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Old 12.10.2014, 13:04
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Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

Hello All

I just found this site and figured I would join up. Maybe get some useful hints and meet some new people.

I have a quick question. Maybe someone can help, maybe not. I am starting a UK registered business but providing the service in Switzerland for 5 months of the year. Has anyone dealt with a situation where they need a visa for something like this? What visa did you need and was it a fairly straight forward process?

I have been contacting the local authorities who deal with this, so I have not been idle. My German is not great as I am still learning and the gentleman does not speak English. I just thought i'd check in here to see if I am going in the right direction from my translation skills!!

As I said I thought I'd try my luck.

Thanks

Barlow
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Old 12.10.2014, 13:38
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

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I have been contacting the local authorities who deal with this, so I have not been idle. My German is not great as I am still learning and the gentleman does not speak English. I just thought i'd check in here to see if I am going in the right direction from my translation skills!!
In the interests of ensuring you ask the right questions, it is worth pointing out that you are not actually becoming self-employed, you are becoming an employee of a non resident company, which is a different thing.

There are two aspects you need to investigate in this respect, the situation concerning your company and your own situation as an employee of that company.

Assuming your company is 'body shopping', it will need to be in compliance with whatever labour laws that are applicable. And assuming that your client receives competent legal advice, you can expect that they will seek clearance from the Swiss authorities before they sign any contract with your company. Because if there are any issues discovered later on they would be held responsible afterwards.
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Old 12.10.2014, 13:49
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

Hi Jim

Thanks for the reply.

I will explain the situation a bit more clearly. I am the owner of a snowboard coaching company who will be operating on the slopes of Davos. So therefore I will be working for my own company which is why I say self-employed. As it is winter sports coaching, I will only be operating for about 4/5 months per calendar year.

I was not sure what 'body shopping' was so I had to look it up. I have learnt something new today. Body Shopping is something I am definitely NOT doing. Ha!

I am assuming I would not be an employee of a company that is registered to me in the eyes of the Swiss!?

Thanks again
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Old 12.10.2014, 14:04
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

Hello,

If you are providing services in CH, you have an issue with VAT and labour registration. If you do not reach the VAT threshold it may not be so crucial, but I do not think you can forgo paying social charges on your earnings/salary. You have to go see an specialist, who will analyse your case with all ins and out and will advice accordingly, in order to avoid surprises.
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Old 12.10.2014, 16:16
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

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Hi Jim

Thanks for the reply.

I will explain the situation a bit more clearly. I am the owner of a snowboard coaching company who will be operating on the slopes of Davos. So therefore I will be working for my own company which is why I say self-employed. As it is winter sports coaching, I will only be operating for about 4/5 months per calendar year.
You are not self employed, you are working for a company, albeit owned by yourself
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Old 12.10.2014, 22:13
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

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I am assuming I would not be an employee of a company that is registered to me in the eyes of the Swiss!?
It is not at all unusual to be employed by a company you own, in fact in this case it is the only way. To get the required work permit you will either need to be in employment of a company doing business here or be self-employed. So employment it is.

However doing this through a UK based company is not the cheapest way and furthermore it makes drawing unemployment benefits more difficult should you need to do so at some stage.

Could you not simply use an accounting agency here to handle if for you?
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Old 19.10.2014, 18:27
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

I would agree it can be complicated here. I wanted to set up as self-employed when I was doing freelance work for a British company. However because I was working exclusively for one company (which happened to be in the UK), the Swiss didn't consider me to be self-employed, but rather to be employed by this UK company. They call this status ANOBAG.

It meant that I had to have accident insurance (UVG) and also take out insurance to cover pension contributions etc. (BVG). These things aren't compulsory when you are self-employed.

To be self-employed you have to demonstrate that you are taking work from at least 3 employers, e.g. by providing invoices to 3 companies or contracts with 3 companies. That's what I was told and now that I have multiple companies I work for, I finally have self-employed status.
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Old 02.11.2014, 16:31
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

Dear Barlow,

I am nearly in similiar situation, I have some information about self employment in CH.
I am self employed in Ch.
You can contact me via eMail if you would like to have more information.
My email is [removed]

Kind regards

Ruth

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.09.2016 at 18:40. Reason: email removed as per Forum rules, please use PM
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Old 02.11.2014, 18:21
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

Sent you a PM! The ski/board world is a mine field, normal rules do not apply!
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Old 11.11.2014, 19:55
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

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Hi Jim

Thanks for the reply.

I will explain the situation a bit more clearly. I am the owner of a snowboard coaching company who will be operating on the slopes of Davos. So therefore I will be working for my own company which is why I say self-employed. As it is winter sports coaching, I will only be operating for about 4/5 months per calendar year.

I was not sure what 'body shopping' was so I had to look it up. I have learnt something new today. Body Shopping is something I am definitely NOT doing. Ha!

I am assuming I would not be an employee of a company that is registered to me in the eyes of the Swiss!?

Thanks again
For opening your company a Bewilligung G or B (working permit B or G) + Permission form Kanton Graubuenden is enough. If you neeed to sign yourself insurances, you're required to be a fulli qualified snowsports instructor in Switzerland - BBT Federal Diploma. In case your qualification is from aboard you have to ask for recognition in Bern,pass all the exames you're required to pass, and when you have all your papers in order you open your company.
Other solution, you're the owner, but you hire a fully qualified person in Switzerland, who will sign all this papers for you. Obviously you'll have to pay him/her with a full year salary according to qualifications as Swiss Schools do for their Technical Directors.

I work as self employed ski instructor in St. Moritz, full equivalence in Switzerland, original qualification from Italy. I started with a Bewilligung G and now I'm moving to B as full resident.

Improve your German otherwise working as self employed in Switzerland is rellay difficoult and you will be "cut apart" from business life.
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Old 19.09.2016, 18:16
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Re: Becoming self-employed in Switzerland

This is a most interesting case, I've worked both in the UK and Switzerland, but one aspect I have experienced is that it depends how long you stay in a country. The UK believe it or not can double tax you too, so be careful.

Why not see a UK based accountant about it?

What was your remedy in the end, could you let us know?
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