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Old 22.03.2018, 16:39
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Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

Hi, I am employed and have a B permit.
Additionally to my job, I would like to import a (very small) amount of food products from EU and sell them in Switzerland to private citizens and small local shops. Very low profit is forecasted (max few hundreds per month, only some months).

How can I do this in the simplest way and paying as little as possible in tax/registration fees?

I thought I could open an e-commerce, I think I can do that as a private citizen (without starting a business) if profit is below 100k chf. Is that right?
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Old 22.03.2018, 17:10
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

please notice, if my customers would be only private citizens I'd simply use ricardo, but I think I would mostly deal with small businesses..
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Old 22.03.2018, 20:57
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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I thought I could open an e-commerce, I think I can do that as a private citizen (without starting a business) if profit is below 100k chf. Is that right?
Do you have a permit that give you the right to do so? And check your contract, you may find you need your employer's permission as well.
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Old 22.03.2018, 21:01
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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Do you have a permit that give you the right to do so? And check your contract, you may find you need your employer's permission as well.
No issue with my employer.. I have a b permit I'm from eu. My question is specifically, what permissions do I need, and what's the way that requires the least paperwork (even if it involves paying more taxes...) Thanks
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Old 22.03.2018, 21:31
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

Here are some of the rules, with links, for the Canton of Zurich:
https://kl.zh.ch/internet/gesundheit...willigung.html
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Old 22.03.2018, 21:51
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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No issue with my employer.. I have a b permit I'm from eu. My question is specifically, what permissions do I need, and what's the way that requires the least paperwork (even if it involves paying more taxes...) Thanks
Well with something like food it would probably be safest to go with a company in case it goes pear shaped.
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Old 22.03.2018, 22:23
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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Do you have a permit that give you the right to do so? And check your contract, you may find you need your employer's permission as well.
An other reason to use ricardo etc.

OP, dealing with food needs all kinds of permits, will be controlled on regular basis. And the authorities are not generous when it comes to food-rules.
grumpygrapefruit could tell you more about this, as he imports and sells food.
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Old 22.03.2018, 22:27
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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An other reason to use ricardo etc.

OP, dealing with food needs all kinds of permits, will be controlled on regular basis. And the authorities are not generous when it comes to food-rules.
grumpygrapefruit could tell you more about this, as he imports and sells food.
Do all the same rules apply even if I don't process the food at all? I would receive a package and bring it to my client, without even unpacking it.
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Old 22.03.2018, 23:47
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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Hi, I am employed and have a B permit.
Additionally to my job, I would like to import a (very small) amount of food products from EU and sell them in Switzerland to private citizens and small local shops. Very low profit is forecasted (max few hundreds per month, only some months).

How can I do this in the simplest way and paying as little as possible in tax/registration fees?

I thought I could open an e-commerce, I think I can do that as a private citizen (without starting a business) if profit is below 100k chf. Is that right?
No idea where you got this below 100k profit thing from. You won't need to register for MwsT if your sales are below 100k. But many people with no experience of business do seem to confuse sales with profit.

But you will need a food handling license and have your storage and or food prep areas approved.

Re lowest start up costs, you could register as an Einzelfirma, but safer to do so as a GmbH. Loads of thread on EF about this, do some research then come back with more specific questions.
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Old 23.03.2018, 00:14
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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No issue with my employer.. I have a b permit I'm from eu. My question is specifically, what permissions do I need, and what's the way that requires the least paperwork (even if it involves paying more taxes...) Thanks
I think the point was that most contracts here have a clause preventing you from having a second job. Nothing to do with B permits or EU origin. Selling food for profit could very well come under that description. Check the small print in your contract rather than ask your boss.
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Old 23.03.2018, 05:28
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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I think the point was that most contracts here have a clause preventing you from having a second job. Nothing to do with B permits or EU origin. Selling food for profit could very well come under that description. Check the small print in your contract rather than ask your boss.
Checked on the contract, I can have a business as long as it is not in competition with my job.
So my question would be: in the course of next year, I want to buy from EU and sell in Switzerland. Let's say 10 sales for 500 chf each, to 3 local businesses. My priority is minimizing paperwork and do everything legally. Do I absolutely need at least an einzelfirma? If I only open an e commerce and limit myself to those 10 sales, can I avoid the einzelfirma?
Thanks all for your precious advice
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Old 23.03.2018, 20:42
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

No, because if you want to be a business that's the smallest type available - literally a one man business. Note that the official name of the business must also have your surname in it. So official paperwork would need something like Smith's Quick Food Delivery while the main advertising name would be Quick Food Delivery. Or Smith's Food Importation trading as Quick Food Delivery.

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...efta-area.html

https://www.startups.ch/en/inform/de...roprietorship/
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Old 24.03.2018, 13:32
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

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My priority is minimizing paperwork and do everything legally. Do I absolutely need at least an einzelfirma? If I only open an e commerce and limit myself to those 10 sales, can I avoid the einzelfirma?
Thanks all for your precious advice
If you trade at all, you will be an Einzelfirma anyway, the only question is whether you formally register with the Handelsregisteramt. You will also need to talk to the SVA about social security as it is ultimately they that decide on your self-employment status. You will then have to pay a minimum amount of SVA contributions for your self-employed side. Also think about liability - what happens if the content of one of the parcels you import contains salmonella, for example, and your customer gets food poisoning? That's why food handling has lots of regulations
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Old 28.09.2020, 14:05
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Re: Simplest way to import food and sell in Switzerland

Hello, I have the same question as you had some years ago... Did you find the way to sell products in Switzerland?
Thanks
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