Liquidity support for start-ups decided via guarantee-scheme

A media release published today shows that the Federal Council decided on 22 April 2020 to support promising start-ups with corona-related liquidity bottlenecks via the guarantee system.

The guarantee organizations recognized by the federal government provide start-ups with easier access to bank loans. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, in consultation with the interested cantons and guarantee organisations, has now created the practical conditions. Applications for guarantees can be submitted from 7 May to 31 August 2020.

Guarantees of up to CHF 1 million per start-up

Based on the existing guarantee system, a special guarantee procedure was created to secure bank loans to qualified start-up companies. 65% of the guarantee is borne by the federal government and 35% by the canton or a third party brokered by the canton. In this way, the Confederation and the canton (or third parties) jointly guarantee 100% of an amount of up to CHF 1 million per start-up company. The total amount guaranteed may not exceed one third of the start-up’s running costs in 2019. In justified cases, the canton may deviate from this in its assessment.

Which start-up companies are eligible?

  • Start-ups with headquarters in a participating canton and founded after 01.01.2010, but before 01.03.2020
  • Stock corporations (AG) and limited liability companies (GmbH)
  • with headquarters in Switzerland.
  • Startups that are not assigned to the agricultural sector.
  • Start-ups that are not in bankruptcy or composition proceedings or in liquidation.
  • Start-ups which are economically significantly affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and suffer from liquidity shortages. The liquidity support is not a substitute for financing rounds.

Start-ups can apply for a guarantee via the relevant website. This will be sent to the participating canton together with all the necessary documents from EasyGov. A body designated by the canton will check the requirements and forward its assessment of the guarantee application to the responsible guarantee organization. This organization will make a final decision on the surety, taking into account the assessment of the office designated by the canton.

On this basis, a company can apply for a guaranteed loan from any bank. Applications for guarantees submitted in full via the above-mentioned platform between 7 May and 31 August 2020 will be considered.

The cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel have already confirmed their participation

The cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel were the first to confirm their participation in the support measures for start-ups. The list of participating cantons is constantly updated and the responsible authorities and all information about the procedure can be found on the easygov website.

If necessary, the responsible cantonal authorities can call upon a panel of experts for the assessment, which is coordinated by Innosuisse – the Swiss Agency for Innovation Promotion. This committee will assess whether the applicant companies meet the requirements as science or technology-based start-ups.

*Originally published in German at

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