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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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  #161  
Old 11.01.2008, 18:55
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Talking about the whole picture - I just noticed you are non-EU? Is it the intention for the GmbH to be your employer and if so, have you got a residence permit sorted out? You'll need that before you register the company unless you have a tame residence MD.
-------------

Not only has the residence permit to be sorted out for non EU but even after that, getting a permit off it (work permit) is a completely different thing and not guaranteed. Of course EU folks need not worry but for non EU, i am wondering if the whole setup cost is worth it if the permit is not guaranteed.
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  #162  
Old 11.01.2008, 20:08
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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If you are actually looking for a one stop shop to set up a business domiciled in Zug then your best bet would be to check out www.launchswiss.ch - they can do the lot for you fixed price. Note you are going to need quite some turnover to justify the cost...
Hello again Richard!
As usual your helpful answers spark questions on my side...

I looked at he various "one stop" companies and the one you mention offers the set up of GmbH for 999 CHF (VAT included) and pays for the notary fees. If I read correctly somehwere in this post, notary fees can be expected to be aournd 600 anyway, so I thought it was not so bad, but I may be missing something

As for the virtual office, they also offer this at 2490 CHF per year and this did not sound so bad (considering our issue that we are reting and therefore cannot have our company at home, at least not for now as we plan to move soon).

So... I am sure I am missing something but what is it?

Secondly if my virtual office is paid in Zug but the actual work for the company is done by me, the owner, from home in Zurich, will the company pay taxes in Zug or will they try to claim that income is generated in Zurich? Personal taxes will of course remain in Zurich, this far I got

Lastly, www.startups.ch offers also the launchpackage for a GmbH for a higher price which can be brougt down significantly by purchisng some services from partners such as insurances etc. Could be interesting for some people who needs these services anyway.

Thanks for help!
Cheers,
Cristina
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  #163  
Old 11.01.2008, 20:16
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

You could really even go for the "Light" version of virtual office. Do you really need a prestigious address?

To me the 2000 may be well spent considering the difference in rental prices between Luzern and Zug especially if you plan on moving to Zug or another low tax canton later. You could save on your salary until you've move to a lower tax canton before giving yourself a big pay rise or simply take equity out of the company via dividends once you've moved.
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  #164  
Old 11.01.2008, 20:26
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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You could really even go for the "Light" version of virtual office. Do you really need a prestigious address?
Personally, I find spending 500 to avoid the c/o adress helps to build credibility for the company, and in my line of work this is needed or people may not trust you.

But it is all down to the business need.

Cristina
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  #165  
Old 11.01.2008, 20:59
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hello again Richard!
As usual your helpful answers spark questions on my side...

I looked at he various "one stop" companies and the one you mention offers the set up of GmbH for 999 CHF (VAT included) and pays for the notary fees. If I read correctly somehwere in this post, notary fees can be expected to be aournd 600 anyway, so I thought it was not so bad, but I may be missing something

As for the virtual office, they also offer this at 2490 CHF per year and this did not sound so bad (considering our issue that we are reting and therefore cannot have our company at home, at least not for now as we plan to move soon).

So... I am sure I am missing something but what is it?

Secondly if my virtual office is paid in Zug but the actual work for the company is done by me, the owner, from home in Zurich, will the company pay taxes in Zug or will they try to claim that income is generated in Zurich? Personal taxes will of course remain in Zurich, this far I got

Lastly, www.startups.ch offers also the launchpackage for a GmbH for a higher price which can be brougt down significantly by purchisng some services from partners such as insurances etc. Could be interesting for some people who needs these services anyway.

Thanks for help!
Cheers,
Cristina
What Swisslaunch are offering is effectively to deal with all the paperwork. The charges for the sperrkonto from the bank and the cost of the company register are not included so you need to budget another CHF500-700 there. As for notary fees they can be a LOT more than 600 francs. I would put that at the lowest end of what you can pay assuming you go to them with the documents already written as I did...

Company taxes are based up on the domicile of the company ie where the headquarters are. It is also possible to have a holding company structure to reduce taxes further but if you are in that league I will send you a bill
So you will pay corporate taxes in Zug even though the work is performed from home. Now if you were to rent an office you can also claim travel and food costs for being away from your place of work but thats another story.
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  #166  
Old 11.01.2008, 21:18
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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What Swisslaunch are offering is effectively to deal with all the paperwork. The charges for the sperrkonto from the bank and the cost of the company register are not included so you need to budget another CHF500-700 there. As for notary fees they can be a LOT more than 600 francs. I would put that at the lowest end of what you can pay assuming you go to them with the documents already written as I did...
Ok, so... it is a good deal?

IF notary is 600 or more and they include the notary in their fees, it is almost for free?

Thank as usual....

Cristina
(who is very confused as NOTHING is for free...)
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  #167  
Old 12.01.2008, 10:47
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

The Notary will probably cost about 600chf, but on top of that you have the Handelregister fees and ancilliary stuff like checking your Statuten and Urkunde so you are looking at a typical 1200chf in fees for a Gmbh, and that is just if the Notary is more just executing than advisory...

dave


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Ok, so... it is a good deal?

IF notary is 600 or more and they include the notary in their fees, it is almost for free?

Thank as usual....

Cristina
(who is very confused as NOTHING is for free...)
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  #168  
Old 28.01.2008, 17:51
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Can't seem to find an answer to this.....

I know a lot of laws changed on Jan 1st, so I would like some confirmation on the following...

In order to start an SA, you need 100'000.- right?
(This hasn't changed as far as I'm aware)

Does there need to be a minimum of Swiss / permis C people involved? e.g. the majority?
or can 3 expats start one (or more) up? (for example)

Thanks,

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  #169  
Old 28.01.2008, 21:45
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Can't seem to find an answer to this.....

I know a lot of laws changed on Jan 1st, so I would like some confirmation on the following...

In order to start an SA, you need 100'000.- right?
(This hasn't changed as far as I'm aware)

Does there need to be a minimum of Swiss / permis C people involved? e.g. the majority?
or can 3 expats start one (or more) up? (for example)

Thanks,

There is no longer a requirement for Swiss people to hold equity in a company set up in Switzerland. At least one must be resident in Switzerland.

You can check this link it gives a quick overview.
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  #170  
Old 30.01.2008, 12:34
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Can't seem to find an answer to this.....

I know a lot of laws changed on Jan 1st, so I would like some confirmation on the following...

In order to start an SA, you need 100'000.- right?
(This hasn't changed as far as I'm aware)

Does there need to be a minimum of Swiss / permis C people involved? e.g. the majority?
or can 3 expats start one (or more) up? (for example)

Thanks,

The changes did not really hit the AG, it was focused on the GmbH where the law has changed quite a lot. So while you need to have 100000 as the minimum capital you actually only need to pay in 50K. As to the owners of the company, they can indeed by non-Swiss. However, if your AG intends to own property then there are restrictions on external ownership. This is to prevent an external person using the legal body to get around property ownership restrictions. Otherwise anyone can own shares in the company...
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  #171  
Old 20.05.2008, 00:04
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello all,

First, thank you for all this great information. Particularly Richard for all the wealth of knowledge and accurate comments.

I would like to ask one question . I did not see and particular info in the thread.


my situation is the following:

french passport /french national but residing since 8 years in the USA.
need to relocate to Europe for work.

I plan to relocate in Switzerland for different reasons. I am a software engineer/designer in a very specific field.

99% of my work is done through private contracts from customers all over the world. ie i expect very few local customers or "walk-in" traffic.

To that extent I do not have to be located in a specific area. As long as there is a high speed internet access, I can work.

From reading this thread, I would be tempted to start with a self employed status and go to a gmbh after a year.

the question would be: is there any particular advantage to choose a canton over another. ? as mentioned, i can be anywhere as long as there is a high speed internet access.

I do not need to plan for meeting clients at the office. I would meet them at their office in Europe or Switzerland if need to be.

Apart from the fact that my german is very limited and thus for convenience a canton in the french speaking area might be easier to leave in. On the other hand all communications with my clients are in english and thus it is less of a problem if we are talking only about buying bread at the local store. i assume they speak a little english as well.

Thus, I do not have a problem living in a german speaking canton if there are some definite advantages for the business and tax aspect over a french speaking canton.

As well would it be a problem to obtain a residency permit if I can not prove to have a good proficiency in german if I try to reside in Zurich for example? they could ask why I did not choose to live in a french speaking canton.


Thank you for your answer.
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  #172  
Old 20.05.2008, 00:24
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hello all,

First, thank you for all this great information. Particularly Richard for all the wealth of knowledge and accurate comments.

I would like to ask one question . I did not see and particular info in the thread.
You didn't look very closely did you



Quote:
french passport /french national but residing since 8 years in the USA.
need to relocate to Europe for work.

snip

As well would it be a problem to obtain a residency permit if I can not prove to have a good proficiency in german if I try to reside in Zurich for example? they could ask why I did not choose to live in a french speaking canton.
EU Permits - A few bullet points

For EU citizen there are no language restrictions as far as permit issuance is concerned. Nor are there for non-EU citizen, not that it matters here.

Quote:
the question would be: is there any particular advantage to choose a canton over another. ? as mentioned, i can be anywhere as long as there is a high speed internet access.
Taxation and ease of access.
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  #173  
Old 20.05.2008, 01:01
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello Shorrick,

Thank you for your answer.

are you aware of a web site or do you have some information ranking the most "business friendly" places to live in Switzerland.

Simply put what canton would rank first in terms of operating a service business? (not taking into account the language aspect )
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  #174  
Old 20.05.2008, 07:53
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hello Shorrick,

Thank you for your answer.

are you aware of a web site or do you have some information ranking the most "business friendly" places to live in Switzerland.

Simply put what canton would rank first in terms of operating a service business? (not taking into account the language aspect )
How long is a piece of string?

If I want to run a catered ski-chalet service business then it's going to be Valais or the Grisons. If I want to run an Executive Helicopter charter service business then it's going to be Geneva. If I want to run a boat charter service business then it's going to be Geneva, Zurich, Luzern or Lugano. If I want to run a financial services business it will be Geneva or Zurich if I have to meet clients and anywhere else if I don't have to. If I want to run an insurance brokerage service business I can do it in any canton. If I want to run a law firm service business, I can do it in any canton.

There's as many answers to be had as types business there are and there is not one single best answer. Think of it as optimising a multiple variable Lagrange equation system...
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  #175  
Old 20.05.2008, 09:26
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

I think bunka was more asking about local taxes and risk of red tape. Still a rather general question. You can compare taxes at the often-recommended Comparis website.
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  #176  
Old 23.05.2008, 16:04
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello Richard,

I am very new to this site, but find it very interesting. I have a small but burning issue !I do some free lance editing which nets a very small amount of money, about 350 Euro a month, howver I have now earned the maximum I can earn without declaring myself as self employed.


I have an AVS number and card,I am informed I simply go to the nearest AVS office and they will stamp my card that I am self employed. Does that sound right to you ?and is all this going to cost more than I earn ?

My sincere thanks,

Jen
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  #177  
Old 29.05.2008, 16:38
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi All,

Just wondering if there would be any use for me writing a few tips and tricks and opening a thread where people can ask questions pertaining to being self-employed in Switzerland as a contractor/freelancer/GmbH/SA/AG/sole trader.

Thats it...
As a brand new member..... all of 10 minutes, this would be very useful for me indeed.
Not sure how this all works yet but if I find out, I shall enjoy following and .... who knows ..... maybe contributing .... Thanks for getting me started anyway.
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  #178  
Old 29.05.2008, 18:34
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Dear Richard,

That would be fantastic for me.

Would really like to know thw whole thing about AVS and tax etc.

Many thanks,

Jen
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  #179  
Old 08.06.2008, 11:16
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

What are the pro's and con's of employing your wife in the company (GmbH) ?

From what I can make out there makes little difference from a tax perspective as we are at a personal level treated for tax together. However from a point of starting to contribute to a pension for my wife as well , have the status of being employed etc may help. For example when we apply for permits my wife would be as employed, not dependant and also that helps here in Geneva with schooling as another example.

We are both EU-17 (British) by the way and having just bust my coconuts for the last eight months to be told my role is being outsourced to India it is time to take charge of my own destiny.

Yes, I am hopefully going to be talking to one of those tax advisor people this week, which is a sensible thing to do.

Interested to understand peoples views, experiences etc.

Thanks
David
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  #180  
Old 15.06.2008, 17:08
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello Richard and whole community
thank you and all the other for incredible amount of info here contained !

I would like to post a simple question that I didn't find all over the thread... if yet replyed please let me have the link.

I am Italian but live in Switzerland with B permit. I am long time president of a sport association in my italian town and, cause of some great changes, it would be possible that we will switch to a "no profit" association to a "profit" one in 2009. This could also include that it will be possible to have earning from our activities (mostly organization of competitions) and it also will be possible that I will earn something for my contribution.
In this case would I need to declare anything in Switzerland ? How do I need to behave in order not to break any law ?

thank you in advance for any advice

ciao

Marco
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