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Old 04.12.2006, 21:45
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How to freelance in Switzerland?

Hello, I am a web designer currently looking to start freelancing in Switzerland. I have a B permit and would like to know how to go about setting up a business so I can start work.

I know the answer to my question is probably already on some other thread, and I have been reading around, but at some point I've got confused and was wondering if someone could explain it simply.

I will only be working part-time, from home and I expect a good chunk of my work (well probably most of it) to be coming from the UK. Is anyone able to offer advice or point me in the right direction?

Ange
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  #2  
Old 04.12.2006, 22:57
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Hi,

I just wrote a FAQ for contractors which you can read here:

http://www.rebgasse.com/reblog/?page_id=59

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 04.12.2006, 23:21
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:

I just wrote a FAQ for contractors which you can read here:

http://www.offsitelink.....
Why don't you post your FAQ on the English Forum?
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Old 05.12.2006, 03:59
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Taken from your link.

Quote:
According to the government website an Einzelfirma costs about SFr1000 to setup.
I am in the middle of registering myself as a one man self-employed company and there is no CHF 10,000 involved (as far as I know).
Can someone throw more light? I will be sending my paper work in few weeks time so will let you know how it turns up. I was told by the SVA guy that it's straight forward (for EU person). Just need to send my website link, business card, stationary, contracts, invoices etc plus fill the AHV-Beitragspflicht: Fragebogen für Selbständigerwerbende und Personengeselschaften FORM.
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Old 05.12.2006, 09:05
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Taken from your link.



I am in the middle of registering myself as a one man self-employed company and there is no CHF 10,000 involved (as far as I know).
Can someone throw more light? I will be sending my paper work in few weeks time so will let you know how it turns up. I was told by the SVA guy that it's straight forward (for EU person). Just need to send my website link, business card, stationary, contracts, invoices etc plus fill the AHV-Beitragspflicht: Fragebogen für Selbständigerwerbende und Personengeselschaften FORM.
Firstly the Blog that Nick wrote, is not accurate. It might represent shall we say the worst case government view but...

As a "one man band" there are no costs entailed unless you wish to have your business entered in the handelsregister which you need not. The only real thing you need to do is inform the town hall and fill in the AHV - the latter is a must or you can really be in the kaka... the quoted 1000 figure is a best guess estimate as well as the 4-6K GmbH. Actually you can set up a GmbH for just over 1K as long as you are able to write the statutes yourself, which some of us can You can't avoid the Notar part, unless of course you are one...
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Old 05.12.2006, 09:41
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Hello, I am a web designer currently looking to start freelancing in Switzerland. I have a B permit and would like to know how to go about setting up a business so I can start work.
<snip>
There is no need at all to set up a business. You can do all the necessary to be self-employed as covered already in this forum here (for teaching):
branching out professionally for no cost...
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Old 05.12.2006, 11:33
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

10000 ? or 1000 ?

10000 if the paid up portion of share capital required to invest in a Gmbh startup. YOu will probably spend 1000CHF in expenses to do the setting-up. Statuten checking, notary and Handelsregister etc.

If you set up as an Einzelfirma (one-man band) you require almost no adminstration and therefore expenses incurred, unless you are registering with the Handelsregister (this is voluntary, but gives you credibility)

dave



Quote:
Taken from your link.



I am in the middle of registering myself as a one man self-employed company and there is no CHF 10,000 involved (as far as I know).
Can someone throw more light? I will be sending my paper work in few weeks time so will let you know how it turns up. I was told by the SVA guy that it's straight forward (for EU person). Just need to send my website link, business card, stationary, contracts, invoices etc plus fill the AHV-Beitragspflicht: Fragebogen für Selbständigerwerbende und Personengeselschaften FORM.
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Old 05.12.2006, 13:12
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
10000 ? or 1000 ?

If you set up as an Einzelfirma (one-man band) you require almost no adminstration and therefore expenses incurred, unless you are registering with the Handelsregister (this is voluntary, but gives you credibility)

dave
You know a lot :-) How does Handelsregister help? Is it something people can look up? Actually what the hell is it? Thanks
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Old 05.12.2006, 13:25
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Its the Zürich Commercial Register of Companies. It gives interested parties confirmation that you are who you say you are, and your company or firm is legally registered, and who the directors are, and if you are in liquidation...

http://www.hra.zh.ch/internet/ji/hra/de/home.html

Try doing a company search...

Your potential new clients may check it to see if you are legitimate and when you were established. You may require a printout from the register when signing up for services (phones etc) on behalf of your firm or company.

dave



Quote:
You know a lot :-) How does Handelsregister help? Is it something people can look up? Actually what the hell is it? Thanks
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  #10  
Old 05.12.2006, 23:36
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Why don't you post your FAQ on the English Forum?
Probably an idea.

I would prefer to post it somewhere less ephemeral than the regular fora - e.g. if there was a static forum for living-in-Switzerland-FAQs or whatever.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 05.12.2006, 23:41
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Hi Richard,

Thanls for the comments.

Quote:
Firstly the Blog that Nick wrote, is not accurate. It might represent shall we say the worst case government view but...

...
We just went along with the advice given by our lawyer; and as I would be working initially at the one client, we felt the hassle attached to using an Einzelfirma would be too great - hence we went with a GmbH.

The cost mentioned (got from the govt website) for a GmbH is perhaps a little exaggerated - ISTR we paid about 1200 legal fees to our lawyer for drawing up the statutes and 2400 to the notary for the privilege of sitting in his plush office and using his fountain pen to sign the papers. But then our company setup was pretty "boilerplate" in nature.

I'd appreciate any other comments you may have BTW - just mail me privately if you don't want to take the thread too off-topic.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 06.12.2006, 01:25
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Hi Richard,

Thanls for the comments.



We just went along with the advice given by our lawyer; and as I would be working initially at the one client, we felt the hassle attached to using an Einzelfirma would be too great - hence we went with a GmbH.

The cost mentioned (got from the govt website) for a GmbH is perhaps a little exaggerated - ISTR we paid about 1200 legal fees to our lawyer for drawing up the statutes and 2400 to the notary for the privilege of sitting in his plush office and using his fountain pen to sign the papers. But then our company setup was pretty "boilerplate" in nature.

I'd appreciate any other comments you may have BTW - just mail me privately if you don't want to take the thread too off-topic.

Cheers,
Nick
Hi Nick,

I will do that as it is a good resource. Won't be till Friday or monday though - busy!

On another note the bullshit that surrounds the setting up of a GmbH really winds me up. You can actually do it for nothing or next door to nothing - just sign your car over to the company and pang you meet the criteria assuming of course it has value of more than 10K. The notary expenses and the handelsregister entry are unavoidable but the rest... By the way you were clearly in a Canton like ZH where the notaries are elected and not self employed... The average cost is ca CHF 1500.

Richard
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Old 06.12.2006, 06:58
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Probably an idea.

I would prefer to post it somewhere less ephemeral than the regular fora - e.g. if there was a static forum for living-in-Switzerland-FAQs or whatever.
Why static?
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Old 06.12.2006, 08:28
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

As soon as I read the words "our lawyer" in your post, I knew some big numbers would follow.

I'm not sure what you mean by hassle with Einzelfirma. It the equivelant of sole-trader, individual operating as a business, and offers minimal hassle. There will always be the liability issue which is the major reason for Gmbh, and the credibility issue, but notwithstanding: the hassle is far less, not to mention the ongoing expenses...

www.gruenden.ch can provide most of the information you need.

If you have no special needs, you can get a fill-in-the-blanks set of Statuten by copying other company's that publish them on the internet. I used the UBS Articles for inspiration

I don't know what the notary did for his 2400chf, but that sounds expensive. The fact that your company was boilerplate should have brought in the notary+Handelregister together at about 1700chf. All the notary really has to do is witness the Urkunde on formation, and check your IDs and powers of attorney, if applicable.

But then in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...

dave


Quote:
Hi Richard,

Thanls for the comments.



We just went along with the advice given by our lawyer; and as I would be working initially at the one client, we felt the hassle attached to using an Einzelfirma would be too great - hence we went with a GmbH.

The cost mentioned (got from the govt website) for a GmbH is perhaps a little exaggerated - ISTR we paid about 1200 legal fees to our lawyer for drawing up the statutes and 2400 to the notary for the privilege of sitting in his plush office and using his fountain pen to sign the papers. But then our company setup was pretty "boilerplate" in nature.

I'd appreciate any other comments you may have BTW - just mail me privately if you don't want to take the thread too off-topic.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 06.12.2006, 10:47
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Probably an idea.

I would prefer to post it somewhere less ephemeral than the regular fora - e.g. if there was a static forum for living-in-Switzerland-FAQs or whatever.

Cheers,
Nick
If you want static(-ish) then why not dump it on Swisswiki.ch? That's what I did with the satellite and TV stuff
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Old 06.12.2006, 11:54
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

I went on a "start yr own business" course in ZRH. Take a look on http://www.mybluesky.ch/ to see when the next course is. All courses in English.

The guy that held the course was Bruno Bosshard, BB Treuhand AG.
www.bbtreuhand.ch
mail@bbtreuhand.ch

He was very nice, and also understands the "difficult" apects of dealing with swissies in such situations.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck!
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Old 06.12.2006, 13:31
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Every bureaucrat I dealt with was great and helped me far more than they needed to (or charged for I reckon). To be honest, I was expecting to have a hard time, but if you do your homework (www.gruenden.ch in English), you will understand the issues and the right questions to ask.

dave


Quote:
He was very nice, and also understands the "difficult" apects of dealing with swissies in such situations.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck!
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Old 07.12.2006, 14:01
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

wow... this thread really took off. Glad some others got their questions answered too.

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Old 11.01.2007, 16:40
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
I am in the middle of registering myself as a one man self-employed company and there is no CHF 10,000 involved (as far as I know).
Can someone throw more light? I will be sending my paper work in few weeks time so will let you know how it turns up. I was told by the SVA guy that it's straight forward (for EU person). Just need to send my website link, business card, stationary, contracts, invoices etc plus fill the AHV-Beitragspflicht: Fragebogen für Selbständigerwerbende und Personengeselschaften FORM.
Hi JR

How did the setting up business go? I am thinking about settiing up as an einzelfirma but am really struggling to get my head around it all, just read through this thread, but I used to struggle with this stuff in the UK let alone here, is my best bet to go to the Kreis buro (town hall) and ask for their advice? I currently have a couple of clients in the UK and possibly 2 new ones and I potentially have 2 or 3 new clients in CH one of which has asked me about my self employed status, they mentioned paying the equivalent of the UK stamp duty and said if i wasn't registered as self emplyed in CH then they would be liable to pay it - in the meantime they can pay me in the UK as I can still file a tax return there.

If anyone can explain the process to me simply (sorry i'm not too bright on these subjects) it would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
Nicky
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Old 12.01.2007, 09:14
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Re: How to freelance in CH?

Quote:
Hi JR

How did the setting up business go? I am thinking about settiing up as an einzelfirma but am really struggling to get my head around it all, just read through this thread, but I used to struggle with this stuff in the UK let alone here, is my best bet to go to the Kreis buro (town hall) and ask for their advice? I currently have a couple of clients in the UK and possibly 2 new ones and I potentially have 2 or 3 new clients in CH one of which has asked me about my self employed status, they mentioned paying the equivalent of the UK stamp duty and said if i wasn't registered as self emplyed in CH then they would be liable to pay it - in the meantime they can pay me in the UK as I can still file a tax return there.

If anyone can explain the process to me simply (sorry i'm not too bright on these subjects) it would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
Nicky
HI Nicky,

There are three structures you can take (Not strictly true there are some others but they will not be applying (ie cooperative and partnership) for reasons beyond the scope)

1, Sole trader
2. GmbH equivalent UK Ltd.
3. AG equivalent UK PLC

To setup either of the latter two you will need to follow set rules AND have a deposit of multiple thousands of Swiss Francs (or business usable assets to the equivalent value). The minimum figures are 10K for a GmbH and 50K for an AG.

For a sole trader you will need to find a name for your business that includes your surname and complete the AHV sole trader application form. You may also find it useful to invest the SFr. 150 - 200 to register your business on the trade register.

And then of course you will need to open a business bank account...

And that is it. Now I guess you have some questions as it cannot be that easy, right? So fire away...
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