Creating an association

The law of association is governed by articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil code.

Membership

A minimum of two people are required to create an association. We recommend at least three founding members in order to be able to cast a vote if necessary.

Statutes

The statutes must be in writing and adopted by a constitutive General Assembly. They should be concise, precise and clear (cf. "Model statutes"). Details not formally related to the statutes may be set out in rules of procedure, bylaws, or other ad hoc documents. The statutes do not need to be authenticated by a notary.
 
The General Assembly has the authority to amend the statutes. Rules of procedure may be amended by an elected committee.
 
Organs
 
According to Swiss law, an association must have at least the following three organs:
  • A General Assembly (comprising all members of the association)
  • A Committee (comprising at least a president, a secretary, and a treasurer). We recommend to have at least one Swiss national or resident as member of the Committee (cf. "taxation") .
 
Legal personality
 
As soon as the statutes have been adopted by the constituent General Assembly, the association has legal personality and may begin its activities. Minutes of that meeting must be recorded (See: FAQ "How to draft minutes?").
 
Registration
 
An association does not require approval from public authorities in order to operate in Switzerland. For more information, please consult the Registration page.
 
Responsability toward third parties 
 
In principle, only the capital of the association is engaged in relation to third parties. It is customary to mention in the statutes that members have no individual responsibility (see: "Model Statutes" and "FAQ : Third-party responsability of associations").
 
Cost
 
The creation of an association does not entail any administrative cost.

References and useful links