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Old 07.05.2010, 18:18
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Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

hi all,

I've prepared a slideshow for the next SwiNOG event on June 1st. I think it can be useful for many on this forum.

Your feedback or questions are absolutely welcome.
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:42
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

I work in IT sourcing for a large company, and starting next year we will only employ contractors through a SECO registered company. This is true of most large companies in the area. This will increase your start up cost considerably. The tax authorities in Zurich are cracking down on these "one man shows".
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:45
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

Very interesting presentation - thanks for sharing it
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:54
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

Like it, very clear. How to come up with a rate and providing for the future given the additional health and insurance issues of being self-employed might be good additions. Just a suggestion.
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Old 07.05.2010, 19:14
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

Page 8, you've spelt "ensurance". Should be "insurance". Despite paying the insurance, in order to claim on it you would have to close your company down.

Your comment on page 17, that an AG is a "real company" is inaccurate. GmbH's are real companies - even with one employee. You've also failed to point out the benefits of limited liability (AG/GmbH) over Einzelfirma.

MWST can be paid 6 monthly. You can register for MWST fixed. For a 1000CHF invoice, you pay 1000*1.076*0.06 = 64.56CHF, instead of 76CHF. You don't do any other MWST accounting, and claim none back. Excellent if your MWST invoices are considerably higher than your MWST expenses. Also reduces accountant costs.

I pay AHV/AVS monthly.

Work out how many weeks holiday you want a year, when you calculate how much income you want - this helps determine your minimum rate. It's important to budget for proper restorative time off.

Even if you get direct contracts, if they last a longer time, the client may insist one-man GmbH go via agency. However, the margin will be considerably lower than if they find you work.

Page 28 has grammatical errors

Also, with agencies, watch out for handcuff clauses, and get your contracts checked by a competent lawyer (100-200CHF per review - could save you 10000s). And negotiate!

I do not recommend all-in-one printer/scanner/copiers, unless space is an issue. I do recommend a fax machine.

With Labour license, some cantons waive the need for one-man bands. Others require you to get a waiver from the competent authority.

Probably I'd mention more about compulsory/advised insurances - accident, sickness, professional indemnity.

Mention the Swiss performing rights organsiation - they like you to give them money. And also that as soon as you're registered, you'll receive bogus bills for registration.

btw - I work far shorter hours than I did as a permie.
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Old 08.05.2010, 01:49
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

NotAllThere, thanks, I'll update it with some of your input.
You see, I'll have only 30 minutes for that speech, so I ought to be very concise. The goal is to give people the ideas, and all the details are left for their home work.
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Old 08.05.2010, 01:54
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

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I work in IT sourcing for a large company, and starting next year we will only employ contractors through a SECO registered company. This is true of most large companies in the area. This will increase your start up cost considerably. The tax authorities in Zurich are cracking down on these "one man shows".
William, what is a SECO registered company? On their website, I don't seem to find anything about it.

In regards to tax authorities, I'm pretty sure I'm absolute clean
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Old 08.05.2010, 07:54
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

SECO: http://www.seco.admin.ch/org/00686/index.html?lang=en I'm not entirely convinced that SECO will be a major factor influencing independent freelance IT contractors, since the vast majority work through agencies.

On the subject of which. While agencies charge a margin, they do serve a useful purpose.

1. They factor the invoice. Going through an agency should mean you get paid more quickly than going direct E.g. when I was contracted to Nestlé, I was paid by bank transfer a day or two after the agency received my confirmed timesheet and invoice - by email.
2. They act as a buffer between you and the client. This can be useful when you want to negotiate more money. The agent are generally better than you are at this!
3. They have the contacts to find you work.
4. My agency has regular, quality apéros, where we can meet the agency staff, other contractors and clients. These are excellent networking opportunities.
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Old 08.05.2010, 15:36
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

Folks, thank you very much. I've updated the slideshow with some of your input.

In regards to a fax machine: I've sent only 1 fax message in the past three years. People are usually happy with a scanned document via e-mail.

In regards to an all-in-one machine: the colour ones are a bit too expensive, but the b/w machines like OKI MB460 are quite perfectly priced. I'm quite happy with this one.
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Old 07.02.2015, 16:37
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Re: Slideshow: starting as an independent IT contractor

Quote:
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Page 8, you've spelt "ensurance". Should be "insurance". Despite paying the insurance, in order to claim on it you would have to close your company down.

Your comment on page 17, that an AG is a "real company" is inaccurate. GmbH's are real companies - even with one employee. You've also failed to point out the benefits of limited liability (AG/GmbH) over Einzelfirma.

MWST can be paid 6 monthly. You can register for MWST fixed. For a 1000CHF invoice, you pay 1000*1.076*0.06 = 64.56CHF, instead of 76CHF. You don't do any other MWST accounting, and claim none back. Excellent if your MWST invoices are considerably higher than your MWST expenses. Also reduces accountant costs.

I pay AHV/AVS monthly.

Work out how many weeks holiday you want a year, when you calculate how much income you want - this helps determine your minimum rate. It's important to budget for proper restorative time off.

Even if you get direct contracts, if they last a longer time, the client may insist one-man GmbH go via agency. However, the margin will be considerably lower than if they find you work.

Page 28 has grammatical errors

Also, with agencies, watch out for handcuff clauses, and get your contracts checked by a competent lawyer (100-200CHF per review - could save you 10000s). And negotiate!

I do not recommend all-in-one printer/scanner/copiers, unless space is an issue. I do recommend a fax machine.

With Labour license, some cantons waive the need for one-man bands. Others require you to get a waiver from the competent authority.

Probably I'd mention more about compulsory/advised insurances - accident, sickness, professional indemnity.

Mention the Swiss performing rights organsiation - they like you to give them money. And also that as soon as you're registered, you'll receive bogus bills for registration.

btw - I work far shorter hours than I did as a permie.

Great update to OP's excellent post

Any idea as to the Social contributions & taxes percentagewise?

I know this can vary a lot based on personal circumstances, but what would be ball park, if using the UK 1 man Ltd company model for comparison? on say 120K receipts or 240K receipts p.a.

Sorry for all the questions, its very difficult to get info from "hands on" sources, especially being an expat and all that.

TIA
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