MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland
From tax rules to staffing, airport access and education - here's the latest ranking on which areas of Switzerland are the most attractive to businesses.
Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the major global hubs for business - its central European location, neutrality, and connections to international organisations make it a great place to do business.
But which cantons have it better and why?
The main measure cantons can take to attract businesses is to revise their tax rules, and tax reforms over the past few years have shown results in attractiveness to companies, according to Credit Suisse's 2022 locational quality study.
The lender has assessed the tax burden based on its tax indices for legal entities and private individuals to see how attractive a region may be. Corporate taxes on profit and capital as well as taxes on income and wealth for private individuals are taken into consideration.
Additionally, the Swiss bank looked into the availability of specialist labour and highly qualified personnel, basing this index on the level of education of the residents, inbound commuters and cross-border commuters of a region.
How accessible the canton is to the population, workers, and commuters was also a factor taken into consideration.
What are the most attractive cantons?
Credit Suisse attached a locational quality indicator (LQI) to each Swiss canton, with the best being +2.5 and the worst being -2.0. The map visualisation makes it clear that there is a cluster of business-friendly cantons: in German-speaking Switzerland.
Geneva, in the French-speaking region, also scores high, which is not a surprise, as the canton is home to many international organisations.
Still, the most attractive canton for business is, for the second year in a row, Zug, ahead of Basel-City, Zurich and Geneva.
Canton Aargau has suffered the most significant ranking loss, dropping two places just behind Nidwalden and Schwyz in 7th place. On the other hand, the cantons of Schaffhausen and Valais, in particular, have become more attractive, each climbing one place.
Nidwalden, Zug, and Appenzell Innerrhoden are fiscally more attractive
Zug takes the overall top place for a combination of factors, but critical changes in tax policy have brought other cantons higher on the ranking - especially since tax reforms are easier to implement than measures to attract more qualified workers, for example.
Schaffhausen has reduced taxes significantly for private individuals, climbing six places in the Credit Suisse tax index for private individuals.
Also worthy of note is Schwyz, which has become more attractive for private individuals by reducing the cantonal tax multiple considerably from 150 to 120, closing the gap to first-placed Zug.
As part of Switzerland’s corporate tax reform, a small number of cantons have once again reduced their corporate tax rates this year.
The most considerable reductions have been observed in the cantons of Valais and Jura, each climbing one place to 20th and 22nd respectively in the tax index for legal entities, which is based on the tax burden faced by companies with varying profit situations in all Swiss municipalities.
However, a number of other cantons remain more fiscally attractive: The top places remain unchanged, with Nidwalden leading the way, just in front of Zug and Appenzell Innerrhoden.