Buying a property in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the acquisition of real estate by non-Swiss persons living abroad is governed by the Federal Act on the Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Abroad as well as, potentially, by various cantonal and communal laws which can stipulate further provisions.

Under the Act, “persons abroad” can be both individuals and legal entities.

Individual persons abroad are those of a foreign nationality and domiciled outside Switzerland or, cumulatively, those de facto domiciled in Switzerland but who are neither the nationals of an EU/EFTA member state nor the holders of a valid settlement permit (so-called C permit).

Legal entities are those with a registered office abroad or which are controlled by individual persons abroad.

The acquisition by persons abroad of single-family dwellings or apartment houses, owner-occupied flats and building land intended for constructing such accommodation is subject in principle to authorisation requirements.

The present contribution aims to give you an overview on the following particular subjects:
• Exceptions to policy founded on the type of the real estate’s use
• Other exemptions from prior authorisation requirements
• Particularity of holiday homes and serviced flats
• The authorisation process
• The buying and selling process

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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.