Sales Representative in Switzerland

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
Switzerland has some of the largest international trading and transit companies. These companies operate a network of bonded warehouses and other relevant facilities offering any kind of services needed in international trade.

Moreover B2B segment is growing very rapidly. More & more Swiss companies use online procurement to accelerate and streamline B2B business processes and to optimize their supply chain and internal processes.

  • Main Actors
Refer to the link :  Federation of Swiss Importers and Wholesale Traders
  • Type of Organization
Most of the Swiss wholesalers act as importers as well, holding exclusive regional or national rights for the imported product. Wholesalers maintain stocks of a range of products and provide quality control, transport, warehousing, and financing.
  • Main Actors
Visit:  Federation of Swiss Importers and Wholesale Traders
Useful Resources

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
Appointing an agent can be advantageous since they have a better understanding of Swiss market and can take care of your interests in your absence. Also, Switzerland’s role as a launching pad for EU most local distributors will also have knowledge of regional distribution rules and regulations.
Where to Be Vigilant
Though due diligence study is necessary before establishing a relationship, but most of the companies are listed with the Swiss ‘trade registry’ which makes it easier get a financial profile of the company.
Elements of Motivation
Exclusivity, higher sales commissions, incentives for achieving sales targets, etc.
The Average Amount of Commission
- 3% to 7% for regular business transactions, and from 10% to 15% for occasional transactions.

- 1 to 5% in the case of bulk materials.

- up to 25% in the case of medical, laboratory, scientific analytical instruments, and software products.

Breach of Contract
It depends upon the terms and conditions of the contract. But, in case the local agent goes to court, the foreign company can expect a fair judgment.

Under Swiss law, commercial agents are treated as independent companies and can work for several companies.

Finding a Commercial Agent
Swiss Commercial Agents Association
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Switzerland on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
Switzerland provides location advantage, besides offering other tax & investment benefits.
Where to Be Vigilant
It should be considered in the case of long term sales development.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
Such an office can obtain market data and other information and provide necessary promotional and service support. However, a representative office must not involve itself in commercial transactions.
  • A Branch Office
A branch office is treated as a separate legal entity in Switzerland. It may take and fill orders and carry out a full marketing program, including advertising, recruiting a sales force, and performing promotional activities. A branch office needs to be registered with the local Office of Register.
  • A Company
Setting up a wholly-owned corporation will involve more time and expense, but it can offer an effective means of guaranteeing better protection for proprietary information, obtaining credit, and penetrating markets.


Evolution of the Sector
Franchising sector in Switzerland is not very profitable because of a limited market size and high operational costs. The key to establishing a franchise concept in the Swiss market is the master franchisee or a language area franchisee. Switzerland is a small and multilingual country. Therefore, franchises should be tested in different cultural and linguistic environments: French in Geneva and Lausanne; German in Zurich, Basel and Bern; and Italian in Lugano.
Some Big Franchises
Starbucks, coffee
Burger King, fast food
McDonalds, fast food
For Further Information
Swiss Franchise Association
Find more on about Selling to Switzerland.

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