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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 39.85%
Am a contractor but my pimps are asking me to bend over and hold my ankles every month 27 6.60%
I am a freelancer doing it myself (so to speak) and want to know more 110 26.89%
I have my own legally structured company and don't like paying so much to everybody 50 12.22%
I am employed but am always interested in any way to reduce tax 52 12.71%
I think this is a waste of breath you oxygen thief 7 1.71%
Voters: 409. You may not vote on this poll

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  #261  
Old 26.02.2011, 16:34
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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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
Yes there is quite some significance... There are social costs that are borne by the company and some that are split betwen the company and the employee. As a very minimum the company will pay:

1.5% unemployment insurance
5.1% state pension
7% pension fund (minimum)
2.5% accident insurance
1% other compulsory insurances and administrative charges

This amounts to at least 17% os the salary and in all probability more. On top of that there are things such as spesen, cost of a workplace, telephone etc that are real costs that are regularly missed from equations but still exist. A cost of 30% of the base salary isa relatively realistic if not conservative estimate.
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  #262  
Old 08.04.2011, 11:25
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi,
I need help for a couple of questions:

Is it possible to deduct the rent as an expense if you are free-lance and work from home? I know in some EU countries this is possible only as a certain %.

If I am an IT free-lance and I have a contract to work abroad, is there a limited time i can be paid in my Swiis bank accoun? I know in the Uk when you work abroad more than 6 months you have to pay taxes there and nowhere else.

I heard that if you are entitled for unemployment benefit and you do some free-lance jobs but the total amount is less than the unemployment benefit, the RAV tops it. I think this is an interesting way to start as a free-lancer but I would like to be sure this is true.

As a company you need to register for a sector but as a free-lancer is it also necessary?

Thanks in advance
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  #263  
Old 08.04.2011, 17:12
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

hI
This is good poll. Looks like a lot of people like me need help from this forum

Regards
MDCP
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  #264  
Old 16.06.2011, 07:41
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi Richard,

Thank you very much for the excellent overview you have given here.

Regarding starting a company (GmbH) as a vehicle through which I can be employed and accept contracts to do work as IT contractor for others you have mentioned in your report:

"Insurance: ca 3000 should see it okay note these need to be paid in advance..."

Could you give a breakdown of these 3000 chf?

I understand that this is the total cost for
-AHV/IV/EO
-BVG
-Accident Insurance (private)

Where did you get your insurance from? / Which "Vorsorgeeinrichtung" have you chosen and why?

How could social security insurance costs be minimized?

I understand especially in the area of BVG the costs can vary quite a bit.

Thanks!
Steven
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  #265  
Old 16.06.2011, 09:43
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi

I have a question that may fit here. I am a UK passport holder and here on a B permit, however when I got my B permit I was employed (which I still technically am) and I am now starting up my own business therefore will be self emplyed/sole trader. Am I ok on my B permit as an EU citizen or do I need to head to the kriesburo to update them and register as a sole trader?

Will this effect my visa?

Be great to have your thoughts struggling to find the right answer as everyone says different things it seems.

Thanks
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  #266  
Old 16.06.2011, 12:09
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi

I have a question that may fit here. I am a UK passport holder and here on a B permit, however when I got my B permit I was employed (which I still technically am) and I am now starting up my own business therefore will be self emplyed/sole trader. Am I ok on my B permit as an EU citizen or do I need to head to the kriesburo to update them and register as a sole trader?
Yes and yes.

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Will this effect my visa?
Why do you have a visa?
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  #267  
Old 16.06.2011, 15:50
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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"Insurance: ca 3000 should see it okay note these need to be paid in advance..."

Could you give a breakdown of these 3000 chf?

I understand that this is the total cost for
-AHV/IV/EO
-BVG
-Accident Insurance (private)

Where did you get your insurance from? / Which "Vorsorgeeinrichtung" have you chosen and why?

How could social security insurance costs be minimized?

I understand especially in the area of BVG the costs can vary quite a bit.

Thanks!
Steven
The AHV (or AVS) is compulsory so the rates are fixed. The amount you pay is based on your annual mass salary (for all employees). So there's no real way of minimising it.

With regards to the BVG (or LPP - 2nd pillar) again it's compulsory (depending on age and minimum salary) but depending on who you go with, you can design it so it's more suited to you. e.g. have more going into the savings part and less into the death benefits and vice versa.

Despite the rates being the same for LPP and accident cover, your premiums could vary between companies depending on their charges.

As all the insurances are based on annual mass salary, it's difficult to give an average figure. The best thing to do is ask for some quotes from different companies.
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  #268  
Old 16.06.2011, 15:51
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

P.S. I was on a B permit when I started my company (still am in fact).

I didn't have to go to the population office or anything?
Maybe it's cantonal?
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  #269  
Old 16.06.2011, 15:57
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi Richard,

Thank you very much for the excellent overview you have given here.

Regarding starting a company (GmbH) as a vehicle through which I can be employed and accept contracts to do work as IT contractor for others you have mentioned in your report:

"Insurance: ca 3000 should see it okay note these need to be paid in advance..."

Could you give a breakdown of these 3000 chf?

I understand that this is the total cost for
-AHV/IV/EO
-BVG
-Accident Insurance (private)

Where did you get your insurance from? / Which "Vorsorgeeinrichtung" have you chosen and why?

How could social security insurance costs be minimized?

I understand especially in the area of BVG the costs can vary quite a bit.

Thanks!
Steven
It may be worth noting that Richard, who started this thread, hasn't posted on here for around six months. Hopefully, other people may be able to offer you advice.
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  #270  
Old 01.08.2011, 00:30
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi
First of all thanks for all your posts - I've now read all these posts twice and taken notes! All soooo useful!

I have a question:
If you are self employed (a sole trader) and you make losses in your first year in business (due to initial investment, set up costs etc). If you are married and your spouse works in Switzerland, are your losses deductable on their tax return? Or does your spouse just get charged tax as if you didn't earn anything?

Thanks!
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  #271  
Old 17.08.2011, 18:55
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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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....
Very sound advice, I got a lot of pink slips coming from groups claiming to be a Handelregister. Hopefully this link helps people who might otherwise fall victim to these scamming leeches.

http://www.ktipp.ch/service/Warnlisten/Registerhaie.php

Its in German but Google Chrome Translate does a fine job. The one you mentioned (IFW...) is also on the list
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  #272  
Old 03.09.2011, 17:54
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi everyone, I am a EU citizen and a guitar teacher with a permit L and I wish to become self employed by giving guitar lessons.

can I be self employed with a permit L?

My permit L expires in October the 10th, where can I renew it?

I live in Davos, Klosters.
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  #273  
Old 03.09.2011, 21:48
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

In a word: no. Not officially (legally)until you have a B. Will be happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
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  #274  
Old 12.09.2011, 20:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Dear Richard, and indeed anyone else who can help.

I am currently self employed in Vaud. More or less got everything set up. Had a year's successful trading, filed first year's tax return with accountant's help, paid all my AVS each quarter, and then bugger me, the other half gets a job in Zurich.

So we're moving. I have informed all banks, pensions, savings, phone companies, the leccy etc, and the controle des habitants in Lausanne, who are telling the tax office. I need to let the local Caisse AVS know too (tomorrow's task).

Obviously, I need to inform the Zurich tax office and find the right AVS/AHV office to register with. So first question: is there more than one place to register, and is it anything other than location/ kreis based?

Second question, is there anything else official I need to do? (I don't earn enough to pay TVA/MwSt at the moment, as all clients are outside Switzerland and I've been hammered by the exchange rate)

Has anyone else who is self employed moved from one canton to another, and if so are there any crucial lessons to learn?

With apologies if this has already been covered: I couldn't find anything this specific already - but that's not to say it's not there.

Thanks in advance for any advice or insight

Sarah
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  #275  
Old 21.10.2011, 00:18
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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P.S. I was on a B permit when I started my company (still am in fact).

I didn't have to go to the population office or anything?
Maybe it's cantonal?
t

Hi - this is really interesting and I am trying to work my way through what I should be doing if I want to establish my business. I was planning to start a consultancy business in canton Zurich in January 2012. I am a trailing spouse (yukky term) on a B permit and a UK citizen. I would be setting up as a sole trader working from home. I have information overload - this thread is so helpful - but I am trying to take all the information back to the basics.

I am allowed to do this unhinered though need to register to do this at my local town hall? or can I just go about marketing my services and then declare income for taxation?

Sincere apologies if I have already missed the obvious replies to this.
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  #276  
Old 08.11.2011, 16:44
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi everyone, I am a EU citizen and a guitar teacher with a permit L and I wish to become self employed by giving guitar lessons.

can I be self employed with a permit L?

My permit L expires in October the 10th, where can I renew it?

I live in Davos, Klosters.
Hi John,
I also have an L permit and when i enquired about how to register as a sole trader/independent at the Fachstelle Migration in zug i was helped enormously and told all i needed to do was register for AHV, and with the Tax office.....but i called them both and i dont need to register until i have some money coming in.
Most people told me you have to register on the Handelregister ( the business register) but this isnt true....it is an option, there is no legal requirement until you earn over 100,000 chf a year. It costs 200 chf to register and the only benefit my brother in law could find for me would be to show that i am a registered business for credibility. Im a massage and psych therapist and generally get work from word of mouth so that isnt too important for me........
If you dont reply i will assume you couldnt renew the permit.....hahha...good luck.
Hope this helps
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  #277  
Old 08.11.2011, 16:54
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi,
I need help for a couple of questions:

Is it possible to deduct the rent as an expense if you are free-lance and work from home? I know in some EU countries this is possible only as a certain %.

If I am an IT free-lance and I have a contract to work abroad, is there a limited time i can be paid in my Swiis bank accoun? I know in the Uk when you work abroad more than 6 months you have to pay taxes there and nowhere else.

I heard that if you are entitled for unemployment benefit and you do some free-lance jobs but the total amount is less than the unemployment benefit, the RAV tops it. I think this is an interesting way to start as a free-lancer but I would like to be sure this is true.

As a company you need to register for a sector but as a free-lancer is it also necessary?

Thanks in advance
Hi OCMA,

I was told by the Fachstelle Migration in zug that you can deduct a part of your rent off your tax bill.......she suggested you just send it in and see how much they will give you as credit.
Also as a freelancer you dont need to register with the Handelsregister...it could have the benefit of making you more credible but im not sure that it is worth the 200 chf just for that...depends on you. It is only obligatory when you earn over 100,000chf a year.
You only need to register as freelancer with AHV and the tax office when you start earning money.......

Hope this helps

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  #278  
Old 04.07.2012, 14:18
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

I have tired to find the answer to this but I couldn't, so apologies if I am repeating anything. I'm confused about which visa to apply for.

I am a British citizen and a self employed camera operator /videographer in the UK. I would like to operate as a freelancer / sole trader in Switzerland. My partner (not married) is here on a B visa and we are about to apply for my first Swiss visa.

Should I be applying for a visa based on my self employed status straight away or will i need a dependant visa first? I suppose the question i'm asking is what is the best way route to become self employed in Switzerland when I'm not yet a resident?

Any help and advise would be gratefully received!
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  #279  
Old 04.07.2012, 14:36
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Since you are not married and I guess have no dependant children with your partner, from a Swiss perspective there is no reason for you to be here. The relationship with your partner isn't recognised since you aren't married. You cannot register until you enter Switzerland and then you will need to set up a business. ie have a reason to be here, just being with your partner is not a reason to obtain residency status. How good is your German?
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  #280  
Old 04.07.2012, 14:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

My German is a1 level, about to start a2, so beginner really. I have visited the immigration in Luzern and they said it was possible for me to apply for a visa and they advised the 'Konkubinat' option for me as an unmarried dependant - (and yes the term means the same in German ;s). but this is a non-working visa.

It sounds like your advice is to first get a visa (even a non-work visa) then look into self employed status.
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