Over 23% more bankruptcies than in previous year
Sharp rise in the number of bankruptcies
Across the whole of Switzerland, the level of bankruptcies grew by 23.2% compared with the previous year.
The construction industry filed the highest number of bankruptcy proceedings (1,227), followed by the wholesale trade (795) and the food and drink sector (756). Of these three areas, the increase in the food and drink sector was the lowest in percentage terms, at 17.2%.
The building construction sector reported a sharp percentage increase in the number of bankruptcy proceedings (+48.6%), as did the sectors involved in providing services to buildings (+44.9%) and real estate (+42.8%).
The number of new business start-ups is still high but net growth shows a slight decline
50,015 new companies were newly established in Switzerland in 2022. This only represents a 1% fall compared with 2021, which reported 50,544 new start-ups (and was a record year). Within the same period, 33,361 companies were also deleted from the commercial register, which represents an increase of 18.2% on the previous year. The net growth in the number of companies fell back by 25.4%.
Most of the new entries were in the Cantons of Zurich (9,090), Vaud (4,853), Geneva (4,105) and Bern (4,068). Only the Cantons of Zurich (+2.5%) and Vaud (+0.6%) reported a growth in comparison with the previous year. The number of new business start-ups fell in Geneva (-0.4%) and Bern (-7.6%). The Cantons of Schwyz (-6.2%) and Zug (-4.9%) also reported a steeper decline than the Swiss average.
A look at the individual sectors reveals that start-ups were most frequent in the retail trade (4,220), followed by the management consultancy sector (3,765) and the construction industry (3,631). In comparison with the previous year, however, the number of new start-ups in the retail trade has fallen by -2.2%. The steepest drop in the number of new start-ups in percentage terms was reported by the wholesale trade, at -24.8%.
About the survey process
We have taken into consideration all those businesses that were newly entered into the commercial register in the period from 1st January 2022 to 31st December 2022, as well as companies for which bankruptcy proceedings were filed and all those firms that were removed from the Commercial Register within the same period. A business may, for example, be deleted automatically at its dissolution for official reasons, at the cessation of bankruptcy proceedings, at the end of the liquidity deadline, in the event of merger or when a company is closed in the absence of any succession arrangement.
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