Audit Requirement

Until early 2008, the audit law mostly applied to public companies. Since 2008, the audit obligation is independent of the legal form and is therefore valid for all legal persons. However, sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited partnerships are not subject to audit requirements.

Since that time, the law differentiates both the scope of the audit as well as the actual person obligated to provide the requirements to the auditor (the audit authority is responsible for approving). In particular, small and medium sized companies benefit from the limitation of the audit obligation.

According to Swiss law, there are three different types of audits: the regular audit, the limited audit, as well as the waiver of an audit.

Differentiation is made for the following three types of audits:

Regular Audit
(Art. 727 OR)

The regular audit is provided for economically significant companies. Among these are companies,

  • whose shares are traded on the stock market,
  • whose bonds have been issued,
  • whose assets / turnover contribute at least 20% to the consolidated financial statement,
  • exceed the following limits for two consecutive years: 
    • CHF 20 million balance sheet total,
    • CHF 40 million turnover,
    • 250 full-time jobs on average annually,
  • which must create a consolidated financial statement,
  • whose shares (who together represent 10% of the share capital) require this (so-called opting-up),
  • whose statutes provide for this,
  • or if an appropriate decision from the general meeting of shareholders requires this.

Limited Audit
(Art. 727a Paragraph 1 OR)

There is an obligation for a limited audit for all companies that do not have to perform a regular audit.

Waiver of the Audit
(Art. 727 Paragraph 2 OR)

There is no need for an audit if the company is not required to perform a regular or limited audit, if all shareholders agree and if there are no more than 10 full time employment positions on average.