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Old 27.09.2007, 12:46
Richard Richard is offline
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi Everyone,

Dave A, thanks for pointing me to this thread because it's right on time!

Richard, thanks for all of your valuable advice! I'm new to the forum and have just moved to Lausanne from Paris by way of Chicago so working in Switzerland is all new to me.

I am a freelance web content writer/editor. I've had my own Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered in the US for seven years now so your description of a GmhB seems a little familiar at least -- except in the US you could set up everything in an LLC for about 1,000 US max! It's way less expensive then what I've encountered in Europe.

So far I'm finding a market for my service, which surprised me. I have one client ready to come on board now. We thought that because the client's parent company is in the US, that working through my existing LLC would work. Unfortunately, that's not the case because the actual work will be in Switzerland, and after talking to their legal team yesterday, it appears I will have to setup either a GmhB or become a soletrader.

Naturally, they want to do what will be legal and tax efficient for them and I want to do the same for me, yet at the same time, I still want to put myself in a position where working with me remains attractive to other Swisss organizations in the future. My concern is that I will probably only be in Switzerland for about 2 years before my husband is ready to take on some other country.

Does it make sense to start up a GmhB now? Or should I just start off as a soletrader? If I do start GmhB now how easy, time consuming, expensive is it to dissolve it later if I need to? What happens to any money I've paid out in pension -- can it stay where it is or must it be transferred to another fund? Basically, I'm looking for advice as to what would be the smart thing to do long term versus short term. Honestly, with moving from France to Switzerland, etc., I just don't have the extra 10K right now to set up as a GmhB? If I'm going to be working here I want to help not hurt the family income. Many thanks for any thoughts you have!
I have been a bit busy lately and therefore have neglected this somewhat... Anyway you are stuck a bit in your situation as the only way you can proceed is to set up a GmbH. As a US citizen you cannot simply work as a soletrader. Disolving a GmbH is relatively straightforward and in your circumstances could have some additional tax benefits. That said if you don't have the ca 15K then this is a non-starter...
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