Which purchasers are subject to Lex Koller legislation?

The law states that “foreign nationals” are subject to Lex Koller legislation. This includes the following groups:

  • Foreigners resident abroad;
  • Foreigners who are resident in Switzerland but who are not citizens of an EU or EFTA 
         country and lack a valid permanent residence permit


In other words, the following may purchase real estate in Switzerland easily:


  • Swiss citizens, including those with dual nationality, who are resident in Switzerland or
         abroad;
  • EU/EFTA citizens legally or actually resident in Switzerland (with a B or C residence permit
         potentially also an L short stay permit);
  • Citizens of other countries who hold a C permit and are actually resident in Switzerland.


Real estate may only be purchased via a legal entity if the company has its registered office in Switzerland and is controlled by individuals resident in Switzerland. This means that foreigners cannot use a Swiss joint stock company (‘Aktiengesellschaft’) to circumvent the rules. The status of the private individual who is the beneficial owner of the company determines whether or not authorisation is required.

All chapters of the guide at a glance

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