51,637 new companies were established in 2023, which is a higher number than ever before. The number of bankruptcies has fallen slightly, though not in every sector. In comparison with the previous year, bankruptcies have increased in the food and drink sector, the construction industry and the retail trade.

Record number of business start-ups
51,637 companies were established in Switzerland in 2023. This represents a rise of 3.2% compared with the previous year. 30,790 companies were deleted from the commercial register over the same period, which is 7.7% fewer than in the previous year. This represents a net growth of 20,847 businesses.
The highest number of new entries occurred in the cantons of Zurich (9,507), Vaud (5,024) and Bern (4,259). The number of new start-ups fell in the cantons of Geneva (-1.4%), Ticino (-1.2%) and Valais (-0.4%).
A look at the individual sectors reveals that start-ups were most frequent in the retail trade (4,911), followed by the management consultancy sector (4,100) and the construction industry (3,852).
Slight fall in the number of bankruptcy proceedings
Across the whole of Switzerland, the level of bankruptcies fell by 0.7% in 2023 compared with the previous year. The number of bankruptcy proceedings rose in the food and drink sector (+10.6%), the retail trade (+7%) and the construction industry (+6.8%). The highest number of bankruptcy proceedings were reported by the construction industry (1,310), followed by the food and drink industry (863), the retail trade (609) and the wholesale trade (580).

The highest number of bankruptcies was reported by the Canton of Zurich (1513), followed by the Canton of Vaud (852) and the Canton of Geneva (697). There was a sharp drop in the number of bankruptcies in Ticino (-20.6%).

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 2023 to 31st December 2023, 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.