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Old 12.11.2012, 15:18
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Obtaining a VAT number

I am a retired UK citizen living near Geneva and holding a B permit (awaiting decision on my application to upgrade to a C permit at the end of the year).

An agency of the European Union wants to hire me as a technical consultant, but they require that I provide a VAT number or evidence of VAT exemption. I presume that means that I have to form a company. I have no other reason to form a company except to satisfy this request.

I've read the advice about setting up a GmbH elsewhere in this forum. Can you kindly confirm that this is what I would need to do to obtain a VAT number for the purpose described?

Grateful for your guidance, Robin.
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Old 12.11.2012, 15:21
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

http://www.gruenden.ch/

Starting a basic internet business 'from' CH

Setting up a new GmBH

Registering a Business
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Old 12.11.2012, 15:43
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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I am a retired UK citizen living near Geneva and holding a B permit (awaiting decision on my application to upgrade to a C permit at the end of the year).

An agency of the European Union wants to hire me as a technical consultant, but they require that I provide a VAT number or evidence of VAT exemption. I presume that means that I have to form a company. I have no other reason to form a company except to satisfy this request.

I've read the advice about setting up a GmbH elsewhere in this forum. Can you kindly confirm that this is what I would need to do to obtain a VAT number for the purpose described?

Grateful for your guidance, Robin.
You dont need a company to get a VAT number, but you do need to establish yourself as a self employed sole trader. The latter may be difficult if you only have one client, the social security dept will want you to be on the payroll.

You are only required to register for (and invoice) VAT if your turnover exceeds or is foreseen to exceed 100kchf per annum. However, if you are going to stay below that level I have never heard about how you (or your company) prove the negative "proof of exemption". But perhaps some form or written confirmation from yourself would satisfy them.

Bottom line. This could turn into an expensive admin exercise.
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Old 12.11.2012, 16:39
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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I am a retired UK citizen living near Geneva and holding a B permit (awaiting decision on my application to upgrade to a C permit at the end of the year).

An agency of the European Union wants to hire me as a technical consultant, but they require that I provide a VAT number or evidence of VAT exemption. I presume that means that I have to form a company. I have no other reason to form a company except to satisfy this request.

I've read the advice about setting up a GmbH elsewhere in this forum. Can you kindly confirm that this is what I would need to do to obtain a VAT number for the purpose described?

Grateful for your guidance, Robin.
Seems odd; if you are hired by an agency of the European Union who are based in the EU then you are not allowed to charge them Swiss VAT (it is an export); even if you are a Swiss VAT registered person/company.
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Old 12.11.2012, 18:07
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

You're dealing with a box ticker. All you need to do, normally, is write to them and state that you are a resident of Switzerland, a non-EU country, and that as such VAT does not apply. (I encounter this reasonably often)
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Old 12.11.2012, 21:18
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

Dear eng_ch:
I wish it were so simple. EU demanded my VAT number or evidence that I do not have to pay VAT. I have explained to EU that I am not part of a company so I have no VAT number. I also consulted the VAT office in Bern who said they do not issue attestations to individuals to say they are not required to pay VAT. The VAT office did say that if EU sent a specific request to confirm that I am not required to pay, they would respond. In the event, EU declined to contact Bern and cancelled the consultancy! EU bureacracy is tough on this issue.
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Old 12.11.2012, 23:44
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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Dear eng_ch:
I wish it were so simple. EU demanded my VAT number or evidence that I do not have to pay VAT. I have explained to EU that I am not part of a company so I have no VAT number. I also consulted the VAT office in Bern who said they do not issue attestations to individuals to say they are not required to pay VAT. The VAT office did say that if EU sent a specific request to confirm that I am not required to pay, they would respond. In the event, EU declined to contact Bern and cancelled the consultancy! EU bureacracy is tough on this issue.
About
a. "I have explained to EU that I am not part of a company so I have no VAT number" - I can understand the EU would not accept that.

b. Did you try "write to them and state that you are a resident of Switzerland, a non-EU country, and that as such VAT does not apply"? -
b. is quite a different situation than a.
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Old 13.11.2012, 08:27
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

Thank you, Marton. I wrote long back exactly as you suggested, but to no avail. Admin accepted the explanation, but Legal Dept. did not. Thanks again.
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Old 13.11.2012, 09:24
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

Think of it this way, you probably don't want to be working for an organisation whose red tape is so inflexible it can't cope with your very simple situation.
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Old 13.11.2012, 09:28
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

did you think about setting up a UK company and getting a VAt number for it? would be simpler and cheaper than the Swiss co..
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Old 13.11.2012, 09:47
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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did you think about setting up a UK company and getting a VAt number for it? would be simpler and cheaper than the Swiss co..
I did exactly that when I did some work for the EU but it was around 15 years ago so maybe the process is not so easy now?
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Old 13.11.2012, 13:45
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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Dear eng_ch:
I wish it were so simple. EU demanded my VAT number or evidence that I do not have to pay VAT. I have explained to EU that I am not part of a company so I have no VAT number. I also consulted the VAT office in Bern who said they do not issue attestations to individuals to say they are not required to pay VAT. The VAT office did say that if EU sent a specific request to confirm that I am not required to pay, they would respond. In the event, EU declined to contact Bern and cancelled the consultancy! EU bureacracy is tough on this issue.
Did you ask the VAT office in Bern to give you a VAT number?
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Old 13.11.2012, 15:03
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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Did you ask the VAT office in Bern to give you a VAT number?
They like to see some evidence that you will cross the VAT threshold (i think Chf 100k revenue per year) with business plan or similar. Too many people have requested VAT numbers and then either packed up or not reached the threshold.
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Old 13.11.2012, 15:06
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

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They like to see some evidence that you will cross the VAT threshold (i think Chf 100k revenue per year) with business plan or similar. Too many people have requested VAT numbers and then either packed up or not reached the threshold.
When I switched from "sole trader" to GmbH they (Bern) would not give me a VAT number until I reached the threshhold even though I was doing the same business with the same people & had the same revenue stream.
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Old 13.11.2012, 16:04
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Re: Obtaining a VAT number

I recently got one for a new GmbH and new business, no questions asked, but maybe had the "credibility" of a treuhander acting as my representative.
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