Doing Business In Switzerland

Visa Information

Visas are not required if you hold a passport for the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, whether visiting as a tourist or on business. Citizens of the EU, Norwegians and Icelanders may also enter Switzerland without a visa. A maximum three-month stay applies, although passports are rarely stamped. Citizens of several African, Asian and Arab countries, plus Eastern European and Balkan states, require visas. A current squabble with Libya means visas for citizens of that country are not being issued by Switzerland. For up-to-date details on visa requirements, go to the Swiss Federal Office for Migration ( and click 'Services'.
In Switzerland, carry your passport at all times and guard it carefully. Swiss citizens are required always to carry personal identification, so you will also need to be able to identify yourself at any time.

Business Etiquette

General Business Hours

Most shops are open from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, sometimes with a one- to two-hour break for lunch at noon in smaller towns. In larger cities, there's often a late shopping day until 9pm, typically on Thursday or Friday. Closing times on Saturday are usually 4pm or 5pm. In some places souvenir shops can open on Sunday, although it is unusual for other shops to be open on that day - exceptions are Zürich's Shop Ville and supermarkets at some train stations.
Offices are typically open from about 8am to noon and 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday. Banks are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, with late opening usually one day a week.