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Old 19.07.2012, 10:25
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bringing business from Germany

Hello everyone

I have had a search through the forum, and have discovered a lot, but nothing really answers all my questions, so I hope there is someone out there who can help me.

I'm British and currently live in Germany and I run a small nanny agency. I don't employ the nannies myself, I just match them with families who contact me. Although I offer a sample contract, the contract is purely between the families and the nannies. My fee comes from the families after a nanny has been placed with them. Here I do this as "selbständig", and run the agency alongside my job.

I am relocating to Basel in a few weeks. I have a part time job there, and would like to bring the agency with me to run it alongside my job. My new employer is OK with this.

a) is it possible to do this as "self employed" in Switzerland in the same way? I read that I need to have my name in the title if this is the case. Is that true?

b) I would still like to place nannies with German families. If I will be resident in Switzerland, am I allowed to do this, and do I need to de-register with the German authorities?

c) I'm feeling a bit confused, and am starting to think that actually it might be easier to live on the German side of the border, and do it that way. Does anyone have any opinions on this?

I have tried contacting authorities in Switzerland, but I keep hearing that they need to check things out and get back to me, but no-one ever does, and I'm now getting a bit bored of chasing them up, so came here for some help.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 21.07.2012, 13:37
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Re: bringing business from Germany

Well, I've been looking into this now for a while, weighing up all the options (and getting quite panicky!). I don't have 20,000CHF to start a Swiss company, so I was thinking about registering the agency as a UK Ltd (together with my brother, with him resident in UK and dealing with things there), and then opening a Swiss branch. This way, I could still run my agency with my German clients in the short term, (just like an agency based in the UK) and then establish myself more fully in Switzerland over time.
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Old 21.07.2012, 13:50
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Re: bringing business from Germany

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Well, I've been looking into this now for a while, weighing up all the options (and getting quite panicky!). I don't have 20,000CHF to start a Swiss company, so I was thinking about registering the agency as a UK Ltd (together with my brother, with him resident in UK and dealing with things there), and then opening a Swiss branch. This way, I could still run my agency with my German clients in the short term, (just like an agency based in the UK) and then establish myself more fully in Switzerland over time.
There may be a market for a Nanny Agency in Switzerland, but I rather doubt it. Suggest you try to import good but cheap German wines into Switzerland and you will have your market.

But always keep in mind that Switzerland in total has less inhabitants than Baden-Württemberg and is not only split into three market-regions as per language but that the regions of Zürich, Basel and Bern are three different market regions.

THESE are the reasons why thos folks were slow to react. They did not want to offend you , BUT reality at times is offending !
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Old 21.07.2012, 14:03
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Re: bringing business from Germany

Www.gruenden.ch - more for Zurich, but perhaps there's a link for Basle.

You can become "selbstständig im Nebenerwerb" - talk to the AHV people about that.

You don't need 20k to start a business. You can be self-employed having an "Einzelfirma" (single owned company?). Correct, your name must appear in the company name for all official dealings (i.e. bank, contracts, etc.), but you can shorten it or use a logo for advertising purposes.
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Old 21.07.2012, 14:04
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Re: bringing business from Germany

No offence taken

To clarify: My agency specialises in placing UK and Irish nannies overseas, (together with US American and Canadian au pairs). At the moment, most of the jobs are in the local Rhein/Main region, but I do placements in other locations too. There is a market for native English speaking nannies across Europe, and I would still want to continue to place English nannies with German families, espcially given the base I have there. The only thing that would change is my own residence.
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Old 21.07.2012, 14:09
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Re: bringing business from Germany

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Www.gruenden.ch - more for Zurich, but perhaps there's a link for Basle.

You can become "selbstständig im Nebenerwerb" - talk to the AHV people about that.

You don't need 20k to start a business. You can be self-employed having an "Einzelfirma" (single owned company?). Correct, your name must appear in the company name for all official dealings (i.e. bank, contracts, etc.), but you can shorten it or use a logo for advertising purposes.
Thanks so much for that info Crumbs, that makes things a bit easier. I am in Basel next week, and will look into it then.

J
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Old 21.07.2012, 14:20
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Re: bringing business from Germany

If you're going for an Einzelfirma, Swiss law requires you to have your name in the "Firma" (= name of the business). However, this can be done by adding "Inhaber: [name]" to the name of the business for contracts, business cards etc, such as "Nifty Nannies, Inhaber: Sefina". You'd still be able to advertise the "Nifty Nannies" in big letters, as long as the full name appears on each document.

As for the German business, as long as it's run from Germany (from an office with a German address where documents can be served), the German authorities don't care where you live. You could move it to Weil am Rhein very easily if you manage to secure a cheap one-room office or something.
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Old 21.07.2012, 23:18
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Re: bringing business from Germany

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If you're going for an Einzelfirma, Swiss law requires you to have your name in the "Firma" (= name of the business). However, this can be done by adding "Inhaber: [name]" to the name of the business for contracts, business cards etc, such as "Nifty Nannies, Inhaber: Sefina". You'd still be able to advertise the "Nifty Nannies" in big letters, as long as the full name appears on each document.

As for the German business, as long as it's run from Germany (from an office with a German address where documents can be served), the German authorities don't care where you live. You could move it to Weil am Rhein very easily if you manage to secure a cheap one-room office or something.
With Jestetten and Singen and Konstanz being the equivalent for Zürich/Schaffhausen

If being close to Zürich is the idea, the place is Jestetten, if being in a nice place fairly close to Zürich it is Konstanz, which is a very nice city on a beautiful lake

Last edited by Wollishofener; 21.07.2012 at 23:30.
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Old 22.07.2012, 08:22
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Re: bringing business from Germany

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With Jestetten and Singen and Konstanz being the equivalent for Zürich/Schaffhausen

If being close to Zürich is the idea, the place is Jestetten, if being in a nice place fairly close to Zürich it is Konstanz, which is a very nice city on a beautiful lake
Jestetten is small and has no infrastructure to speak of. Waldshut or Bad Sackingen are better bets (and don't require a drive through the nasty bottleneck that is Eglisau).
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