How to Open a Coffee Shop in Switzerland

Mar 3, 2020 | Start in Switzerland | 0 comments

With the story of Tatyana, a Russian entrepreneur, who opened a coffee shop in Zurich we begin a guide about How to Start a Business in Switzerland. 

Tania started her business in Zurich 3 months ago and today she successfully builds up her clients’ network within Swiss start-up community. With those who might plan to open a café she shares some recommendations.

Photo: Tania’s Coffee

Location matters

First of all, look for a good location. This can be very time consuming and can take up to a year (was 8 months for me).

Business plan is the boss

While looking for a location – write the business plan. It is very likely that a landlord of a place would like to have a look at it. Explain your concept, list your installations and possible emissions, do the accounting for the first 3 years.

Paperwork is the core

Once you’ve found a good place (Congrats!), it is time to start with the paper work. To set up the company (GmbH or Sarl) you’ll need around 4-5 weeks. Besides that you need a starting capital of CHF 20,000, I recommend you a great tool: IFJ Start Up Support. They will help you to set up from the scratch. They also have templates on how to write business plan.

  • talk to the gastro police and clarify, if you need a gastro permission. Usually if you run a place up to 10 seats without selling alcohol, you don’t need one. However it is always better to verify.
  • In Zurich you do not need a gastro business permission. But it might be the case for other places. I obtained mine by graduating from a hotel school. You could do special “Wirtpatent” courses.
  • Register your future place at the cantonal laboratory. They usually control the place once in a year.

Money and savings

Last but not least: keep some money aside! You might be surprised when you receive all the bills for your company – so it’s important to have something on your account.