Types of real estate use which require prior authorisation

As a basic principle, single-family dwellings, apartment buildings, owner-occupied flats and building land destined to contain buildings of this kind all require authorisation and can therefore not be purchased by foreign non-residents. 

Undeveloped land will trigger an authorisation obligation if construction of a building that does not require authorisation does not begin within one year. Exceptions to this are second homes acquired by cross-border commuters in the area of their place of work and apartments which are part of a business establishment.

Conversely, this means that non-Swiss nationals require no authorisation to acquire any building which is used for permanent business establishment purposes.

The acquisition of land which would provide a foreign national with powers of disposition which are similar to those for property requires prior authorisation. This includes in particular:

  • Acquisition of land; construction rights, rights of residence or beneficial use
  • Acquisition of shares in a legal entity unless these shares are listed on the Swiss
         stock exchange
  • Granting and exercise of rights of purchase, sale and repurchase

All chapters of the guide at a glance

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