In Switzerland the general principle of immutability of the name applies. This means that a person’s first name and surname, once acquired, cannot be changed in principle. However, a procedure for changing the name can be initiated in exceptional cases and at the request of the person concerned.
The change of name is governed by art. 30 Swiss Civil Code and serves to eliminate the inconvenience associated with the name. If one’s own name is a cause for ridicule or if there are family-related reasons, it is worth considering a procedure for a change of name. Moreover, since the revision of the law in 2013, only good cause (achtenswerte Gründe) and not important cause (wichtige Gründe) is required, which simplifies the procedure. However, this is to be distinguished from the change of name of children or in the context of marriage and divorce as well as transgender people.
In the following essay by attorney Karin Hochl, you will find information on the different constellations of a name change, as well as on its procedure and effect.Back