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Old 06.04.2006, 12:39
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Starting a business in Switzerland.

Have any of you done that or knows a lot about it? Want to share some experiences?

From the technical side, is that an easy thing to do? im often thinking of setting up some internet business, more for the experience than the profit, but have no idea of the technicalities or legalities involved?

anyone here want to contribute to this thread? I think it could be an interesting topic.

krlock2
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Old 06.04.2006, 14:07
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Ok well, this sounds like a thread Richard will know loads about...

I run my own little business and I am constantly learning about new rules etc. My biggest advantage is the fact that I actually have Swiss citizenship, I believe that starting up is a lot harder if you don't...

There is a lot of information about starting up in canton Zurich on the following site:

http://www.gruenden.ch/internet/gruenden/de/engl.html

Might be worth taking a look there.
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Old 06.04.2006, 17:59
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Been there, done it, got the t-shirt

Started my own business using the Beobachter book to help me out in making some major decisions from the start.

I have the C-Permit and have not run into any major problems, yet.

One headache has been the VAT/MWST. Getting to know everything dealing with import and export was a real challenge, and still is!

If you have any specific questions, ask. General questions leave too much open to answer properly.

Bests,
Scott
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Old 06.04.2006, 18:06
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Hi krlock,

It all depends very much on the nature of the business, where it will be done, where the payments will come from. If there is no physical presence then you might be taking in money from all over the world?

Have you done any projections such as expected turnover, and how much of that will be profit? It also depends on what you plan to deduct etc. There are different ways of structuring things in CH...

Give us a bit more info and maybe we can make some more suggestions.

Generally startup small businesses either just operate as individuals, or go for the "Einzelfirma" route.

Then again, if your income is coming from outside Switzerland you might want to form the company outside of Switzerland, since tax rates for resident companies (where business is being conducted inside Switzerland) can actually be quite high (depending on which other countries you compare to)
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Old 06.04.2006, 18:07
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Quote:
Been there, done it, got the t-shirt

Started my own business using the Beobachter book to help me out in making some major decisions from the start.

I have the C-Permit and have not run into any major problems, yet.

One headache has been the VAT/MWST. Getting to know everything dealing with import and export was a real challenge, and still is!

If you have any specific questions, ask. General questions leave too much open to answer properly.

Bests,
Scott
well, ok... whats the beobachter?

what business are you running scott... maybe you might have potential customers here?!!
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Old 06.04.2006, 18:17
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Quote:
Hi krlock,

It all depends very much on the nature of the business, where it will be done, where the payments will come from. If there is no physical presence then you might be taking in money from all over the world?

Have you done any projections such as expected turnover, and how much of that will be profit? It also depends on what you plan to deduct etc. There are different ways of structuring things in CH...

Give us a bit more info and maybe we can make some more suggestions.

Generally startup small businesses either just operate as individuals, or go for the "Einzelfirma" route.

Then again, if your income is coming from outside Switzerland you might want to form the company outside of Switzerland, since tax rates for resident companies (where business is being conducted inside Switzerland) can actually be quite high (depending on which other countries you compare to)
well, im actually less interested in the nature of the business and more interested in the technicalities of starting up a firm here.

eg... i have a b permit. can i even start a business here if i want?

lets say its a simple website selling postcards for example.

i want to register that as a business. i will be the only employee. so lets say i have everything in place... the website, the ability to process credit card payments on this site.

then i would guess that i need a business bank account. i would need to register a company... an einzelfirma??? how is that done? are there capital requirements? stuff like that.

thanks for the responses so far. more or less, at this stage, im looking for the dummys guide to starting a business in switzerland (but not about the actual business / management side of things, which i already know enough about... more the red tape and such).

thks
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  #7  
Old 06.04.2006, 18:18
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

it would operate in either zurich or zug, and would be registered in switzerland.
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Old 06.04.2006, 19:07
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

By the way, most of the answers to your questions have already been discussed here in other threads - have you used the search function to find this information?
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Old 06.04.2006, 19:12
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Also, Lynn's post contained a link to the full information you need, written in English. I just visited that link and saw a document which describes the capital required and costs to set up all the various structures - did you follow the link she posted?

Mark
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Old 07.04.2006, 00:04
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Here are some more websites you might find useful....

http://www.ch.ch/

http://www.gza.ch/default_en.asp?pgn=/content/06/06_001en.asp - This one is Zürich specific.

http://www.europa.admin.ch/pub/best/e/eu_in_ch.pdf?S - This one is for European Nationals only.

http://www.standortschweiz.ch/seco/internet/en/proceed/checklists/index.html

http://www.ige.ch/ - Information regarding trademarks, design protection, patents and copyrights.

http://www.estv.admin.ch/data/e/index.htm - All about taxes.

http://web2.cylex.de/homepage/Profil_neu.asp - A free Company profile can be placed.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SwissEntrepreneur/ - A forum for expats and Swiss nationals to discuss small business plans, find partners, test ideas and generally discuss anything related to starting and running a small business in Switzerland.

Most of the links I have posted are from Ed's Swiss Entrepreneur Links Folder. HTH.

Regards.

Nina
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  #11  
Old 07.04.2006, 09:46
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Quote:
Here are some more websites you might find useful....

http://www.ch.ch/

http://www.gza.ch/default_en.asp?pgn=/content/06/06_001en.asp - This one is Zürich specific.

http://www.europa.admin.ch/pub/best/e/eu_in_ch.pdf?S - This one is for European Nationals only.

http://www.standortschweiz.ch/seco/internet/en/proceed/checklists/index.html

http://www.ige.ch/ - Information regarding trademarks, design protection, patents and copyrights.

http://www.estv.admin.ch/data/e/index.htm - All about taxes.

http://web2.cylex.de/homepage/Profil_neu.asp - A free Company profile can be placed.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SwissEntrepreneur/ - A forum for expats and Swiss nationals to discuss small business plans, find partners, test ideas and generally discuss anything related to starting and running a small business in Switzerland.

Most of the links I have posted are from Ed's Swiss Entrepreneur Links Folder. HTH.

Regards.

Nina
www.indiancookerylessons.com
thanks nina.... thats super information!!!!

anyone else who is an actual expat entrephreneur want to chime in with their experiences?

i think this has turned into a good thread... keep it up!!
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  #12  
Old 09.04.2006, 12:02
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Quote:
well, ok... whats the beobachter?

what business are you running scott... maybe you might have potential customers here?!!
Beobachter is a Swiss group/company that provides good information in the form of radio and television shows, articles in papers, has their own regular magazine and a series of books that cover numerous topics from starting your own business to employee & employer rights and many more. Check out their website at www.beobachter.ch - I know it is in German, perhaps you have a contact or friend that can help you out here.

My business is clearly posted in my signature. Schmith Digital Photography, with a twist towards sales at www.ch-foto.com and the other direction with large format printing found at www.XXLprint.ch. Again, the websites are in German (ch-foto.com has English as well)... if you are interested in anything, let me know per e-mail and I will do my best for any English-speaking Expat here in Europe.

With Mark's approval, I will post the specials that my websites offer in the "Commercial" section of englishforum.ch.

Also, to make a plug for the Expat-Expo coming up in May, there will be lots of things to see there. Looking forward to meeting many at the expo.

Nina offered some good links, look into each of them and if you needsome help with your decisions there are plenty of us to help out... just ask!

Bests from the East-Side
Scott
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Old 09.04.2006, 12:07
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Quote:
With Mark's approval, I will post the specials that my websites offer in the "Commercial" section of englishforum.ch.
Hi Scott, you don't need my approval to do that - such a post would be within the guidelines defined in the commercial area, and since you've made more than 5 posts your account is enabled for posting in that section.
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Old 10.04.2006, 19:37
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Hey...this thread comes to a perfect time...as I am interested in making my own small company! english forum...thanks for all the good info!
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Old 14.04.2006, 11:46
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Hi Scott,

Hopefully you have already found the answer to your question about starting your own business in Switzerland.

However, you do mention that you have a B permit. If you are a EU citizen then you will be able to do it, but if you are a citizen of a non-EU nation, then you will have to find out if you will be allowed to be self-employed or not. With the exception of a few non-EU nations, most B permit holders cannot be self-employed in Switzerland.
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Old 19.03.2007, 20:48
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

Yes I realized that non EU cannot be self employed in Switz (unless married to a Swiss national).

I only know of one person who has managed to start an Einzelfirma but have no clue how he did it.
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Old 20.03.2007, 00:14
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Hi Scott,

Hopefully you have already found the answer to your question about starting your own business in Switzerland.

However, you do mention that you have a B permit. If you are a EU citizen then you will be able to do it, but if you are a citizen of a non-EU nation, then you will have to find out if you will be allowed to be self-employed or not. With the exception of a few non-EU nations, most B permit holders cannot be self-employed in Switzerland.
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!
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Old 20.03.2007, 00:15
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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Yes I realized that non EU cannot be self employed in Switz (unless married to a Swiss national).

I only know of one person who has managed to start an Einzelfirma but have no clue how he did it.
Why not? I am not EU and have a Einzelfirma here. Nobody stopped me
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Old 20.03.2007, 00:36
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

modified the comment made earlier....

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Yes I realized that non EU cannot be self employed in Switz (unless married to a Swiss national or holding a C permit).

I only know of one person who has managed to start an Einzelfirma but have no clue how he did it.
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Old 20.03.2007, 07:56
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Re: Starting a business in Switzerland.

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modified the comment made earlier....
... and I will modify mine:

This is true, unless you have something or a special talent that the locals want or need
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