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Information for companies

Information for companies

A large part of the Swiss economy is composed of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Accounting for 99.6% of all companies in Switzerland and 66.6% of all employees, SMEs are the backbone of the Swiss economy. This website provides information, contacts and other useful information on how to finance your SME

Tips

Tip 1: Conduct regular financial planning and optimisation

Sustained business success means obtaining optimum financing for each undertaking and business stage. Liquidity planning creates an overview of available and planned liquidity. Excess cash can be used to repay loans or invested, and financing shortfalls can be covered through loans or leasing.

Tip 2: Make a professional business plan

The business plan is crucial to obtaining financing. It contains key figures and is a means of communicating with your business partners, investors and the bank. The Business Navigator is a professional instrument which you can use for your business plan.

Tip 3: Use checklists

It is not only applicants who want their loan applications processed quickly and smoothly; banks do, too. Incomplete documentation can cause aggravation and delays. You can find a helpful checklist at the following link.

Tip 4: Reduce risk costs

Risk costs can be mitigated or reduced, for example by offering valuable securities, e.g. pledging securities, life insurance benefits or property.

Tip 5: Communicate openly

The more information your bank receives, the better it can assess the risks associated with a loan. This makes the bank's work easier and may even lead to better conditions.

Tip 6: Improve your rating

Banks give SMEs the chance to improve their credit rating by reviewing it every year. The following documents make this a relatively straightforward process: business plans with detailed figures, presentations of ongoing projects, detailed information on the current and future development of the company and its strategic orientation.

What do I need to
know about financing? 

What types of financing are there?

Working capital funding

Working capital funding ensures the liquidity of your company and finances all types of goods required for production or trading. This mainly includes all types of short and mid-term external financing instruments, such as an overdraft facility.

Investment capital funding

Investment capital funding is longer-term financing, e.g. for machines, plots of land or product development.

Real estate financing

Real estate financing provides long-term financing for business premises. The products offered are the same as for private clients.

Leasing

Leasing differs from purchasing in that the economic good (usually industrial plant and investment items, e.g. machines, technical facilities, vehicles) is purchased from the leasing company and made available to the lessee to use as they wish for a defined period (without any actual transfer of ownership). The advantage of this mid to long-term financing method for investments is that it does not tie up as much liquidity since the lessee only needs to make a monthly payment.

Factoring

Factoring is a way of financing that allows companies to gain liquidity over the short term. Factoring is when short-term (nominal) trade receivables are sold to a factoring company (factor). The factor charges a factoring fee for this service, consisting of the interest for the liquidity provided and the risk of default.

For specific offers and conditions, please contact your customer consultant.

How is my rating composed?

The rating is a type of recommendation for the creditworthiness (solvency) of the debtor. Your creditworthiness is reviewed every time you apply for a loan and at regular intervals afterwards. The better your credit rating is, the lower the risk for the bank. And the lower the risk, the lower the interest charged. The bank includes financial and non-financial factors when assigning a rating.

Financial factors

Key figures on:

  • Productivity and profitability
  • Liquidity
  • Financial situation/level of debt

Non-financial factors

Qualitative assessment of:

  • Strategy and management
  • Product and market
  • Organisation and employees
  • Company in general

You can improve your rating by working on these criteria (see tip 6).

How do I produce a business plan?

The business plan is an important factor for the bank when considering a loan application. It needs therefore to be very well prepared and as complete as possible. The business plan is primarily a management instrument for the person running the business. It should therefore preferably be drawn up by that person, possibly with assistance from a fiduciary agent.

What must I consider when applying for a loan?

This checklist you need when applying for a loan.

Checklist

General documents

  • Current trade register extract for the company / Group
  • Organisational chart / structure of Group including details of shareholding relationships
  • Organisational chart of the company
  • Corporate bodies / Organisational structure / Deputising arrangements / Organisational regulations
  • CVs for the senior managers (BoD and Executive Board) with details on training / current activity
  • Debt enforcement information
  • Business plan (which may cover many of these points as well)

Documents on financial situation

  • Signed audit reports for the company dating back three years, including other associated companies and the holding entity
  • Consolidated financial statements for multiple companies / holding entities
  • Internal figures
  • Statement of changes in non-current assets / Depreciation table for real estate / Machines / Movable property
  • Liquidity plan / List of debtors and creditors
  • Budget / Booked orders
  • Finance and investment plans
  • Balance sheet forecast / Income statement forecast / Cash flow forecast
  • Financial requirement / Financing concept
  • Current financing structure / Banking relationships / Limits / Securities / Time periods

Additional information

  • Area of activity / Products and services of the company / Group
  • Corporate strategy / Market / Strategic income statement items
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the company / Group
  • Competitors / Market position of the company / Differentiation criteria
  • Prospects / Future challenges and changes / Succession planning
  • Auditor / Fiduciary / Tax advisor
  • For partnerships / sole traders: owner's tax return

Links

Umbrella organisation for Swiss SMEs

www.sgv-usam.chwww.sgv-usam.ch

Seco portal for SMEs

www.kmu.admin.ch

Platforms for management continuity

www.kmunext.ch

Support with exports

Swiss export risk insurance: www.serv-ch.com
Promoting Swiss exports: www.s-ge.com

Surety companies

BG Mitte, Bürgschaftsgenossenschaft für KMU (for SMEs) www.bgm-ccc.ch
BG Ost, Bürgschaftsgenossenschaft für KMU (BGOST) www.bgost.ch
Coopérative romande de cautionnement - PME (CRC-PME) (for French-speaking Switzerland) www.crcpme.ch
Bürgschaftsgenossenschaft von Frauen für Frauen (for women) www.saffa.ch

Venture capital

The Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA) www.seca.ch
Foundation for technological innovation www.sti-stiftung.ch
Swiss Venture Club www.swiss-venture-club.ch
»venture» 2012 www.venture.ch