Sharp rise in the number of bankruptcies
Across the whole of Switzerland, the level of bankruptcies grew by 23.2% in 2022 compared with the previous year.
The construction industry filed the highest number of bankruptcy proceedings (1,227), followed by the wholesale trade (795) and food and drink (756) sectors. Of these three areas, the increase in the food and drink sector was the lowest in percentage terms, at 17.2%.
The construction sector reported a sharp percentage increase in the number of bankruptcy proceedings (+48.6%), as did the building services (+44.9%) and real estate (+42.8%) sectors.
The number of new startups is still high but net growth is down
50,015 new companies were established in Switzerland in 2022. This only represents a 1% fall compared with 2021, which reported 50,544 new start-ups (a record year). Within the same period, 33,361 companies were also removed from the Business Register, an increase of 18.2% on the previous year. The net growth in the number of companies fell by 25.4%.
Most of the new entries were in the Cantons of Zurich (9,090), Vaud (4,853), Geneva (4,105) and Bern (4,068). Only the Cantons of Zurich (+2.5%) and Vaud (+0.6%) reported a growth in comparison with the previous year. The number of new business startups fell in Geneva (-0.4%) and Bern (-7.6%). The Cantons of Schwyz (-6.2%) and Zug (-4.9%) also reported a steeper decline than the Swiss average.
A look at the individual sectors reveals that startups were most common in the retail trade sector (4,220), followed by the management consultancy sector (3,765) and the construction industry (3,631). In comparison with the previous year, however, the number of new startups in the retail trade sector fell by -2.2%. The steepest drop in the number of new startups in percentage terms was reported in the wholesale trade sector, at -24.8%.
About the survey process
We have taken into consideration all those businesses that were added to the Business Register in the period from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, as well as companies for which bankruptcy proceedings were filed and all those firms that were removed from the Business Register within the same period. A business may, for example, be automatically removed following official liquidation, at the discontinuation of bankruptcy proceedings, at the end of the liquidity period, in the event of mergers or when a company is closed in the absence of any succession arrangement.
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