There are very few international jurisdictions that provide a legal definition of the term “family office”. Switzerland does not.
It is not the term that matters but the legal form that the operations will take and the services that form will provide. There are can be cases where there are no legal forms, investment are made by the economic beneficiary.
If the family employs dedicated resources then it is preferable to have a limitation of personal liability for their managers by setting up bodies limited by shares or limited liability company.
In Switzerland, the main laws that any Family Office has to respect are the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)and the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA).
Even with the new legislation, namely, the Financial Services Act (FinSA)and the Financial Institutions Act (FIA) there is no general requirement for family offices to be authorized.
The test is still dependent on the services that the entity intends to offer.
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