CRIF AG has looked at how many new businesses were established in the 1st quarter and how many companies went out of business. All in all, 11,413 companies were set up in Switzerland during this time. This is 1.6% fewer than in the 1st quarter of the previous year. 7,605 companies were also deleted from the Commercial Register during the same period. This represents 124 fewer deletions than in the same period of the previous year.

Most of the new entries were registered in the Cantons of Zurich (2,053), Vaud (1,160) and Geneva (1,016). In contrast, Ticino reported a steep falloff; 20% fewer businesses were set up in the 1st quarter than in the same period of the previous year. This is another consequence of the coronavirus crisis, which affected Ticino earlier than the rest of Switzerland. We would therefore assume that a sharper decline in business start-ups and an increase in company liquidations will also be observed in other cantons at a later date.

The number of existing companies grew by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. The highest growth was reported by the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, at 1.4%, followed by the Cantons of Freiburg, Vaud, Zug and Aargau, with 1% each. A negative growth was reported by the Canton of Uri (-0.1%).

A look at the individual sectors reveals that start-ups were most frequent in the management consultancy sector (951) followed by construction (903) and the retail trade (838). With the exception of the real estate business, all the major sectors reported a reduction in comparison with the 1st quarter of 2019.

The largest number of liquidations was experienced by the retail trade (733), followed by the construction sector (702) and food and beverage (564). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, however, there were fewer company liquidations in these sectors. On the other hand, more management consultancy companies did go out of business (+41).

About the survey process
All companies that were newly entered in the Commercial Register between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 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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