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Old 14.11.2011, 14:20
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Freelancing Advise?


I'm wondering if anyone can offer me some advice about the best way to start myself off freelancing in Switzerland. I've been a freelance software developer for many years in the UK and feel I have a strong skillset to offer. As I have joint british/swiss nationality and an address in switzerland too, I've been wondering about the possibility of taking advantage of this fortunate position.

Although I'm confident that I could find work fairly easily if I moved to switzerland I'm not in a position to do so currently. At present I'm lucky enough to be able to work freelance from home in the UK and this is something I would like to continue doing, as I have some childcare commitments that mean this flexibility is very valuable.

The other complicating factor for me is that, whilst I have reasonable conversational german, it is probably not fluent enough to deal with detailed technical specifications, although I do have friends and family members who might be able to help out with this.

If anyone could offer be advise on what I would need to do to be eligible to be resident in the uk, whilst freelancing for swiss companies I would be very interested to know more. Would I need to register as a sole trader and make health insurance payments etc? Also any suggestions about the best place to try and find suitable freelance contracts would be great - I've seen there are jobs advertised on here from time to time and I've also registered online with a freelancers site in germany, which also lists swiss vacancies.

Many thanks for any advice offered,

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Old 21.11.2011, 23:56
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Switzerland, Aargau
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Caribeangeorge has made some interesting contributions
Re: Freelancing Advise?

Hello Joe,

The first question is: Where is your residency?
Just having an address here doesn't mean you have residency!

You registered in England, then English rules apply. Not Swiss. Even if you work for a Swiss company. You would have to find out the English rules there.

If you have Swiss residency, then Swiss rules apply. Here its easy. Just start to work, as long you're a small fish, just pay your duties and nobody bothers you. You have to register with SVA for social security. You have to be a "real" business, not just 1 to 3 customers, in short, take entrepreneurial risks to be considered self employed otherwise they could claim some money from you and the (past) employers (up to 10 years back) for evading a working contract.

Simple bookkeeping will do, every income is taxable.

In the moment you are getting a shark, come back here, I'll advise you for 500.-hrs ;-) and will let you know how to proceed...


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Old 24.11.2011, 17:40
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Re: Freelancing Advise?

Hello George,

Thanks for your reply - I'm a UK resident at the moment. Since posting, I've had a bit more of a read on the forums and from the looks of it the only way this could work for me would be to set up a Gmbh for swiss contracts and work through that - but this obviously requires quite a financial commitment, without even being sure how easy it would be to get regular contracts. Perhaps a chicken and egg type of situation but maybe I need to get one of those first before I stand any chance of swimming out of the shallows.

All the best,

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