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Old 06.01.2017, 23:08
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Questions about liability and invoicing of Freelance (sole enterprise) services.

Hi, first a few concrete questions then a bit of background:

Questions

1.- One of the disadvantages of being a freelance/sole enterprise "Einzelunternehmer" ist the unlimited personal liability. My question is, if the contract/invoice only declares a service like "consultancy" with no further documents to be signed on my side, is there a real potential liability?

2.- Can the liability be formulated in the contract/invoice in a way that supresses or limits the full personal liability? My job will consist basically on doing numerical calculations to be used by other engineers and I will not be "signing" documents. The client will probably agree on this since.

3.- How tax-disadvantageous is the combination of earning around 60'000 CHF/year employment and invoicing additional 60'000 as freelance? What should I know in advance?

Background

I am currently employed by a an institution (Fachhochschule) at 50% pensum. The rest of the time I will be carrying out jobs for my previous two employers as an external consultant "in Mandatsverhältnis" in mutual trust (since I have been many years employed by them).

Note: I have posted these questions separately from the main thread on purpose for legibility.

Thanks for the support.
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Old 07.01.2017, 07:37
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Re: Questions about liability and invoicing of Freelance (sole enterprise) services.

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Hi, first a few concrete questions then a bit of background:

Questions

1.- One of the disadvantages of being a freelance/sole enterprise "Einzelunternehmer" ist the unlimited personal liability. My question is, if the contract/invoice only declares a service like "consultancy" with no further documents to be signed on my side, is there a real potential liability?

2.- Can the liability be formulated in the contract/invoice in a way that supresses or limits the full personal liability? My job will consist basically on doing numerical calculations to be used by other engineers and I will not be "signing" documents. The client will probably agree on this since.

3.- How tax-disadvantageous is the combination of earning around 60'000 CHF/year employment and invoicing additional 60'000 as freelance? What should I know in advance?

Background

I am currently employed by a an institution (Fachhochschule) at 50% pensum. The rest of the time I will be carrying out jobs for my previous two employers as an external consultant "in Mandatsverhältnis" in mutual trust (since I have been many years employed by them).

Note: I have posted these questions separately from the main thread on purpose for legibility.

Thanks for the support.
Question 1 tells me you really need to consult a lawyer. I've done a lot of contracts, and I always spend a lot of time haggling over the terms of business, specifically because of liability issues.

Given that you're so new to this, you really take on a lot of risk if you don't get a professional involved for some advice.
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Old 07.01.2017, 09:17
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Re: Questions about liability and invoicing of Freelance (sole enterprise) services.

I work though my own GmbH so have limited liability. Even with that, I have professional indemnity insurance. The amount that you pay will be determined by the nature of your work, and level of cover. Some clients insist on it.

It is definitely possible to limit liability in a contract. My company has a contract with another company. We work for each other from time to time. We've agreed to limit our liability to each other to a fixed amount.
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