Commercial real estate in Switzerland

Companies looking to set up in or relocate to Switzerland often start in business centers or coworking spaces. From there, they slowly grow into their own headquarters. Others buy real estate right away or even develop their own sites from the very start.

Are you setting up your business in Switzerland or relocating, but still looking for real estate at the right location? Get in touch with us if you need to make up your mind about the Basel Area, the Swiss business hub of the future.

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Four types of commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate is property with a business purpose instead of living space.

Office space.

Today, more and more companies are setting up their offices in business centers and coworking spaces. This is convenient for companies just starting out in a new place. The advantages:

  • Coworking spaces and business centers often come with a lively community that helps settle in.
  • The flexibility enables a company to grow.
  • Companies can focus on growing their business without worrying about paper for the printer, coffee beans or cleaning. Business centers and coworking spaces usually take care of all the things that help tenants do their job.

As soon as a company gets bigger, it usually looks for its own office space.

We took up our work with a small team and expanded within five months to the full team size. Basel Area Business & Innovation helped us to settle and find a starting setup with lab and office space. The team supported us greatly with bigger lab space and more office capacity to facilitate our growth.

Jörg BreitlingTeam Leader Application biological Qualification at Hamilton

Laboratories.

Research and drug development happens at biology and chemistry labs. Lab space has to follow strict rules and codes. It must be built with safety in mind and have the Swiss authorities’ permission to operate.

Industrial use.

Industrial use includes factories and logistics centers. It’s all sites where employees create, manufacture, assemble, research or distribute goods.

Retail.

In a retail context, commercial real estate includes all properties that help tenants sell goods and services to their customers on-site. That’s the store itself, warehouses, shopping centers and factory outlets.

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Three central questions about commercial real estate in Switzerland

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Who can buy commercial real estate in Switzerland?

Everyone can buy commercial real estate in Switzerland. Even if you don’t have Swiss citizenship, you can buy real estate for commercial use. No special permission is needed. There is an exception: foreigners aren’t allowed to buy rental homes.

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What are the property prices in Switzerland?

Switzerland is well-known for its high quality of life. That makes it a popular home for people and businesses, resulting in rather high property prices. Prices vary a lot depending on the location: 1 square meter in downtown Basel costs as much as CHF 3,300, in a newly developed estate in Basel-Landschaft around CHF 5,000 and in Delémont in the canton of Jura, you might get it for CHF 1,750.
The expenses and taxes you pay for buying property depend on the canton and municipality.

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Where do I find commercial real estate for sale?

There are various platforms and agencies you can turn to. Start by downloading our business property fact sheet to get a feel for the local real estate market. It lists the most popular online real estate platforms, brokers and developers, and contains valuable commercial real estate reports.

Renting commercial real estate in Switzerland.

You’re good to rent commercial real estate anytime — no citizenship or permits are required.
Renting is the start for most foreign businesses. If you don’t sign a long-term lease, you can get a taste of doing business in Switzerland without going all in. Coworking spaces, technology parks, and business centers are popular starting points.

Learn what it’s like to work in Switzerland, what permits you need as a foreign worker and how to find work here. Check out our working in Switzerland page for more info.

Setting up your headquarters: Choose the Basel Area.

The Basel Area offers a wide choice of real estate options – from large development plots and warehousing facilities to office space and laboratories. It’s also home to many coworking spaces and technology and innovation parks.

Office space.

There’s a large selection of suitable office space in business centers or coworking spaces in the Basel Area.

Find what’s best for you and what prices to expect with our guides below. Distances to the airport, train stations, the Basel city center and the next motorway access are included to give you a good idea about the accessibility of different locations in the Basel Area.

Lab space.

Basel has a long history in life sciences. The constant need for research facilities attracts investors to create more lab space, making the Basel Area the best place in Switzerland for companies looking for laboratories to work in.

Companies can rent private or shared labs for instance at the Allschwil site of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area, Maincampus. Labs are also on offer at Technologiepark Basel, The Fifth Floor CO.LAB in Muttenz or Bio Pur Laboratories in Reinach.

For young startups looking for a place to grow, a shared lab can be the ideal solution as it allows flexibility and comes fully equipped with every instrument a researcher needs.

Recently, Superlab Suisse has announced plans to open a site in Basel. Their labs-as-a-service will be available by 2024 at Stücki Park in Basel.

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Download your commercial real estate guide



Technology & Innovation Parks.

Technology and innovation parks are a mix between office space and laboratories. As a home to numerous startups and experts, they are a perfect ecosystem for growth.
The Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area offers unique coworking spaces at its four sites Courroux, Basel, Novartis Campus and Allschwil. Additionally, the Allschwil site is equipped with state-of-the-art lab space. The Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area is also home to the accelerator programs BaseLaunch, DayOne and i4Challenge.
Technologiepark Basel and other industrial parks complete the region’s unique offering.
Read our guide for more information on the Basel Area’s technology and innovation parks.

Development plots.

For an overview of the main commercial sites and new developments in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura, see our real estate maps.

The Basel Area covers the whole range of real estate opportunities: a private office in a business center, a space in a shared lab or a private lab or even a greenfield for setting up a manufacturing site — the Basel Area has it all.

Fabio Marelli
Manager Business Affairs at Basel Area Business & Innovation

Three interesting real estate sites you need to know.

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GETEC PARK.SWISS

Is Switzerland’s only serviced industrial park for the chemical and life sciences sectors and the ideal location for all companies engaged in these industries.

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uptownBasel

A new international center for companies that focus on industry 4.0 topics like industrial manufacturing, healthcare and the interdisciplinary function of digitalization.

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Innodel

Is a high-tech industrial park in the canton of Jura, including a business incubator and office space for established companies and laboratories.

The Basel Area Business & Innovation soft landing package.

We’re happy to support you in setting up or expanding your company in the Basel Area and will help speed up your search for property or space free of charge. As a special feature, we offer an exclusive soft landing package that provides you with free office workstations for up to three months.

Soft landing package.

FAQ about commercial real estate in Switzerland.

Who can buy or rent commercial real estate in Switzerland?

Everyone. You don’t need a special permit or citizenship. Residential properties to rent out are the only exception and can’t be purchased or invested in by foreigners – or only under certain conditions and with a permit.

What are the resources to find suitable properties?

Many brokers, real estate platforms and developers are happy to show you around the Swiss real estate market. Get a list of them here.

Who assists my company in buying or renting real estate in Switzerland?

Every canton has its departments and agencies that assist companies in setting up. For the Basel Area, that agency is us. If you want more information on setting up your company in Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft or Jura, get in touch with us.

Is there any agency that helps businesses relocate within the Basel Area?

If you’re a local business looking for commercial space, you can get in touch with local economic development organizations in the cantons.

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We’re the go-to agency for every question or request about launching in or relocating to the Basel Area. Either we know the answer, or we know the people who do. We help you solve questions about real estate but also about hiring or collaboration opportunities with universities.

Fabio MarelliManager Business Affairs at Basel Area Business & Innovation

You might also be interested in

As the region’s innovation promotion agency, Basel Area Business & Innovation offers consultation and connections to help companies, entrepreneurs, and startups launch and grow innovative ventures. The DayOne Accelerator, as an example, has expanded its offerings and is supporting startups and companies that specialize in the fields of digital health prevention, diagnostics and treatment, no matter where they are located.

Furthermore, we provide introductions and help you build your network, we host events and workshops, and we help you get access to resources from funding to mentoring, accelerator programs, and collaborative workspaces.

Find out what the Basel Area has to offer.