Authors: Stefan Müller, Michael Baier, Daniel P. Oehri
Subject Area: Start Up Desk
Liquidity Support for Startups
On 22 April 2020, the Federal Council has agreed to a guarantee scheme to support promising start ups encountering liquidity problems caused by the coronavirus with facilitated access to bank loans for startups. Loan guarantee applications can be submitted from 7 May up to 31 August 2020.
Under the startups guarantee scheme, 65 % of the loan guarantee is provided by the federal government while 35 % is being provided by the canton up to an amount of CHF 1,000,000 for each startup. The total amount guaranteed, however, may not exceed one third of the startup's 2019 running costs.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has set out the criteria that apply with regard to such liquidity support for startups.
Generally, the following companies are eligible:
- Startups based in a participating canton and founded after 1 January 2010 but before 1 March 2020
- Stock corporations (Aktiengesellschaft, AG) and companies with limited liability (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH) based in Switzerland;
- Startups that are not part of the agricultural sector;
- Startups that are not in bankruptcy or composition proceedings or in liquidation;
- Startups that are suffering significant financial and liquidity problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If an application for a loan guarantee is submitted, the following documentation has to be provided along with such application:
- List of current expenses (such as wages, investment that is not eligible for capitalisation, rents, costs of patent applications and patent lawyers as well as costs for internal or outsourced research and development processes);
- Annual financial statements as evidence of current expenses in 2019 or, if not available, in 2018;
- Business plans;
- Company details;
- Details of the lending bank;
- Loan agreement and/or loan applications for any loans received in accordance with the COVID-19 Joint and Several Loan Guarantee Ordinance (COVID-19-Solidarbürgschaftsverordnung) of 25 March 2020.
The loan guarantee application is sent to the participating canton together with all the required documents. A body appointed by the canton reviews the criteria and forwards its evaluation of the loan guarantee application to the responsible loan guarantee organisation. The loan guarantee organisation makes the final decision on the loan guarantee taking into account the evaluation by the body appointed by the canton. On that basis, the company can apply for a guaranteed loan from any bank. Loan guarantee applications which were submitted in full from 7 May up to 31 August 2020 are taken into consideration.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or tax advice. This content is not meant to replace individual advice from competent professionals in a specific case.