Since January 2011, each enterprise active in Switzerland has been allocated a unique enterprise identification number (UID). The aim is to eventually reduce the large number of different identifiers used in the administration (e.g. commercial register number or VAT number) and to replace them with a single and unique identifier.
The use of the UID aims to reduce the administrative burden on enterprises and to increase the administration's efficiency.
Contacts between enterprises and the public administration are many and varied: registration in the commercial register, VAT and AHV/AVS contribution statements, customs declarations etc. When contacting the administration, enterprises can now use just one number, the UID.
The UID register has become a central platform for the exchange of data within the administration. With the introduction of the UID register, an enterprise's original data need only be entered once, dispensing with the need to enter it on each occasion they deal with the authorities. New registrations, head office transfers, changes of names and addresses as well as the deletion of enterprises are automatically sent to the relevant administrative service via the UID system.
Exchanges with clients, suppliers or other commercial partners are simpler and more reliable using the UID as a universal and unequivocal identifier. What's more, the latter makes it easier to manage and harmonise the enterprise’s own directories.
The UID register also makes it easier to access up-to-date data on economic agents, enabling an immediate overview of changes of address or business closures and thus improving considerably the level of information in everyday business.
The UID simplifies the exchange of data between administrative services, thus improving cooperation between authorities.
By having access to the UID register, the administrative services have at their disposal a high quality business register that is complete and up-to-date. This is possible, in part, thanks to the numerous data sources which supply the UID register. The administrative services can thus match and update their data at a lower cost.