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View Poll Results: Have you got a business are interested in how to do things here or save (avoid) tax?
Would like to have a business but boy don't know where to start 151 39.22%
Am a contractor but my pimps are asking me to bend over and hold my ankles every month 25 6.49%
I am a freelancer doing it myself (so to speak) and want to know more 103 26.75%
I have my own legally structured company and don't like paying so much to everybody 50 12.99%
I am employed but am always interested in any way to reduce tax 49 12.73%
I think this is a waste of breath you oxygen thief 7 1.82%
Voters: 385. You may not vote on this poll

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  #281  
Old 04.07.2012, 14:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

My German is a1 level, about to start a2, so beginner really. I have visited the immigration in Luzern and they said it was possible for me to apply for a visa and they advised the 'Konkubinat' option for me as an unmarried dependant - (and yes the term means the same in German ;s). but this is a non-working visa.

It sounds like your advice is to first get a visa (even a non-work visa) then look into self employed status.
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  #282  
Old 04.07.2012, 15:31
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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My German is a1 level, about to start a2, so beginner really. I have visited the immigration in Luzern and they said it was possible for me to apply for a visa and they advised the 'Konkubinat' option for me as an unmarried dependant - (and yes the term means the same in German ;s). but this is a non-working visa.

It sounds like your advice is to first get a visa (even a non-work visa) then look into self employed status.
Please note that the visa make take a while to come through, six months isn't uncommon, but it will very much depend upon your Kanton.
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  #283  
Old 04.07.2012, 16:14
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

EU citizens do not need visas. When you get here you go to the commune where you are living and apply for a permit. As an EU citizen you can apply for a self-employment permit. It might be easier and faster if you apply for a permit to live with your partner then change it later once you have your "business entity" set up. It could be a sole trader. But this status must be approved. So get your business plan, previous income statements, etc prepared.
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  #284  
Old 04.07.2012, 16:23
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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EU citizens do not need visas. When you get here you go to the commune where you are living and apply for a permit. As an EU citizen you can apply for a self-employment permit. It might be easier and faster if you apply for a permit to live with your partner then change it later once you have your "business entity" set up. It could be a sole trader. But this status must be approved. So get your business plan, previous income statements, etc prepared.

This sounds more positive, is it from personal experience? I will collect all my business plans / accounts together before the permit meeting.
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  #285  
Old 04.07.2012, 16:32
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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This sounds more positive, is it from personal experience? I will collect all my business plans / accounts together before the permit meeting.
No. I've been here since before Switzerland joined the free movement agreement. But if you read around the forum you'll find the rules for EU citizens. It's quite simple really.

It's not really a "permit meeting". When you get to Switzerland. You go down to the commune and submit your request for a permit. Read the site for your commune that tells you what papers you will need.
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  #286  
Old 09.07.2012, 08:57
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

My business partner (British citizen) completed the B permit process in Zurich in June 2012. His B permit was granted on the premise of being a business owner. At the time of submission for the B permit, our business was in the process of being formed. In addition to the passport, we provided the migrationsamt with:

* Letter from our solicitors summarizing our progress towards form a business and our mandate with them.

* Employment contract with the business. The migrationsamt insisted on seeing an employment contract, despite this not making sense in our situation. I assume this was part of their mandatory checklist for business owners.

No business plan was supplied.

Hope this helps!
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  #287  
Old 17.07.2012, 16:34
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello, I moved to Zurich from LA back in February. I'm here for at least two years. I'm a graphic artist and webmaster so all my work will be over the internet. I would like to freelance for US and Zürich clients.

Have a Permit L
Will not have any employees
Will work out of the house

Any advice you can give me so I can begin freelancing would be great.

Thanks,
Robert
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  #288  
Old 17.07.2012, 17:11
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

TBH I'd be very surprised if you would be allowed to freelance if you are a US citizen on an L permit
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  #289  
Old 06.11.2014, 14:25
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Yes, this is a really useful help topic because it is so difficult to find out what you need to know in English. Thank you for offering this advice.
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  #290  
Old 07.11.2014, 18:27
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi all, would appreciate any advice on my wife's situation. She has a project she has been asked to work on - 50% of her time in Zurich. She isn't being hired, so therefore needs to be able to accept payment. What is the easiest lightweight option, before going down the road to setup a business etc.? I've heard so many terms: employment, sole proprietor, sole trader, consultant etc! Note she is an EU citizen.

Thanks in advance..
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  #291  
Old 07.11.2014, 18:42
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Assuming she's resident in CH (you don't say), if she is only working for the one client, then chances are she'll be deemed employed come what may. If she has 3 or 4 clients and can show that she bears the business risk, then she can apply to the SVA for self-employed status (Einzelfirma). No obligation to register an Einzelfirma with the Handelsregisteramt
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  #292  
Old 07.11.2014, 19:10
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

She's not currently resident and would be joining me in the next month.

It is only 1 client, so would that affect her ability to undertake this work?
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  #293  
Old 07.11.2014, 19:27
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

There's nothing to stop her doing the work, but I think the authorities would deem her a part-time employee and demand deductions etc. from the client/employer accordingly. They take a dim view of employers trying to evade their social security responsibilities/liabilities
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  #294  
Old 07.11.2014, 19:34
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

The situation is a little more complicated and it doesn't appear to be a scenario where she would be an employee. Does she have any other options, that don't require have to setup a business?

Really appreciate your help/advice.
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  #295  
Old 07.11.2014, 20:04
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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The situation is a little more complicated and it doesn't appear to be a scenario where she would be an employee. Does she have any other options, that don't require have to setup a business?

Really appreciate your help/advice.
You may not think it does, but to the Swiss it's a different story. She'll work part time for one client. To them that means she's an employee and not self-employed.
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  #296  
Old 10.11.2014, 11:24
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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The situation is a little more complicated and it doesn't appear to be a scenario where she would be an employee. Does she have any other options, that don't require have to setup a business?

Really appreciate your help/advice.
The simplest form of a company would be an Einzelfirma, which automatically comes into existence by her acting independently (i.e. by accepting the first order), without any paperwork at all. Registration is mandatory if annual revenues exceed 100'000CHF.

The term being discussed here is "Scheinselbständigkeit", self-employment merely on paper. The official criteria can be found here(no eglish version).

Abbreviated version of the criteria that point to Scheinselbständigkeit:
Factual employment will likely be assumed if 3-4 of the following criteria are met:
- no employees
- only one or two clients
- these one or two clients is/are (will be) repeat customers
- not actively looking for additional clients on the market
- was previously employed by the client to do basically the same work
- no financial risk, no significant investment to setup the business

Deciding authority will be the Ausgleichskasse of the Kanton where she will live. It would probably be best for you to contact them.
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  #297  
Old 31.01.2015, 14:11
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Did not get time for MwSt at the moment but I did do this. Statuten.
All companies need them and here is a blanko version for a GmbH.

Questions? I know it is in German by the way...

Richard your Statuten attachment cannot be opened anymore. Could you reattach again. thanks for great comments
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  #298  
Old 03.02.2015, 13:14
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Dear Richard,

THANKS for GREAT thread and very useful information. May I ask some follow up questions? (Apologies if you already answered these questions and I missed them on the thread…)

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A company formally comes into existence once the statutes are written and not once the company is registered. It exists in a legal state called pre-GmBH at least in the German part of Switzerland. It can indeed trade in this state and fully function but it cannot have a VAT number
"The company exists once the founderes decide to take the step of forming the company. In its initial form a pre-GmbH it is a fully fledged company that is not formalised. As such it can perform in the same way as post formalization and can indeed trade."


1) How long can pre-GmBH trade in this state and fully function until it is forced to be registered?


2) Does this also apply to AG/SA Societe Anonyme? i.e. can pre-AG trade in this state and fully function? How long?


3) Does this mean that in pre-GmBH format there is no requirement to register one Board Member and one “Signatory” in Commercial Register?


4) Are shareholders’ records in pre-GmBH public records?


5) Can pre-GmBH have one employee?


6) Is it quicker and cheaper to set up a pre-GmBH than a GmBH? What is the best way to set up a pre-GmBH?


Thank you very much
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  #299  
Old 03.02.2015, 13:22
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I have set up a couple of GmbH's and my total cost was around 800 CHF including HR registration for each.

Go to a notary in Zürich for a company with domicile in another canton. The HR registration of course has to be done in the canton of domicile but that is a fairly straight forward thing and cost doesn't vary to much between cantons (as opposed to notary costs that do).


Dear Tilia

Thank you for great comments. Could you kindly provide contact details of company/ Zurich notary where you set up GmbH for CHF 800 esp the ones that one can set up GmBH oneself? What is the quickest GmbH can be set up by them? Startup.ch can do it in 10 days if a rush and 2 to 3 weeks without a rush.

Thank you very much
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  #300  
Old 18.08.2015, 12:10
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

I found this presentation to be a helpful summary of much of what has been posted in this thread: http://www.swinog.ch/meetings/swinog...Contractor.pdf
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