All active companies in Switzerland are given a standardised business identification number (UID). As a unique and unchangeable identifier, it simplifies communication between enterprises and authorities.
The UID is made up of the country code ‘CHE’ and nine digits. It is randomly allocated and does not contain any information about the enterprise. Both the usual format (CHE123456789) and one with hyphens and full-stops (CHE-123.456.789) are allowed. The latter is for easier readability only.
A suffix to the UID shows that the enterprise is entered in the commercial register (HR) or subject to VAT (MWST) or both (HR/MWST). The suffix is not part of the UID: The number remains the same even if the suffix should change.
Frequently asked questions and answers about the UID can be found here:
The UID system is comprised of different participants and system components:
The FSO is responsible for the UID register and makes it available. It is accessible to authorities and the general public within the established parameters of data protection provisions.
All enterprises and institutions active in Switzerland receive a register entry free of charge as a UID entity. With their UID they can then identify themselves when contacting the authorities, for example. The authorities or administrative offices of the Confederation, cantons and communes as well as institutions charged with public law duties are known as UID services. These are continuously in touch with the FSO, allocate the UID to new enterprises and announce changes or deletions to the UID register. The register is both a source and recipient of information as well as acting as a hub for enterprise information.