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New Swiss succession law on the transfer of businesses

On 10 June 2022, the Federal Council adopted its Message amending the Civil Code on the transfer of businesses by succession. The new provisions will help to ensure greater stability for Swiss companies, especially SMEs, and thus for employment.

The revision of the inheritance law, which will come into force on 1 January 2023, will offer greater freedom of disposition than is currently the case, resulting in greater flexibility in the transfer of businesses by way of succession and thus making it easier for entrepreneurs to transfer a business to an heir or a third party of their choice. However, other difficulties specifically encountered by entrepreneurs or their heirs in the context of succession have been identified and the Federal Council has therefore proposed three key measures to facilitate the transfer of businesses by succession:

  • a right to the full allocation of a business as part of the division of the estate if the deceased did not make provision for this;
  • the possibility of obtaining payment deadlines for the successor heir in relation to the other heirs, and
  • specific rules on the settlement value of businesses between heirs.

The proposed measures aim to alleviate the financial problems caused by the rules of inheritance law and strengthen the Swiss business location.

For further questions, please contact Grégoire Uldry or Alexia Egger Castillo.

Click here if you would like to read more about the announcement (currently only available in French, German or Italian).

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