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Old 27.04.2014, 18:04
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UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

Hi All
My first post so please bear with me.
Recently moved to Zurich with a company for work and got the required B visa - no issues. I have read through the existing posts but cannot find an answer to my dilemma...

Luckily I have been offered a contract in Middle East and plan to resign from my current company and start my own company. Also I plan to move back to the UK within the next 1-2 years anyway.. Need some help on what's better tax wise...

1. Would it be better to start up a UK LTD company and work as a sole trader from ZURICH?

2. would it be better to start up a GmBH considering the costs involved ?


Also most of my time will be spent in Middle East and I will be non resident from UK & Switzerland anyway so does it even make sense to even consider a GmBH company?

Any replies would be much appreciated!
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Old 27.04.2014, 18:52
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

A UK company & sole trader are 2 completely things, one is a company & one is self employment.
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Old 27.04.2014, 18:57
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

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A UK company & sole trader are 2 completely things, one is a company & one is self employment.
Thanks for the reply - should have clarified ..I meant set up a uk LTD company and then also set up as a sole trader in Switzerland and then invoice my time to the uk company which will mean I only pay Swiss taxes since in a uk citizen
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Old 27.04.2014, 18:59
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

I doubt you could become a sole trader in CH, your not taking any risk just trying to avoid social costs & tax. It won't fly.
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Old 27.04.2014, 19:07
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

Considering I will be working mostly away from uk.... any advice on where to set up the company? I have nothing against paying uk corporate taxes
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Old 27.04.2014, 20:25
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

I guess there is no tax in many places in the Middle East , do best make sure you only spend 8 days or less in the UK during the tax year if the contract is less than 1 full tax year.
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Old 27.04.2014, 20:56
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

Ok the contract will be a yearly renewal contract starting in June 2014 but since April 2014 is past will the 8 days count?

I thought the criteria was 91 days or less for uk non residency status?

Much appreciated
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Old 27.04.2014, 20:59
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

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Ok the contract will be a yearly renewal contract starting in June 2014 but since April 2014 is past will the 8 days count?

I thought the criteria was 91 days or less for uk non residency status?

Much appreciated
You need to read the statutory definition of residence, it depends, the less connections to the UK you have (EG a house or Children) the longer you can be there.
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Old 27.04.2014, 22:51
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

Single & not married and I have non residence status from my move to Switzerland & also non resident landlord status. but will double check again to make sure. Looks like UK LTD for me...
Again Thanks a lot for the quick replies
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Old 27.04.2014, 23:06
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

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Single & not married and I have non residence status from my move to Switzerland & also non resident landlord status. but will double check again to make sure. Looks like UK LTD for me...
Again Thanks a lot for the quick replies
Your move to CH has not given you non resident status.......you would have to work full time for a full tax year to achieve that goal, you need to tread very carefully. Being a Director of a UK company would imply your UK resident unless you spend less than 8 days in the UK.
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Old 27.04.2014, 23:26
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

Is there a way to live in & pay taxes in Switzerland for the current tax year to achieve non resident status whilst working for a uk ltd company?

......or is the only solution for this to pay up for a GmbH and continue working from & paying the required Swiss taxes and transfer to a uk ltd company in the future?
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Old 27.04.2014, 23:33
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

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Is there a way to live in & pay taxes in Switzerland for the current tax year to achieve non resident status whilst working for a uk ltd company?

......or is the only solution for this to pay up for a GmbH and continue working from & paying the required Swiss taxes and transfer to a uk ltd company in the future?
You can live, work & pay taxes in CH
You will have to pay for a resident director for the GmgH, if your not living here.
Don't set foot in the UK......if you want to be a Director of a UK company & be non resident
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Old 28.04.2014, 00:01
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

I guess it boils down to the following which has the most benefits:
On an assumed company income of 200K CHF

1. Being a uk resident director with uk tax (I.e dividend payments + minimum salary etc)?
2. Being a Swiss resident GmbH director on Swiss taxes?

Any accountants you know of to help with this dilemma?
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Old 03.05.2014, 16:39
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Re: UK LTD company vs Swiss company working from Middle East. Help please!!

The problem you'll have on the Swiss end is that you also need to be resident here for a certain number of days each year to qualify as resident. With a B permit you're only allowed to be out of the country for 6 months maximum unless your Swiss company is sending you abroad. Okay a GmbH could get you around that problem, but you also need to have a permanent address here, pay Swiss health insurance premiums, etc, to meet the residency requirements. If you're resident here I assume you'll also need to file Swiss returns to declare your worldwide wealth at least, if not your actual income, so you'll probably pay some tax here. You need CHF20,000 to set up a GmbH too.

If you're not going to be resident as fatmanfilms says you'll need a Swiss resident to act as a director of your GmbH in addition to yourself.
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