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  #141  
Old 17.05.2014, 11:06
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

First, get a good Treuhänder. He will help you.
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  #142  
Old 26.05.2014, 18:06
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Well, this thread should give you a good idea if you read through it as will this one:

http://www.englishforum.ch/business-...ompany-ch.html

www.ch.ch is another site to get you started. Simply type in self employment in the search section and take it from there.

It really depends on what type of permit you have. Only people with C or B permits can start a business here.
These links were exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much.
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  #143  
Old 02.06.2014, 23:50
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Wow, this must be like the longest running thread. I read all the posts and information since 2006! My question is more of an experience type, someone mentioned the difficulty in getting Swiss buyers to buy from foreigners or online. They said that their experience has been that the Swiss prefer in person shopping from fellow Swiss people. For those that are already in business, would you say this is true? What has been your experience in getting new customers? My business is a combination of handmade craft and home design so dealing with people is a must and online sales would be great. Please help with your experiences
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  #144  
Old 02.06.2014, 23:56
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Hi Mark,

I had just started up my business in the UK when my husband was seconded to Geneva. I did market research and tailored a business plan. That was not complicated because I had a good knowledge of the English market. My business was going rather well, I sold to Delis and local restaurants but, it was not feasible to carry on with the business from Geneva. I am a mother of two.

I am now looking at starting up the same business in Geneva - versatile fresh sauces - but I am a little stuck. Please note that I hold a permit B.

Could you possibly put me in the right direction to find the best sources of market information on; competitors production, revenue and market share, grants available, suppliers, market reports and other data.

Thank you very much and kind regards,
Paloma
Also Purple Rain asked about my very favorite subject when it comes to business, market research. This is my Lao Tzu preparation for war and i am finding myself to be lost for information about the Swiss market. Can anyone please point us in the right direction of where to get statistics, spending trends, market information about Swiss consumers. Purple Rain, did you ever find this information so i can also research?

Thanks
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  #145  
Old 03.06.2014, 01:04
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Wow, this must be like the longest running thread. I read all the posts and information since 2006! My question is more of an experience type, someone mentioned the difficulty in getting Swiss buyers to buy from foreigners or online. They said that their experience has been that the Swiss prefer in person shopping from fellow Swiss people. For those that are already in business, would you say this is true? What has been your experience in getting new customers? My business is a combination of handmade craft and home design so dealing with people is a must and online sales would be great. Please help with your experiences
About "someone mentioned the difficulty in getting Swiss buyers to buy from foreigners or online. They said that their experience has been that the Swiss prefer in person shopping from fellow Swiss people."

Well firstly do not forget that around 25% of the people in this country are not Swiss.
If you can find a niche that appeals to foreigners (like Grumpy with his British cheese) then you can do well.
About " in person shopping..." - for me this is nonsense; lots of shops are going out of business because they cannot compete with the online shops. Another point is a lot of Swiss live in out of the way places and so online shopping is their best option.
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  #146  
Old 03.06.2014, 01:58
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Well firstly do not forget that around 25% of the people in this country are not Swiss.
If you can find a niche that appeals to foreigners (like Grumpy with his British cheese) then you can do well.
About " in person shopping..." - for me this is nonsense; lots of shops are going out of business because they cannot compete with the online shops. Another point is a lot of Swiss live in out of the way places and so online shopping is their best option.

Thanks Marton, this really helps me with much needed perspective. I like to be well prepared in any situation and all these many views from different people can get mixed up especially when it's not like a survey. I'll forge on with the online business angle and supplement it with a little offline activites
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  #147  
Old 07.06.2014, 22:22
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Dear all,

I am an American citizen and a holder of a student permit B (until next summer) in canton Vaud. I would like to set up the company with the global mission related to this country. Considering the tight budget, it looks like I can open only a sole enterprise. This legal form does not consider getting the permanent permit and I am wondering if you could give me an advice on cons of the sole enterprise, the ways to keep alive the startup here, or, perhaps, you could suggest another form of company. Thank you
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  #148  
Old 07.06.2014, 23:42
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Dear all,

I am an American citizen and a holder of a student permit B (until next summer) in canton Vaud. I would like to set up the company with the global mission related to this country. Considering the tight budget, it looks like I can open only a sole enterprise. This legal form does not consider getting the permanent permit and I am wondering if you could give me an advice on cons of the sole enterprise, the ways to keep alive the startup here, or, perhaps, you could suggest another form of company. Thank you
Sorry, but simply not possible, especially as a sole trader. As a non-EU citizen non-permit holder you can't start any company here which would allow residency. To have even a chance it would need to be either an GmbH or AG and a requirement is to have a Swiss resident as one of the directors. And even then, if they can't prove under the non-EU hiring laws that you are a better candidate than any Swiss, EU national or someone who already holds a Swiss permit, you couldn't be hired by your own company. That process is outlined here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...zulassung.html

More info on non-EU company requirements here:

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en
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  #149  
Old 08.06.2014, 15:34
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Sorry, but simply not possible, especially as a sole trader. As a non-EU citizen non-permit holder you can't start any company here which would allow residency. To have even a chance it would need to be either an GmbH or AG and a requirement is to have a Swiss resident as one of the directors. And even then, if they can't prove under the non-EU hiring laws that you are a better candidate than any Swiss, EU national or someone who already holds a Swiss permit, you couldn't be hired by your own company. That process is outlined here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...zulassung.html

More info on non-EU company requirements here:

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en
Thank you for your feedback and links!
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  #150  
Old 02.07.2014, 11:09
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Why not? I am not EU and have a Einzelfirma here. Nobody stopped me
Hi Scott, are you that famous Aussie who went to CH with backpack an idea and about 3,000CHF? =)

If I remember correct min required amount to start a sole proprietary is 20,000CHF, am I right?

And I have a specific tax related question. If I start a consultancy service in Switzerland and go to US to do work for my client:

i) I have to add VAT when I invoice
ii) do I have to pay income tax in the US?

Thanks
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  #151  
Old 02.07.2014, 11:16
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Hi Scott, are you that famous Aussie who went to CH with backpack an idea and about 3,000CHF? =)

If I remember correct min required amount to start a sole proprietary is 20,000CHF, am I right?

And I have a specific tax related question. If I start a consultancy service in Switzerland and go to US to do work for my client:

i) I have to add VAT when I invoice
ii) do I have to pay income tax in the US?

Thanks
About "do I have to pay income tax in the US? "

Depends on your US visa type plus different states have different rules. For example, if you do only a few hours work in New Jersey then you are supposed to pay income tax.
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  #152  
Old 02.07.2014, 13:24
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Hi Scott, are you that famous Aussie who went to CH with backpack an idea and about 3,000CHF? =)

If I remember correct min required amount to start a sole proprietary is 20,000CHF, am I right?

And I have a specific tax related question. If I start a consultancy service in Switzerland and go to US to do work for my client:

i) I have to add VAT when I invoice
ii) do I have to pay income tax in the US?

Thanks
Note that as a non-EU you can't start a sole trader business here in Switzerland as you're not a Swiss resident. You would have to have a GmbH at least which does need CHF20,000.

https://www.ch.ch/en/becoming-self-employed/

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en

It also needs to have a Swiss resident as one of its directors and unfortunately, unless you have really unique skills it would not be able to hire you as an employee. It would have to abide by the Swiss labour market rules which means that any Swiss, EU national or anyone else already living here with a valid Swiss work permit would have to be hired ahead of you.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...zulassung.html

There are plenty of people who could be employed as financial consultants by your business.

Owning a company here doesn't necesssarily grant residential rights.
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  #153  
Old 02.07.2014, 13:47
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Also note that if you hold a US Green Card you'll find it very difficult to get a business account here and would probably have to allow the bank to pass the account info on to the IRS.

Google "FATCA" to find out more or search the forum under the Finance/Taxation section.
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  #154  
Old 07.07.2014, 01:02
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GmbH setting up - requirements for partners

I would very much appreciate your advise on the following issue.

Afaiu, to set up a GmbH one partner has to have Swiss domicile (so a person with C permit shall be enough)? And the other partner? Are there any rules concerning him or he can be anyone residing anywhere and holding any citizenship?
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  #155  
Old 07.07.2014, 09:01
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Re: GmbH setting up - requirements for partners

They can be residing anywhere and have any nationality.

"Limited liability company (GmbH)
The limited liability company (GmbH) as a legal entity must be represented by at least one person resident in Switzerland. This can be the manager or a director. Accordingly, this person needs to have a valid residence and work permit in Switzerland."

However, being a foreign director/owner of a GmbH doesn't grant you residency rights in Switzerland.

https://www.ch.ch/en/becoming-self-employed/

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en
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  #156  
Old 25.07.2014, 12:47
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Some confusion here... My name is Scott, I own a business in CH, have the C Permit, and am not EU.

But thanks anyway Doc!
Hello Scott, i am in the same situation - well my wife is. She is EU and they telling us she cant start her own business.. Can you shed some light? Do's and Dont's or a user manual would be nice :-)
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  #157  
Old 25.07.2014, 13:16
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Hello Scott, i am in the same situation - well my wife is. She is EU and they telling us she cant start her own business.. Can you shed some light? Do's and Dont's or a user manual would be nice :-)
What permit do you have and are you the main permit holder, i.e. your wife came in as your dependent? If you have an L, then no she can't work. She would need to apply for a new permit, independent of yours, which would allow her to be employed or set up a business.
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  #158  
Old 25.07.2014, 13:27
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Thanks for the reply, at the moment, we don't have permits. i would have to be a dependent on her as i am non-eu. We live in the UK and her current company want to keep her on but as a contractor, so she would need to start a business. she is looking at starting a Sole proprietorship as it seems to be the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to go. She will continue to work for them remotely and pay her as a contractor. she has a contract from the company stating she will be living in Switzerland. - Hope this makes sense.
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Old 25.07.2014, 14:12
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Okay, I'm not sure, but I think the problem here could be that as a sole proprietor she really needs more than one client/company she's doing work for. That may be why she's being told she can't be self-employed as the Swiss will consider her to be an employee of the UK company and not a self-employed person. That means the UK company would be responsible for paying certain taxes/insurances as far as the Swiss are concerned, rather than your wife paying them as she would as a self-employed person.

To get around that I think she'd need to form a GmbH so she could be employed by that who would then "hire" her out to the company in the UK. You'd need CHF20,000 to invest in the GmbH to do that though.

I'm not a 100% sure on this so hopefully someone with more knowledge on setting up a business can give you more info.

If she's going to be employed by the same company, why bother to move?
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  #160  
Old 25.07.2014, 14:57
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Thanks for the reply, at the moment, we don't have permits. i would have to be a dependent on her as i am non-eu. We live in the UK and her current company want to keep her on but as a contractor, so she would need to start a business. she is looking at starting a Sole proprietorship as it seems to be the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to go. She will continue to work for them remotely and pay her as a contractor. she has a contract from the company stating she will be living in Switzerland. - Hope this makes sense.
That comes under ANOBAG not good news, an employee who pays all the social costs. Being a contractor is in no way self employed in CH, you need to take risk & be in business, which potentially means 0 clients.

http://www.svazurich.ch/anobag
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