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View Poll Results: Have you got a business are interested in how to do things here or save (avoid) tax?
Would like to have a business but boy don't know where to start 163 39.76%
Am a contractor but my pimps are asking me to bend over and hold my ankles every month 27 6.59%
I am a freelancer doing it myself (so to speak) and want to know more 110 26.83%
I have my own legally structured company and don't like paying so much to everybody 51 12.44%
I am employed but am always interested in any way to reduce tax 52 12.68%
I think this is a waste of breath you oxygen thief 7 1.71%
Voters: 410. You may not vote on this poll

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  #241  
Old 18.01.2011, 22:10
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

An interesting part of starting our Gmbh was the advice from our accountant. Be very careful before you pay any new bills (ie pinkslips) once your new business hits the register, the scammers are out in force. He said "do not pay anything unless you are 110% sure it is what you have already asked for", "you will pay for something nonrefundable and no way to get your money back, they will supply a useless service so are technically inside the law but". Todays was a classic, I wish I had a scanner to share it with you. From the Handelsregister-Neueintragung, but the receiver was IWF-INSTITUT F Ltd (abrieviated version so as not to identify it), googled IWF_INSTITUT and hey presto it is a genuine business portal in Kiel BUT not you are not paying this one (and have no reason to- they are not the handelregister you are expecting a bill from) no it was the Ltd tag (not really a swiss thing) and my first name had a letter missing - as was pointed out by my ever observant Swiss miss. But to me Joe foreigner at first glance looked 100% legitimate, so be warned.
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  #242  
Old 18.01.2011, 23:27
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

If you're that dumb you even think of paying anything like this, then you're definately not the type to be running your own business !
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  #243  
Old 19.01.2011, 09:58
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello
I am a Danish citizen and a resident of Germany where I have a Unternehmer GMBH (GMBH with less initial capital).
I am an It contractor.

I have been offered a contract in Vaud for 1 year.
I am with a very small recruitment agency and before they give me advice (that might be wrong) then I would like to hear your take on the situation.

I will only have this 1 client so I believe the option as sole trader is not possible.

I do not wish to be an employee of the recruitment agency. They have no presence in Switzerland today and would create a GMBH just for me to be an employee of. I do not want that situation as I will not be in control of allowed expenses etc.

So the way forward is to form a GMBH in Switzerland (Zug? :-)) I also want the Swiss GMBH so I can easily bring my family over from Germany (all EU citizens) and stay in Switzerland after my contract ends as I can still pay myself a salary even if I have no active client work.

But I wish to delay forming a GMBH in Switzerland a few months.

So initially (untill I create my Swiss GMBH) I will be an employee of my German company.

As far as I have read it should not be a problem to apply for a residence/work permit when I am an employee of the German company.

Is the optimal process that I apply for an L permit based on my employment in my German company - before I enter Switzerland - then later create the Swiss GMBH - then convert permit to non-L and then carry on happily?
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  #244  
Old 19.01.2011, 10:51
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Quote:
If you're that dumb you even think of paying anything like this, then you're definately not the type to be running your own business !
Maybe I am missing your sense of humour but it was meant to be friendly advice for others starting out, if you don't have anything constuctive to add (like most of your posts I have looked at) stay away from the keyboard.
Happy trolling.
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  #245  
Old 19.01.2011, 13:54
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Quote:
If you're that dumb you even think of paying anything like this, then you're definately not the type to be running your own business !
If you've started your own business and received the type of letters and orange slips that RTN is talking about, then you'll know how official and almost "scarey" looking these things are.

You have to, by law, register at the "registre du commerce" and the scammers send things like "registre du commerce et industrie" and things like that. They're therefore very similar to the one you do have to pay and they're very well done.

I was ok and ignored them all but a friend of mine ended up paying for one of them. About 250.- I think.

The best thing to do is to get your notary to sign you up on the official register, s/he will charge you the fee as part of his/her fees and it's all sorted.

If you're in doubt about any of these then you should contact your accountant/fiduciary/notary and they'll be able to help.

P.S. It's definItely.
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  #246  
Old 19.01.2011, 14:23
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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If you've started your own business and received the type of letters and orange slips that RTN is talking about, then you'll know how official and almost "scarey" looking these things are.

You have to, by law, register at the "registre du commerce" and the scammers send things like "registre du commerce et industrie" and things like that. They're therefore very similar to the one you do have to pay and they're very well done.

I was ok and ignored them all but a friend of mine ended up paying for one of them. About 250.- I think.

The best thing to do is to get your notary to sign you up on the official register, s/he will charge you the fee as part of his/her fees and it's all sorted.

If you're in doubt about any of these then you should contact your accountant/fiduciary/notary and they'll be able to help.

P.S. It's definItely.
They're not scary, you just need to look at them closely like any other demand for payment.

There's no neded to pay a notary to sign you up in the "registre du Commerce, in Vaud it's in Moudon as as a single person working independently you go over, you need to include you name and surname in the title of the company, ie "Fred Blogs Painting and decorating" or whatever, tell the RdC what the company is going to do, pay a small fee, a long time ago it used to be Chf 69.-- and it's done.

For a Sàrl or an SA, the notary sends the papers anyway to the RdC so it's done automatically and the payment for this is decudcted from the start upo capital deposited with the notary during the registration process.

Thankyou for the spelling lesson

I have started and still have several companies in Switzerland.

My original post was possibly a little harsh, but if you've just started up your company and pay every bill that comes in the door without checking and rechecking, either you have far too much money or you're probably not suited to running your own business, as believe you me, the scammers and fraudsters are the first ones to read the Feuille d'avis officiels...
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  #247  
Old 19.01.2011, 14:54
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Sorry, didn't mean that you need to pay the notary to do this for you but in my case, he signed me up automatically and paid there and then and then just added the RdC fee to his bill. It was pretty straightforward.

I think if people are new to Switzerland and are starting a business for the first time then it's probably easier to do it this way as you have a lot to think about and do when starting your business so it's something else that is out of the way.

Also, I think a lot of new business owners can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of initial paperwork involved between accountants, fiduciaries, notaries, bank accounts, insurances etc. and you want to do everything so well that you don't want to overlook anything and so I'm sure these scammers are making a mint. Their letters are very official looking (the 4 or 5 I received were anyhow).
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  #248  
Old 19.01.2011, 16:18
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hello
I am a Danish citizen and a resident of Germany where I have a Unternehmer GMBH (GMBH with less initial capital).
I am an It contractor.

I have been offered a contract in Vaud for 1 year.
I am with a very small recruitment agency and before they give me advice (that might be wrong) then I would like to hear your take on the situation.

I will only have this 1 client so I believe the option as sole trader is not possible.

I do not wish to be an employee of the recruitment agency. They have no presence in Switzerland today and would create a GMBH just for me to be an employee of. I do not want that situation as I will not be in control of allowed expenses etc.

So the way forward is to form a GMBH in Switzerland (Zug? :-)) I also want the Swiss GMBH so I can easily bring my family over from Germany (all EU citizens) and stay in Switzerland after my contract ends as I can still pay myself a salary even if I have no active client work.

But I wish to delay forming a GMBH in Switzerland a few months.

So initially (untill I create my Swiss GMBH) I will be an employee of my German company.

As far as I have read it should not be a problem to apply for a residence/work permit when I am an employee of the German company.

Is the optimal process that I apply for an L permit based on my employment in my German company - before I enter Switzerland - then later create the Swiss GMBH - then convert permit to non-L and then carry on happily?
Why can't you just invoice out of your German GMBH? I can't see why you have to start a new one in Switzerland. Has someone told you the contrary? As an EU citizen you will get a B permit.
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  #249  
Old 19.01.2011, 16:23
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Why can't you just invoice out of your German GMBH? I can't see why you have to start a new one in Switzerland. Has someone told you the contrary? As an EU citizen you will get a B permit.
I prefer to get taxed at lower Swiss corporate tax rate on profits. And after leaving Germany I have no reason to keep relations to Germany. So it makes sense to wind up the German Company anyway.
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  #250  
Old 27.01.2011, 00:50
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello everyone. I've been reading through most of this threads pages, which is very interesting but alas, it hasn't answered a question that I've had for a while.

Let me shortly explain my situation: I am a Dutch citizen, currently not registered in Switzerland. My (British) girlfriend has a limited contract with a school here in Zürich. I followed her here and have sort of been living here for the last couple of months (I went back to NL every two months or so).

I am registered as a freelancer in the Netherlands, and have been working for companies in the Netherlands and Germany. Mostly on location, though I sometimes also work from home (I'm a designer & animator).

I would like to work for studios in Zürich, but as my girlfriend's contract runs out at the end of July this year, we are not sure if we will stay in Switzerland. From what I've gathered so far, the usual route would mean for me to register myself in Switzerland as a citizen, and thenregister myself as a freelancer, and pay taxes over all the money I earn from business in Switzerland, as well as abroad.

Now for my question; is there another option, e.g. would it be possible for me to work for studios here in Switzerland/Zürich as a freelancer based in the Netherlands, whilst working on location, for short term projects (a few days up till a few weeks, per project)?

To register myself in Switzerland doesn't seem like a good option if I only end up staying here for 6 months, having to de-register in the Netherlands (including my company there). I hope there is some sort of bi-lateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU that allows this, just like I am allowed to work in any EU country while being registered in the Netherlands.

I hope someone can answer this question; any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Rob
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  #251  
Old 29.01.2011, 03:04
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Richard,

Please forgive me if I missed the answers I need from your previous, excellent threads, but.....

I am a EU/USA citizen living in Texas who is interested in moving to CH with my family (wife and 8 and 12 year old kids) to start a Thai restaurant...from scratch! Am I crazy, or is this entirely possible? Is "sole proprietier" the way to go? What kind of money would be needed at a minimum? Finally, provided we show a viable business plan, is it possible to receive a business loan for this venture, or must I supply all of the capital?

Many thnaks for your assistance!
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  #252  
Old 14.02.2011, 10:37
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Now for my question; is there another option, e.g. would it be possible for me to work for studios here in Switzerland/Zürich as a freelancer based in the Netherlands, whilst working on location, for short term projects (a few days up till a few weeks, per project)?

Rob
Hello Rob

There is a 180 days rule. Which means, if you stay in a country more than 180 days in a year you are obliged to transfer your tax residency to this country?

I employ free lancers from other countries, sometimes they are required to come to CH for a job, but this is never a long term contract.

So, if you want to free lance here in order to try if this works, then you can do it for a while, but once you generate your major income in this country and your work requires you to be here for the majority of the working days per year, then you will be required to register your tax residency here, i.e. to pay your contributions to the pension (AHV), health insurance and other social contributions. And then you will have to decide, if you wish to become an owner of the sole ownership company (least administrative effort and least cost) or to register a GmbH (LTD) or an AG (JSC).


All the best


Romi

Last edited by romainesol; 14.02.2011 at 10:51.
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  #253  
Old 14.02.2011, 10:49
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi Lon,

The cost of living depends very much on the place you choose to live. For a 4 person family you will need at least CHF 3000 to cover the costs of living (excluding rent for housing and restaurant). The rent for a 3 bedroom flat can range from 1500 CHF to unlimited.

If you are not a Swiss citizen you will not be able to claim any financial aid and you will, most likely, not get any credit from the bank to start your business. The banks in this country are extremely conservative. I would not contact any of the non-bank credit organisations.

Which means, if you decide to open a restaurant, you will need an initial capital to cover all the cost of living for you and your family for at least one year (better 1,5 years), if you are lucky, you will then generate enough income to make enough money for living.


Good luck!


Romi
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  #254  
Old 15.02.2011, 14:24
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Richard,

Please forgive me if I missed the answers I need from your previous, excellent threads, but.....

I am a EU/USA citizen living in Texas who is interested in moving to CH with my family (wife and 8 and 12 year old kids) to start a Thai restaurant...from scratch! Am I crazy, or is this entirely possible? Is "sole proprietier" the way to go? What kind of money would be needed at a minimum? Finally, provided we show a viable business plan, is it possible to receive a business loan for this venture, or must I supply all of the capital?

Many thnaks for your assistance!
Lon,

I cannot offer any advice as to how to best register your company, but I believe in Switzerland, you have to have a "Wirtepatent" which means you understand the ins and outs of the the restaurant industry including health code regulations, staffing, and myriad other specifics. I think this is done through taking a course, though beyond that I'm not sure what's involved.

I would seriously suggest coming here on a trial basis if at all possible and work in/for a similar restaurant to learn firsthand if it's what you have in mind for yourself and family.

Beyond that- good luck!
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  #255  
Old 15.02.2011, 15:15
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Romi and ZenAgent,

Many thanks for your responses. A trial run will not be possible...just need to gather momentum (and finances) and give it our best try. I am currently researching each canton to try to get a feel for the best location. This will take some time...

Thanks again!

Lon
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  #256  
Old 22.02.2011, 18:02
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello all,

I've spend the past hour going over a bunch of threads, but couldn't find a direct answer, so my apologies in advance if a similar question was answered before.

Now here's our situation :

We're from Belgium where we have our own company, a BVBA which would be equivalent to a Ghmb in Switzerland.

Recently I've been contacted to work in Zurich for the period of about one year.

The contract would go through an umbrella company.

The job would require us to move to Zurich, yet we have no clue on what to do with the existing BVBA.

Ideally, since we would both work and live in Switzerland, we'd like to be taxated according to the Swiss laws, but I assume any money which enters the BVBA would simply fall under Belgian laws, or am I mistaken?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated,
Laila and Frank
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Old 23.02.2011, 11:12
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

I have recently acquired a new customer in Switzerland for IT work. I need to register with the new customer in Switzerland under a company name and based on what I have read feel I should open a GmbH or AG rather than contracting with an umbrella company. What are the pitfalls to watch out for if one needs to start a company before moving to Switzerland, particularly with the need to have Swiss-residing nominal director? I am contacting two companies I found out about through this thread, and am happy to take other referrals. Thank you
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  #258  
Old 23.02.2011, 19:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hello all,

I've spend the past hour going over a bunch of threads, but couldn't find a direct answer, so my apologies in advance if a similar question was answered before.

Now here's our situation :

We're from Belgium where we have our own company, a BVBA which would be equivalent to a Ghmb in Switzerland.

Recently I've been contacted to work in Zurich for the period of about one year.

The contract would go through an umbrella company.

The job would require us to move to Zurich, yet we have no clue on what to do with the existing BVBA.

Ideally, since we would both work and live in Switzerland, we'd like to be taxated according to the Swiss laws, but I assume any money which enters the BVBA would simply fall under Belgian laws, or am I mistaken?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated,
Laila and Frank
You are correct that any money that enters the Belgium business will be handled accroding to Belgium law but that is not necessarily a bad thing. If the money entering the Belgium business is sufficiently big then you can use this to fund your life in Switzerland - after all that is what companys do who work under contracts internationally. You would of course need to keep all receipts but so what. The remainder of the money could then be dealt with according to Swiss taxation laws.

There are of course pitfalls with doing this not least of which is you would need to form a Swiss company or have the umbrella company be kind enough to split the money according to your wishes. Give that the umbrella companies generally playing strictly by the law I think you would be better off taking a year off from Belgium and runnning everything according to Swiss rules.
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  #259  
Old 23.02.2011, 19:59
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I have recently acquired a new customer in Switzerland for IT work. I need to register with the new customer in Switzerland under a company name and based on what I have read feel I should open a GmbH or AG rather than contracting with an umbrella company. What are the pitfalls to watch out for if one needs to start a company before moving to Switzerland, particularly with the need to have Swiss-residing nominal director? I am contacting two companies I found out about through this thread, and am happy to take other referrals. Thank you
I think before you go off and create an umbrella company you should look at the length of time and stability of the contract you have acquired - also is it just for you or will there be more than you working. If you want detailed advice pm me your exact details and I Will give you it. There are quite a few alternatives depending on what the requirements of the contract are...
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Old 24.02.2011, 16:51
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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The company pays the employee 10000 per month or 120K per year.
...
The company will pay in a year a total of 159000 in fully expensed salary which still leaves 31000 as clear profit
Thank you this analysis. It is very interesting and helpful!
I did not include the full analysis for sake of brevity. I have a specific question about it however, for Richard, or for anyone else who followed the analysis.
If the company pays the employee 10,000 per month why is it that the company pays a total of 159,000 in fully expensed salary for the year? I calculated 120,000 fully expensed salary for the year (12 * 10,000). Does anyone know why the difference of 29,000 (159,000-12*10,000)? I ask because there is probably some significance to this that I am missing. Thank you
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