Enterprise Ireland’s top tips for entering the Swiss market

The Swiss market is attractive to Irish exporters for numerous reasons, including its high purchasing power and good payment habits.

If you are considering doing business in Switzerland, please be sure to explore our ten tips to enter the market below and also be sure to reach out to our dedicated team. 

  • Expect 18-24 months timeline for market penetration in this region
  • Familiarise yourself with the various cultures and languages in Switzerland. With some regions speaking either German, French or Italian. The business culture and etiquette also differs between said regions, which should influence your approach.
  • Speaking English is usually not a problem for the Swiss, however, having technical materials available in the local language is very important.
  • Switzerland is a federal country of 26 cantons. Legal regulations, taxes and other differences may occur between different states and this must be accounted for when planning business there.
  • The Swiss are early adopters of innovative products and services. However, expect to be thoroughly vetted and asked to provide proof of any claims you make.
  • Switzerland is not an EU-member but very closely aligned with the EU. It also has it’s own currency, the Swiss franc, which will have an exchange rate against the euro.
  • The Swiss are long-term planners and as such a commitment to the market goes a long way. This may be in the form of a local GmbH entity, a .ch web address available in local languages or regular attendance at trade fairs in your sector of interest.
  • Switzerland is a very-high income country, known for its quality of exports and as such are more likely to choose high-price and sophisticated suppliers as opposed to the cheapest.
  • Switzerland is home to many multinationals’ European Headquarters, particularly in the Life Sciences and Banking sectors.
  • Many Irish firms are already active in Switzerland thanks to EI assistance, contact the local Manager who will be delighted to guide you in entering the Swiss market.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to helping Irish firms succeed in global markets and have industry experts on hand, ready to help you access the Swiss market.

Our Market Advisors are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

For more, download our Going Global Guide

If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

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