CRIF AG has looked at the changes occurring in the business portfolio during 2020. In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of companies operating in Switzerland grew by 2.8% (compared with 2.3% in 2019). This growth can be attributed to an increase of around 5% in the number of new start-ups. At the same time, 8.3% fewer companies were deleted from the Commercial Register in 2020 than in 2019, while 12.7% more deletions occurred in 2019 than in 2018.
The most powerful net growth occurred in the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, at 5.3%, followed by the Cantons of Lucerne (at 3.7%), together with Zug and Freiburg at 3.5% each. Although the Canton of Zurich is economically strong, its results lie below the Swiss average, with a growth rate of 2.7%. The weakest growth was reported by the Cantons of Ticino, at 0.9%, and Schaffhausen at 1.0%.

Even though Switzerland as a whole registered an increase of 2226 in newly-established businesses, some Cantons reported fewer new start-ups compared with the previous year; in Schaffhausen the number of new companies fell by 12.3%, by 10.7% in Ticino, 5.7% in Uri and 4.7% in Vaud.
The largest number of new entries in the Commercial Register occurred in the Cantons of Zurich (8,430), Vaud (4,434) and Geneva (3,871).

A look at the individual sectors reveals that start-ups were most frequent in the retail trade (3,783). Compared with the previous year, this represents an increase of 18.5%. Even in the food and beverage sector, which suffered immensely under the measures introduced to combat the pandemic, 158 more new businesses were registered than in the previous year, representing a rise of 7%.
On the other hand, architectural firms reported a fall of 224 in new start-ups, which is equivalent to a reduction of 15.4%.

About the survey process
All companies that were newly entered in the Commercial Register between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020 as well as all companies that were deleted from the Commercial Register during this period were taken into account. For example, a company can be deleted by default, when the bankruptcy proceedings are closed, at the end of the liquidation period, then in the case of mergers or in the case of company tasks due to the lack of succession regulation.

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