Lex Koller: Everything you need to know.

Our buyer’s guide to real estate investment in Switzerland.

Lex Koller: Everything you need to know.

Our buyer’s guide to real estate investment in Switzerland.
Engel & Völkers Commercial GmbH

Real estate acquisition by foreign investors in Switzerland

Our Lex Koller legislation guide provides an initial overview regarding the acquisition of real estate in Switzerland. It goes without saying that it is not a substitute for the advice which can be given by legal and tax advisors. If you are planning to acquire real estate in Switzerland, then you should use the services of a specialist law firm.

This guide has been developed with the assistance of Dr Corrado Rampini of Bär & Karrer AGHe is a leading expert on real estate transactions and Lex Koller legislation in Switzerland. 

Switzerland has had legislation regulating what types of real estate foreign buyers can acquire since 1961. 

The rules have been relaxed a number of times, most recently in 1997, and current legislation is known as the “Lex Koller” (Koller’s Law). The law was enacted at federal level and thus applies throughout Switzerland; however the individual cantons are responsible for enforcing it. The Lex Koller regulates what prior authorisations foreign buyers must obtain before they can acquire real estate in Switzerland.

All transactions which meet the following conditions are subject to the authorisation requirement:

  • The purchaser is a foreign national
  • Prior authorisation is required to acquire the real estate due to the nature of its use
  • Under the provisions of the BewG (Swiss Federal Law on the Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreign Nationals) the right which is acquired is considered a real estate purchase

A summary of all the chapters in the Lex Koller legislation guide

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