Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Business & entrepreneur  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25.09.2008, 21:56
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Teapot has no particular reputation at present
Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Dear All - be SO grateful for some advice...

In Geneva with employed husband on a B permit.

I had a successful small business in design in the UK (sole trader). In Switzerland now and have young children so don't want to work a lot for the timebeing but would like to do some consultancy, build up the business gradually as the children get bigger and of course bring in a few extra francs...

Hitting a couple of walls.

1. In an ideal world guess I'd follow the advice in another thread, just start up and wait to register as a 'sole trader' or 'GmbH/SA' once the business gets going BUT I gather in order to adverstise, deal with some Swiss companies professionally etc. I must have an 'AVS' or 'Numero Federal' - any thoughts?

2. In theory I could register as the 'sole trader' type equivalent and gather I would probably be passed BUT my husband, earning a good salary is employed and 'taxed at source' he has been advised that he should best avoid getting into the full Swiss tax return system as long as possible and if I register as 'sole trader' our tax would be combined and his more complicated affairs would be dragged into the system by my (pitiful) contribution... - any more thoughts??

3. Setting up a GmbH (so i'd employ myself) would get me round this but sounds way to complicated and expensive to get into for the timebeing.

Any thoughts / advice from similar experience I'd be so grateful.

Many thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25.09.2008, 23:03
Tilia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,745
Groaned at 75 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 2,649 Times in 1,194 Posts
Tilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

My first impression, after addmitedly having given it not to much thought, would be to go for the GmbH solution. It really is dead simple to set up a GmbH in Switzerland and not expensive. 20'000 CHF in capital but this money you can use to by whatever material you need for your company (printer, car etc). And then some fees for registration, approx 1'000 CHF.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26.09.2008, 20:59
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 5,436
Groaned at 327 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 8,930 Times in 3,913 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Hi There,

The biggest issue companies have in dealing with a sole trader in Switzerland is the Social Security situation. If you are not registered to handle your own social security and to register you must have several concurrent clients (7 I think). So if you are not registered it will create some hassel when looking for clients.

VAT is another issue, in theory you don't have to register until you reach a certain turn over (can't remeber the figure), so it should not be an issue, but it often is with big companies as they are not used to dealing with it...

Now all this can be avoided if you set up a company, but unless you are doing a fair bit of business, it will be costly and time consuming, as there will be various returns etc that you have to do, plus accounts, tax returns and what not for the company... so this is really not the way to go if you have not a good size turnover.

Concerning the advice your husband got about not getting pulled into the tax system, I don't really see the issue there other than to do the tax return and he has a good salary it may in fact be worth his while as you may get a refund and in any case if you are organised it is really not such a big deal.

I'd suggest the first thing to do is to find out exactly the situation with you husband's taxes. If it is only about submitting the return, then I would not let it stand your way to starting off a business.

Assuming all was OK, get a few clients and start working for them, once you get to 7 or there abouts apply for Social Security registration and go from there.

At the end of the year do a tax return to include the fee income from you consuling and you are on the way. There is a special form in the tax return to handle sole trader type activities.

Once your turnover builds up you can consider setting up a company if is needed.

Good luck,

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 27.09.2008, 00:49
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Just so you know it is an offence to work and not have an AHV number and it is an offence to work for yourself at all without being registered for AHV as a self employed person. It is slightly different if you have a "proper" job but then you would be registered anyway... So go get your number ie declare intent to work. Then think of your model.

There are reasons why self employment could be an issue but then really only if your husband is earning just under 120 taxable or if he is working in another canton to where you are living. IF that is the case think very carefully...

Any questions ask now I won't be around much longer...


Quote:
View Post
Hi There,

The biggest issue companies have in dealing with a sole trader in Switzerland is the Social Security situation. If you are not registered to handle your own social security and to register you must have several concurrent clients (7 I think). So if you are not registered it will create some hassel when looking for clients.

VAT is another issue, in theory you don't have to register until you reach a certain turn over (can't remeber the figure), so it should not be an issue, but it often is with big companies as they are not used to dealing with it...

Now all this can be avoided if you set up a company, but unless you are doing a fair bit of business, it will be costly and time consuming, as there will be various returns etc that you have to do, plus accounts, tax returns and what not for the company... so this is really not the way to go if you have not a good size turnover.

Concerning the advice your husband got about not getting pulled into the tax system, I don't really see the issue there other than to do the tax return and he has a good salary it may in fact be worth his while as you may get a refund and in any case if you are organised it is really not such a big deal.

I'd suggest the first thing to do is to find out exactly the situation with you husband's taxes. If it is only about submitting the return, then I would not let it stand your way to starting off a business.

Assuming all was OK, get a few clients and start working for them, once you get to 7 or there abouts apply for Social Security registration and go from there.

At the end of the year do a tax return to include the fee income from you consuling and you are on the way. There is a special form in the tax return to handle sole trader type activities.

Once your turnover builds up you can consider setting up a company if is needed.

Good luck,

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 27.09.2008, 14:09
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 5,436
Groaned at 327 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 8,930 Times in 3,913 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
it is an offence to work for yourself at all without being registered for AHV as a self employed person
Well there must be some kind of transition procedures in place to cover start ups, becasue I did for a long period with the full knowledge of the authorities!

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:13
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Well there must be some kind of transition procedures in place to cover start ups, becasue I did for a long period with the full knowledge of the authorities!

Jim
IF you are a foreigner coming here on a permanent contract there is no transition period. Just so you know they can come at you to pay the money retrospectively with interest and fine for a period of 5 years... You on the other hand cannot choose to make retrospective payments... Strange system.

If you are a foreigner coming here not necessarily to work, but to live and seek employment over time, but supported from your partner, then you have 8 days to register your employment. Once this employment is registered the authorities know you are working and will charge you or your employer retrospectively from day 1 when they finally put you in the system. This normally takes a few days ie a week or so... As such there is no transition period per se.

If you are a foreigner coming here to live and work but on a foreign contract all bets are off as it is down to what is negotiated by your company with the authorities.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:20
smackerjack's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: U.K/VAUD
Posts: 2,262
Groaned at 14 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 2,728 Times in 1,123 Posts
smackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Is it correct that you need at least 7 clients if you register as Self
Employed.
What happens if you consult to under that number?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:27
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,881
Groaned at 386 Times in 265 Posts
Thanked 13,438 Times in 4,606 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Is it correct that you need at least 7 clients if you register as Self Employed.
I didn't. All the local tax office wanted was a couple of invoices and/or quotations - which is what they got and were happy with too...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:33
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Zurich.
Posts: 102
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 67 Times in 33 Posts
3daystubble has earned some respect3daystubble has earned some respect
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

yes I would imagine that one of the biggest challenges being a Sole trader in a landlocked place like geneva would be getting the product to the market as fresh as possible. You'd have to find a reputable refrigerated transport company.
In fact it would be good to have an alternative in the geneva area good fresh sole is hard to come by.



Sorry couldnt resist
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:34
smackerjack's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: U.K/VAUD
Posts: 2,262
Groaned at 14 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 2,728 Times in 1,123 Posts
smackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
I didn't. All the local tax office wanted was a couple of invoices and/or quotations - which is what they got and were happy with too...

That is what I was lead to believe. I was interested in where Jim2007 got that figure from as I do not recall ever seeing that number quoted.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:49
Goldtop's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,844
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 905 Times in 625 Posts
Goldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Is it correct that you need at least 7 clients if you register as Self
Employed.
What happens if you consult to under that number?
Not sure whether 7 is the magic number. If you are not recognized as self-employed, then you are considered as employed part-time by several employers.

The pseudo employers hate that scenario because they have to process you through their payroll, deduct soc-sec contributions and other hassles. Hence, the client companies insist that either the vendor (supplier of goods or services) is registered as self-employed, or invoicing from another company.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:56
Goldtop's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,844
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 905 Times in 625 Posts
Goldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
I didn't. All the local tax office wanted was a couple of invoices and/or quotations - which is what they got and were happy with too...
The rules and criteria for classification as self-employed are here:
http://www.svazurich.ch/index/index.cfm?page=akb_selb
The keyword is "mehrere" meaning several clients. It is entirely at the discretion of the AHV office, who look at all the facts and then decide.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29.09.2008, 20:56
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 5,436
Groaned at 327 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 8,930 Times in 3,913 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
IF you are a foreigner coming here on a permanent contract there is no transition period. Just so you know they can come at you to pay the money retrospectively with interest and fine for a period of 5 years... You on the other hand cannot choose to make retrospective payments... Strange system.

If you are a foreigner coming here not necessarily to work, but to live and seek employment over time, but supported from your partner, then you have 8 days to register your employment. Once this employment is registered the authorities know you are working and will charge you or your employer retrospectively from day 1 when they finally put you in the system. This normally takes a few days ie a week or so... As such there is no transition period per se.

If you are a foreigner coming here to live and work but on a foreign contract all bets are off as it is down to what is negotiated by your company with the authorities.
Well this was back in 1990 and I had just got a C permit. I spent about 20 months going back and forth with them trying to register and I eventually gave up and started a company....

Jim.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 29.09.2008, 21:00
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 5,436
Groaned at 327 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 8,930 Times in 3,913 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Is it correct that you need at least 7 clients if you register as Self
Employed.
What happens if you consult to under that number?
This was back in the early 90s when I was trying to register. I can't remember all the details but I think it has a lot to do with assuming business risk. As an IT consultant they did not see me taking on much real business risk so the number was higher than for other business activities, at least that is what I think the accountant said.

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01.10.2008, 15:43
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Teapot has no particular reputation at present
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Thank you all for this advice..

Richard is quite right, I have checked with OCP this morning and I do have to register as self employed before working, I had been mis-informed and guess it's only the Swiss who get a 'grace' period. However the lady I spoke to seemed convinced that the right business plan was required, not invoices.

It's all a menace, it's likely to be such a small amount of work to start with and i'll be stopping again for a while next year (having another baby) that i'm just nervous about being dragged into a system and endless tax returns etc.

Grrr
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01.10.2008, 16:25
jbrady's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sunny Aargau
Posts: 1,044
Groaned at 13 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 719 Times in 359 Posts
jbrady has a reputation beyond reputejbrady has a reputation beyond reputejbrady has a reputation beyond reputejbrady has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Any questions ask now I won't be around much longer...
Are you leaving Switzerland? Back to the UK?
This will be a real loss for EF
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01.10.2008, 16:33
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Thank you all for this advice..

Richard is quite right, I have checked with OCP this morning and I do have to register as self employed before working, I had been mis-informed and guess it's only the Swiss who get a 'grace' period. However the lady I spoke to seemed convinced that the right business plan was required, not invoices.

It's all a menace, it's likely to be such a small amount of work to start with and i'll be stopping again for a while next year (having another baby) that i'm just nervous about being dragged into a system and endless tax returns etc.

Grrr
This is a common misconception of the officals in Switzerland when requesting information about self employment. You do not need a business plan at all. You might need a business plan to open a bank account and you will need a business plan if you want credit or you want to claim money from the unemployment office to support you while you start. Otherwise you need the AHV number and to register as self employed. Dependent on your line of business the requirements can vary but generally an initial short term contract is all that is required. By short term 3 months max or something that is longer that consumes only a couple of days per week.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01.10.2008, 16:36
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Are you leaving Switzerland? Back to the UK?
This will be a real loss for EF
HEaven forbid no... As long as GB is in power I will not go back...
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Richard for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 01.10.2008, 20:04
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Teapot has no particular reputation at present
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Query - I thought I got the AVS number by listing as self employed... is there some other procedure to get the AVS number?

Many thanks if that's an easy one to answer?!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01.10.2008, 21:18
Goldtop's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,844
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 905 Times in 625 Posts
Goldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Small Business / Self Employment complicated by employed status of main earner.

Quote:
View Post
Query - I thought I got the AVS number by listing as self employed... is there some other procedure to get the AVS number?

Many thanks if that's an easy one to answer?!
Any one working and paying soc-sec contributions or voluntarily paying soc-sec can get an AHV/AVS number. Being recognized as self-employed is another process.

Self-employed pay a lesser soc-sec rate. Hence, the AHV/AVS are reluctant to recognize self-employment and need to be convinced.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Small Business question - cleaning business JenniferD Business & entrepreneur 24 21.04.2008 09:07


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0