Lex Koller legislation for legal entities

Legal entities are also subject to Lex Koller legislation. They are thus also required to obtain authorisation to purchase real estate.

The Lex Koller applies to foreign legal entities. These are defined as:

  • Companies which are headquartered abroad, independent of whether Swiss nationals or 
         persons resident abroad hold shares in them.
  • Companies which are headquartered in Switzerland if they are controlled either directly or 
         indirectly by persons resident abroad. 

A so-called ‘dominant position’ in a company or legal entity exists if persons resident abroad:

  • Hold more than one-third of the company’s capital,
  • Hold more than one-third of the voting rights, either directly or indirectly, or
  • Have granted the company loans to a specific value.

Where this is the case, persons resident abroad must also obtain authorisation from the relevant authorities before they are permitted to acquire real estate in Switzerland.

The exceptions already mentioned above also apply here - particularly that the acquisition of real estate used for permanent business establishment purposes/manufacturing/workshops is exempted from Lex Koller legislation.

The acquisition of real estate for the purpose of constructing or leasing housing in Switzerland is, in contrast, excluded.

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