Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Switzerland
Fast and reliable debt collection in Switzerland - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Switzerland is easiest this way.
Debitura is a specialized debt collection agency in Switzerland. Our team of skilled professionals offers a wide range of services, such as accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. By utilizing our in-depth understanding of Switzerland's debt collection regulations and laws, we provide exceptional and efficient solutions to assist businesses in recovering their undue debts.
Receive thorough support throughout the entire process.
Tailored debt recovery plan.
We have a team of over 500 experts specializing in international debt collection.
At the most affordable price, we boast an impressive 87% success rate.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Switzerland
If you are owed money by someone in Switzerland, we can help you get it back. We have helped hundreds of businesses recover debt in Switzerland. Collecting a debt in Switzerland can be difficult because of the language and cultural barriers, foreign laws and customs, and distance.
When you want to get money that someone else owes you, it is simpler to use a collection agency. This is a company that knows the laws and customs of the country where the person who owes you money lives.
At Debitura, we put people first. This means that we try to get your money back while still having a good relationship with the customer. Our strategic public relations efforts are fair, but firm - this means that we make sure your reputation is our top priority! If you want to collect the debt yourself and you want to understand the Swiss debt collection process from start to finish, keep reading this guide. If you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt recovery in Switzerland, we can help you with that too.
At Debitura, we make it easy to collect debt in Switzerland and 192 other countries. To get started, upload your claim today. We will review your case and provide you with 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Switzerland within 24 hours. Our team uses the latest technology combined with a people-oriented approach to get the best results. This method also helps us manage our customer relationships better. In addition, we have a network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors that we work with closely. We value all of these relationships equally.
Begin the process of collecting your debts in Switzerland today without any charges. Simply make a free profile and submit your case within two minutes.
Our pre-legal recovery process has a proven track record of success. We'll work on collecting your claim during the first 3 months, and if we don't succeed you won't be charged - it's 100% no-cure-no-pay.
If we cannot collect your debt during the pre-legal phase, we will give you three quotes from debt collection attorneys in your area.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Switzerland
Do you have a hard time getting money that people owe you in Switzerland? Do not worry; we make it easy for you to get paid by your Swiss customers.
When someone owes a debt, the person who they owe the money to is called “the creditor”. If the original creditor collects the debt himself, this is called “first-party collection”.
If the creditor outsources the collection process to a third party, this is called “third-party collections”.
- Swiss companies make their payments on time. Most of the time, they pay in advance or within 30 days.
- Even though domestic courts can deal with disputes quickly, it is still more effective to try to collect debt before going to court.
- Even though there are ways to help people who owe money and ways to help companies that are in danger of failing, the law still says that people who cannot pay their debts have to give up their things. This leaves little chance for people who are owed money to get paid back by the person who owes them.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
Most Swiss companies make their payments on time or even early. They might only be delayed by a few days, but this doesn't happen often. For listed companies, the DSO is slightly higher but has remained stable over the past few years.
Main corporate structures
Liability for business debts is determined by legal structures. This means that businesses can be held responsible for their debts in court if necessary.
- A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. The owner is responsible for all the debts of the business. If two or more people own a business, it is called a partnership. The partners are responsible for the actions of the other partners. A limited liability partnership offers limited responsibility to the partners.
- Private Limited Liability Companies (Société à Responsabilité Limitée, SARL / Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH) require a small amount of money to start (CHF 20,000, approx. EUR 18,500). This means that the people who own the company are not responsible for any debts if the company can't pay them. As a result, these entities present the highest risk of default. A Joint Stock Company is a type of business that is used by medium and large structures. The company's capital is divided into shares. This means that the shareholders' liability is limited to the value of their shares.
- There are other ways for foreign companies to come to Switzerland. They can open a Branch Office, which means the parent company is not limited in what it can do. Or they can make a Joint Venture, which is when two companies work together on a project. This can be any legal structure, but it does not have to be an incorporation.
The debt collection process in Switzerland
The debt collection process in Switzerland typically involves multiple steps. The image below explains our standard process for collecting debt in Switzerland:
1 Upload your claim:
If you need help to get your money back, you will start by finding a company that can help you. You will give them some information about the money you are owed, and then they will try to get the money for you. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 different quotes from different companies in Europe who can help you. This service is free - there is no charge to use it.
2 Amicable collection:
The collection process typically begins with sending "friendly reminders" to the person who owes you money, via email, SMS, letter, or any other available communication channels in that specific country. The goal is to get the debtor to pay or acknowledge the debt and start a payment plan. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay solution for amicable collection, which means you only pay a small success fee if we recover your debt. Amicable collections with Debitura are 100% risk-free!
If you have not received payment from the debtor after trying to work it out, it is time to look at what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid and other factors to help you decide what to do next. There are three common next steps:
If your claim is for less than 2,000-5,000 Euros, it is often not worth taking any more legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person you owe money to and try to reach an agreement about payments.
B: Legal collections:
A legal process is a set of steps that are followed in court to resolve a dispute or claim. Depending on what you are claiming and the amount of money involved, the steps that are required can be different. The time it takes for the legal process to be completed takes 12-18 months.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the debtor agrees that you are owed money, or if you have a court order, you can use the bailiff's court to get your money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Switzerland.
Amicable collection in Switzerland
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. All you have to do is submit your claim, and we will get started within 24 hours. We will reach out to your debtor via all available channels in Switzerland, which often includes e-mailing, texting, writing letters, calling, and using social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) get the debtor to pay the full amount or
B) get the debtor to agree that they owe the money and start a payment plan
If the debtor has said they do not owe the money, you cannot try to resolve it peacefully. You must go directly to legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
The Federal Act on the Amendment of the Swiss Civil Code says that if someone owes you money, they have to pay you at least 5% interest on that debt from the date of the invoice or payment request.
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amicable debt collection
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Legal collection in Switzerland
If we have not been able to pay you during the first phase or the person you are owed money from says they do not owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from local debt collection attorneys. In the legal phase, our local attorney will reach out to the person you are owed money from and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get a payment order through the legal system in Switzerland. This payment order can then be used to enforce your claim through enforcement court.
If you cannot come to an agreement, or if the person you owe money to does not agree with your claim, you can start legal proceedings.
In Switzerland, there are two ways to get money that you are owed. This can happen if someone owes you money and they don't pay you back. The first way is called special execution proceedings. This is when the person who owes you money has their assets seized. The second way is called general execution proceedings. This is when the person who owes you money goes bankrupt. Both of these things can happen if the creditor (the person who is owed money) files an enforcement request with the competent debt enforcement authority and asks for a payment summons to be issued to the debtor (the person who owes money).The authority has asked the debtor to pay within 20 days or to bring a defence within ten days. If the debtor does not respond, the creditor may request a default judgment ordering attachment on the debtor’s assets.
If a claim is certain and undisputed, or if the creditor has already won a judgment against the debtor, the dispute may be solved through summary proceedings. This means that documentary evidence is more important than hearings (which do not happen) and the debtor does not have the right to oppose the claim.
If the person you owe money to disagrees with the claim, the court may decide to either continue the enforcement proceedings or have a full court hearing within one year. The Swiss Procedural Code has a way for parties to get evidence from the other party before starting a lawsuit. The court can give different kinds of remedies, like money for damages, an order to do something, or a declaration from the court. But the court cannot give punitive damages.
It is a good idea to have a lawyer when you are trying to get money from someone. People might try to not give you the money without a good reason, but if you have a lawyer, they will have to give you the money. Also, any time you try to get money from someone, it stays on public records for five years. This might help pressure the person into giving you the money.
Switzerland is a country that is divided into twenty-six sections. The rules are written down and case law only has a limited role in creating new laws. The sections have all of the power and control over things that are not delegated to the Confederation by the Swiss Federal Constitution. This includes law enforcement, healthcare, welfare, public education, and power of taxation.
There is a special code that the courts have to follow since 2011. But different areas have their own court that deals with claims. Some places have a commercial court that only deals with international commercial disputes. And finally, at the federal level, there is a court that can make decisions about cases from the other levels.
Legal fees depend on how complicated and big your claim is. To get the best price, ask different attorneys for their prices so you can compare them. You can do this easily by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
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Debt enforcement in Switzerland
If you have written proof that the person you are suing owes you money, or if a judge has said they owe you money, you can go to the bailiff's court in Switzerland to get your money.
The process and how much it will cost varies depending on your situation. To find out how much it will cost, upload your case information to Debitura. They will give you 3 different quotes to choose from within 24 hours.
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Switzerland
If the person you owe money to cannot pay you back, there is a final stage you can do. This is called insolvency. The goal of this is to get rid of the person's assets and give them to the people they owe money to.
- Out-of-court debt restructuration is common and advisable as it provides a confidential and informal venue for discussing financial issues prior to commencing insolvency proceedings.
- Restructuring the debt: Even though most insolvency procedures lead to liquidation, some insolvency proceedings aim to support business continuation through a debt restructuring agreement between debtors and creditors. The process is similar to the Chapter 11 proceedings under U.S. law, and allows a debtor to stay in business provided that its remaining assets cover all privileged claims and debts.
- Winding-up proceedings: Despite efforts to increase debt restructuration negotiations, Swiss law focuses less on the continuation of the debtor’s business activities than on the protection of the rights of the creditors, so that the default insolvency procedure in practice essentially aims at seizing the debtor’s assets. In this case, business operations come to an immediate standstill whilethe debtor loses authorityto dispose of its assets once court declares them bankrupt.
Our analysis concludes that the risk of running a business in Switzerland is low. Based on this low score, You can feel reasonably confident that you will be able to get paid when trading with customers in Switzerland. Nonetheless, we always recommend doing a specific credit analysis on an individual customer basis before offering any credit. The low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Switzerland
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Switzerland is very low (1 out of 6). An economic risk of 1 out of 6 is low in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Switzerland is 812,87 bn. USD (2021), growing by 3,69% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Switzerland ranks #21 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
In terms of growth rate, it is ranked #110 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered an excellent growing economy.
GDP per capita is 93457 USD, ranking Switzerland number #4 out of 183 countries. The result of this is purchasing power of citizens in Switzerland is high compared to the rest of the world.
You can see a more throughout picture of GDP and economic growth in Switzerland in the table below:
Another huge impact for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You can see a more throughout picture of monetary key performance indicators in Switzerland in the table below:
The inflation in Switzerland was 0,6% in 2021 which is considered a very low inflation rate.
The interest rate for businesses is 2,64%.
The business environment risk in Switzerland
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Switzerland is very low (1 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Europe.
Economic freedom and rights determine the business environment risk in a country. The critical facts for Switzerland in the table below:
As you can see in the table, the property rights index is 85 in Switzerland, which is considered quite good in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 74 in Switzerland, a pretty average score for a country in Europe.
Switzerland's overall economic freedom index is 82 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Switzerland
The political risk in Switzerland is very low, with a score of 1/6. This is a low political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Switzerland can be seen in the graphs below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When transacting business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Switzerland, the rule of law index is at 1,81 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Switzerland has, therefore, a very high rule of law index, which means you have a very good chance of enforcing your contracts. If your individual customers have good creditworthiness, you should therefore feel relatively safe when providing credit.
Other drivers for the very low political risks are the very strong control of corruption, the strong political stability index, and the small shadow economy that is 6,94% of Switzerland's GDP.
The commercial risk in Switzerland
In Switzerland, the commercial risk score is 2/4, which in our model is a low score. This low commercial risk score is relatively low compared to the average in Europe.
The commercial risk is impacted by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Switzerland in the table below:
Switzerland has a foreign exchange reserve of 1109.82 bn. USD.
Switzerland has a positive trade balance of 14,78% of GDP. This means that Switzerland imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 12,54% annually - now 69,94% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 55,16% of the GDP in Switzerland.
The financing risk in Switzerland
We have calculated the financing risk to be 1/4, which equals a very low risk. A very low financing risk score is relatively low for countries in Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. You can find the extra information for Switzerland in the table below:
In Switzerland, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). The result of this is accessibility and quality of credit information available in Switzerland is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Switzerland. You should therefore be able to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your juridical rights as a creditor are 6 out of 12 and, therefore, weak.
The very low financing risk for creditors also impacts the low interest rate in the private sector of 2,64%.
Switzerland's Debt Collection: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Debt collection in Switzerland typically involves multiple steps, including amicable collection, evaluation, and legal collections if necessary. Surveillance may be recommended for claims under a certain threshold, while legal collections involve a set of steps in court that can take up to 12-18 months. Debt enforcement can be used with a court order. Debitura provides free service to help upload claims and get quotes from companies, while offering risk-free, no-cure-no-pay solutions for amicable collection. We can assist with all three steps in Switzerland.
The debt collection process in Switzerland typically involves three steps: Pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves friendly reminders to the debtor to pay or acknowledge the debt. If that fails, legal collection is the next step, which can take 12-18 months to resolve. Debt enforcement can then be used to get the money owed through the bailiff's court. At Debitura, we can help with all three steps in Switzerland, including risk-free amicable collection.
In Switzerland, if a debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is required. Debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings are two options available for debt collection. Legal actions require a local lawyer. Out-of-court debt restructuring is common and advisable, while insolvency proceedings can lead to liquidation or a debt restructuring agreement between debtors and creditors. The process is similar to Chapter 11 proceedings under US law. Swiss law focuses on protecting the rights of creditors in winding-up proceedings, which essentially aim at seizing the debtor's assets.
Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal debt collection with a success fee between 10-20%. The price for legal actions varies depending on your specific case and desired actions. Debitura can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Switzerland. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the best option for your specific needs.
The duration of debt collection in Switzerland varies based on the debtor and the nature of the case. If the matter can be resolved in the pre-legal phase, the process could last for 3-6 months. However, if legal steps must be taken, debt collection could take between 12-18 months to see satisfactory results. Our team of experts can provide more guidance on your specific case.