Top 5 biggest Swiss companies

Switzerland is one of the locations chosen by many multinational companies to establish their headquarters here. This is due to the fact that Switzerland has a favorable tax system that offers more tax incentives and other facilities to foreign investors. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some of the world’s biggest companies in Switzerland doing business in different areas.


Nestle is not only one of the biggest Swiss companies, but also one of the biggest in the world. It was founded in 1886 and its current headquarters are in the Swiss canton of Vaud. It’s no coincidence that Vaud is one of the Swiss cantons with the lowest taxes.

The company has a market capitalization of more than 240 billion dollars, hundreds of thousands of employees, factories and operations in countries all over the globe. Nestle produces mainly baby food, cereals, dairy products, pet food and confectionery.


As the pharmaceutical industry is strongly developed in Switzerland, one of the biggest Swiss companies had to be a pharmaceutical one. Although Novartis doesn’t have a century-old tradition, it is one of the big players in the global pharmaceutical industry.

Novartis was founded just a little over 20 years ago, in 1996, through the merger of the Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy companies. These two companies had already established their value on the market though a presence of more than 200 years in the industry. Novartis produces generic drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vaccines, pharmaceutical products and contact lenses and has a market capitalization of more than 270 billion dollars.


Having the main headquarters in Zurich and Basel, UBS, is one of the biggest Swiss companies that was also established in the nineteenth century. It’s a global firm, with offices located in more than 50 countries and with approximately 60,000 employees. UBS provides a wide range of financial services, including mortgages, credit cards, investment banking, investment management and other types of basic financial services. The client portfolio includes corporate, institutional and private clients.

Zurich Insurance Group

Life insurance policies and the insurance industry in general are well – developed in Switzerland, so one of the biggest Swiss companies had to be an insurance group. The firm deals with insurance policies since 1872 and has its headquarter in Zurich.

The group handles all kinds of life insurance policies, but it also provides management for pension funds and investment funds. Zurich Insurance Group has a market capitalization of more than 50 billion dollars.


One of the main competitors of Novartis is another Swiss company, Roche. The company was founded in 1869 and has its headquarter in Basel. Roche is not only one of the biggest Swiss companies; it is also the largest biotechnology company in the world. Roche produces clinically oriented medicines, for various infectious diseases, immunology, oncology and ophthalmology.

Roche has a market capitalization of more than 240 billion dollars.

Some of the biggest Swiss companies operate mainly in the pharmaceutical, financial and insurance sector, but this doesn’t mean that Switzerland doesn’t provide the necessary framework for other business opportunities as well. Most foreign investors interested in doing business on the European market choose to register a company in Switzerland because of the very friendly business – environment.


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