Liechtenstein Market Entry

Liechtenstein Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

Distribution and sales channels, use of local representatives, other factors affecting sales
According to cheeroutdoor.com, the Liechtenstein market is small, stable and rich, with many specifics and obstacles, but also advantages. Entering this market is challenging and needs to be carefully considered in advance. Success in Liechtenstein usually becomes a good reference for entering Switzerland and other, much larger world markets. However, failure in Liechtenstein costs far more resources than in neighboring countries. Business costs are very high here, and services and labor in particular are among the most expensive in the world. It is necessary to explain to the Liechtenstein partner why it should do business with you. It is much easier and more natural for him to do business with companies from neighboring states. He should clearly know in advance why it is worthwhile for him to do business with a company from the Czech Republic. It is therefore best to offer a product that domestic and neighboring companies do not have, or to provide better services.

Import conditions and documents, customs system, export control, domestic market protection
With the customs agreement of 1924, Liechtenstein became part of the Swiss customs area. In the years 1991-1995, the agreement was modified, and since then Liechtenstein can – always on the basis of a special agreement with Switzerland – accede as an independent contracting party to international agreements and as an independent member state to international organizations in the scope of the customs agreement (e.g. accession to EEA in 1995). The customs agreement with Switzerland was the impetus for the far-reaching harmonization of economic law and social security law. There are no customs checks at the Swiss-Liechtenstein border, and checks are carried out by Swiss customs officials at the Liechtenstein-Austrian border. Swiss customs regulations also apply to the Principality of Liechtenstein. More data regarding the import, export and transit of goods to,Swiss Customs Administration.

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Liechtenstein is a very developed country with one of the strongest economies in the world. It is interesting that compared to Germany or Switzerland, it has a high production share. There are more companies registered in the country than the number of people living here. The rules for establishing and operating a Liechtenstein stock company (Aktiengesellschaft – AG) and foundation are not very different from other German-speaking countries such as Germany and Austria. However, an indisputable advantage is the very acceptable tax conditions for foreign investors (holding companies) who do not perform a gainful activity on the territory of Liechtenstein / Switzerland. In general, the profit achieved or the increase in assets of holding companies is not subject to either profit tax or trade tax. It is also necessary to emphasize that a registered office and a bank account in Liechtenstein do not mean running a gainful activity in this state. The most common type of company in Liechtenstein is the AG type company. To establish an AG, you need one shareholder and one director, who must be a resident. A registered capital of CHF 50,000 is required for registration. All information can be found on the official websiteWirtschaftstandort Liechtenstein – Service für Unternehmer.

Marketing and communication

Liechtenstein is a rich and demanding territory, which should correspond to the presentation of the company, the offered product or service. In addition to standard marketing procedures, it is very important to pay attention to the language level – materials/communications should be in German. Traditional marketing tools such as leaflets, billboards, printed advertising or advertising in the media are very expensive, and their effectiveness and reach for the presented product or service must be considered in advance. It can be cheaper and in many cases more effective to use social networks, websites, influencers, ambassadors and other Internet promotion options. For this, local PR agencies can be used, which can target the promotion according to their experience with the local environment. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bern will provide contacts to agencies or information about promotional events and fairs upon request.

Issues of intellectual property protection

Protection of intellectual property rights is at a high level in Liechtenstein. The country has been a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since 1972.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bern is not aware of any cases of infringement of rights in the field of intellectual property in Liechtenstein that would affect the Czech rights holder. Patents in relation to Liechtenstein are verified, granted and administered by the Swiss Federal Intellectual Property Office (Eidgenössisches Institut für Geistiges Eigentum) based in Bern.
Protected designs, marks and designs in Liechtenstein are verified, granted and administered by the Office for the National Economy (Amt für Volkswirtschaft) based in Vaduz.

Public procurement market

Specific information on public procurement is available on the website of the Liechtenstein Public Procurement Office Fachstelle Öffentliches Auftragswessen (FAW)

Information on European public procurement is available on the SIMAP/TED Portal.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

Liechtenstein is one of the least financially risky countries in the world. The payment terms are not particularly different from European customs. For smaller and irregular transactions, or for the first deliveries of goods or services, payment in advance is required. For larger international transactions, documentary forms of payment upon delivery of goods are often used. Documents are mostly sent through banks, as is payment (documentary direct debit). Between long-term business partners who already trust each other, it is possible to arrange payment by invoice with an agreed maturity period, or even commission sales.
To resolve business disputes with a Liechtenstein partner, you can first use the debt collection office. More information can be found on the Betreibungsschalter-plus.ch website.
In general, it can be stated that disputes can be resolved through conciliation or in court. It is significantly cheaper to find a solution through conciliation proceedings in an arbitration court. In the case of court proceedings, it is impossible to do without the legal assistance of specialized offices. They are united in the bar association, which covers all attorneys and law firms operating in Liechtenstein. You can also communicate with the representatives of some of these law firms in the Czech language.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

In order to enter and stay in the territory of a foreign country, citizens of the Czech Republic must meet the conditions set by its laws. The embassy of the given country is responsible for communicating these conditions; in the case of Liechtenstein, its embassy in Vienna, which is also accredited for the Czech Republic. The following information is intended for basic orientation only. Although Liechtenstein is not a member state of the EU, it is part of the Schengen area. Full free movement also applies to citizens of the Czech Republic. To travel to Liechtenstein, a valid passport of the Czech Republic or a national identity card of the Czech Republic is sufficient. Travel documents must be valid for the duration of the traveler’s stay in Liechtenstein, or until the moment of departure.
Czech citizens are not required to have a visa in Liechtenstein. No special permit is required for tourist stays of up to 90 days within 180 calendar days. The same applies to medical or spa stays. However, if a Czech citizen intends to stay in Liechtenstein for more than 90 days within 180 calendar days, or to perform a gainful activity there, he is obliged to apply for a residence permit from the relevant local authority (more details in article 5.8).
Liechtenstein is one of the most advanced, richest and safest countries in the world, which is reflected in the conditions for traveling to Liechtenstein. Public transport is fast, safe and connected to Switzerland. Liechtenstein does not have an international airport. The nearest airport is in St. Gallen/u, but his connection to the world is not entirely reliable. The most practical way is to fly to Zurich and then travel to Liechtenstein for about hours by train or bus, or rent a car. Taxi and car rental services are a matter of course at Swiss airports, the prices are high, the conditions for renting a vehicle and obtaining insurance are standard as in other developed European countries.
For shorter distances, it is better and faster to move on foot, or using public transport. The availability and quality of drinking water is problem-free, crime is very low.
Considering the prices of medical services and medicines, it is highly recommended to take out a good travel insurance before traveling to Liechtenstein. The Liechtenstein hotel industry is famous, so the choice of accommodation is only a matter of preferences and financial possibilities of the traveler. You can pay in cash or by credit card.

Useful websites:
Liechtenstein information pages
Liechtenstein state administration

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

In relation to Liechtenstein, the agreement on the free movement of persons, which Switzerland concluded with the EU in 1999 and which also applies to citizens of the Czech Republic, is being implemented.
To work in Liechtenstein, Czech citizens need a permit issued by the local immigration and passport office. Information and contacts are given under the link Ausländer- und Passamt (APA).
Situations are very common when a Czech citizen – a commuter – has a permit to work in Liechtenstein, but does not have a residence permit, and thus lives either on the Swiss or on the Austrian border.
The key to obtaining a work permit is obtaining a job, or finding an employer willing to employ a Czech applicant. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bern does not monitor offers on the Liechtenstein labor market and does not mediate work in Liechtenstein.
Useful information can also be obtained on the portal of the European Employment Service (EURES) network, of which the Labor Office of the Czech Republic is a part. The basic mission of the service in question is to facilitate international labor mobility. EURES services are also extended to Liechtenstein through bilateral agreements.
There is no statutory minimum wage in Liechtenstein. CHF 4,000 gross per month is generally considered a fair minimum wage. Useful information on collective agreements and salary levels in various economic sectors can be found, for example, under the links: GAV in Liechtenstein, Detailhandelsgewerbe, Liechtensteinisches Landesgesetzblatt. Social and health care is at a high level for those who work legally in Liechtenstein and pay all prescribed levies properly.

Fairs and events

The most important trade fair in Liechtenstein is the LIHGA industrial, commercial and craft exhibition, which takes place from 16 to 18 & 21-24 September 2022

A calendar of events in Liechtenstein can be obtained from the Veranstaltungskalender Liechtenstein website

Liechtenstein Market Entry