiss private limited company) and what are the pros and cons of this legal form? The GmbH is one of the most popular legal ...
Uwe Scheunemann
Uwe Scheunemann

Sole Proprietorship: Pros and Cons

What is a sole proprietorship and what are the pros and cons of this legal form? The sole proprietorship is the simplest way to set up a business and a condition for being ...
Uwe Scheunemann
Uwe Scheunemann

Differences between a GmbH and an AG

What’s the difference between a GmbH and an AG? GmbHs and AGs have much in common, but there are also some significant differences. The most important differences between the two ...
Alhaji Mansaray
Alhaji Mansaray


GmbH, AG