CRIF has taken a look at the progress of the construction industry over the past five years. For the first time during these five years, more companies have closed their doors than have been established in the construction industry, resulting in an overall reduction of 748 businesses.

A total of 61,475 companies were registered at the end of 2019. Most of these were based in the Canton of Zurich (8,402), followed by the Canton of Bern (6,111) and the Canton of Vaud (6,017). In some industry sectors, however, other Cantons featured more companies. In the structural sector, for example, the Canton of Vaud had the highest number of companies (with 632 businesses), ahead of the Canton of Ticino, with 601. In timber construction, the Canton of Bern occupied first position (550), followed by St. Gallen with 285.

The largest number of companies are to be found in the electrical installation sector (6,166), followed by painting and decorating (3,765) and general construction (3,729). The sector employing the highest number of people involved the installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

GmbH the most popular legal form
Companies in the construction industry most frequently choose the form of “GmbH” or Limited Liability Company. The number choosing this legal structure has increased by 24% since 2015.

Unpunctual payers
In the construction industry, an average of 40% of invoices are paid late. In Ticino, 50%  of companies pay late, while 43% pay late in the Canton of Zurich.

About the survey process
In this survey, we took account of all those construction businesses that were entered into the Commercial Register, and were active or inactive and had either been closed or were newly opened during the years between 2015 to 2019.

The full study can be requested from