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Old 24.09.2017, 12:16
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Freelance work in addition to full-employment

Hello, I live in Zurich with a B permit (EU citizen) and I am employed full time.
Another company from Switzerland offered me to occasionally freelance for them in my spare time.

I was wondering how I can proceed in this case. Do I have to register somewhere as a freelancer like I read in some previous threads even though I am employed already by another company?

Can I simply issue invoices/statements of work and then pay additional taxes if needed when I declare my yearly income?

Any help, including templates for Swiss invoices ect is highly appreciated.
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Old 28.08.2019, 11:38
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

Hello! I'm in the exact same situation. Did you find an answer to your question yet?
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Old 30.08.2019, 23:18
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

Switzerland doesn't seem to have freelancers in quite the same way as they exist in other countries, like the UK.

The bigger problem could be the existing company you're working for. It's common for a work contract to state that no other paid work should be undertaken. In my last job, I asked them to clarify this as I had the chance to do some paid part-time web admin. My HR manager told me they would turn a blind eye if it was a non-office weekend activity totally unrelated to my day job, but otherwise they wouldn't allow it. (In my view it was totally unrelated to my day job but I didn't bother arguing further with them.)
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Old 31.08.2019, 01:20
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

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Switzerland doesn't seem to have freelancers in quite the same way as they exist in other countries, like the UK.

The bigger problem could be the existing company you're working for. It's common for a work contract to state that no other paid work should be undertaken. In my last job, I asked them to clarify this as I had the chance to do some paid part-time web admin. My HR manager told me they would turn a blind eye if it was a non-office weekend activity totally unrelated to my day job, but otherwise they wouldn't allow it. (In my view it was totally unrelated to my day job but I didn't bother arguing further with them.)
Interesting. But then, again the question from the OP: if you charge your second-income source via e.g. invoicing, can you just do it without founding a company and just declare it in your taxes? or do you have a maximum that you can earn above your other salary?
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Old 31.08.2019, 08:43
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

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Interesting. But then, again the question from the OP: if you charge your second-income source via e.g. invoicing, can you just do it without founding a company and just declare it in your taxes? or do you have a maximum that you can earn above your other salary?
Just my 2 cents. What if you are taxed at source due to your permit? I guess you cannot just invoice your customers without establishing something to file the tax at source.
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Old 31.08.2019, 09:15
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

Ask the second people how to handle it. They likely have had something similar before.
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Old 31.08.2019, 12:20
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

I would agree that you need to check with your current employer in the first instance ensuring the contract allows it / they vary it / ensuring no conflict of interest. As you are probably taxed at source , you would need to submit a separate tax return to the tax office for the freelance part only. You need to ask them to send you the relevant paperwork.

Would double check all with the tax office - they are always quite helpful in my experience.
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Old 31.08.2019, 14:03
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

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Just my 2 cents. What if you are taxed at source due to your permit? I guess you cannot just invoice your customers without establishing something to file the tax at source.
There is a bigger issue, if you are going to do any significant work for a company they will want indemnity from social security and pension obligations which they normally get by contacting the authorities. Unless you are properly set up the answer will be no and they will need to put you on their payroll, with all that entails.
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Old 07.12.2019, 09:54
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

No one has answered the original question yet, and I am interested to know. If I work 80% for an employer, and do the odd freelance work for a 2nd company on the side, do I need to set myself up as an independent contractor and pay all the social taxes on the 2nd income?
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Old 07.12.2019, 10:13
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

Cash is king.

Tom
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Old 07.12.2019, 11:07
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

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No one has answered the original question yet, and I am interested to know. If I work 80% for an employer, and do the odd freelance work for a 2nd company on the side, do I need to set myself up as an independent contractor and pay all the social taxes on the 2nd income?
Yes! AHV is mandatory.
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Old 07.12.2019, 21:40
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

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No one has answered the original question yet, and I am interested to know. If I work 80% for an employer, and do the odd freelance work for a 2nd company on the side, do I need to set myself up as an independent contractor and pay all the social taxes on the 2nd income?
You do need to pay the social taxes, yes, though there needn't be much "setting up" to do i.e. you don't have to start a company. What you can do is use an independent payroll company, for instant 'Payroll Plus' (others are available). There's always the danger of overpaying/underpaying when your main job is included but I would think that will get sorted out at the end of the year when you declare your earnings.
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Old 10.12.2019, 06:04
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Re: Freelance work in addition to full-employment

A few quick points:
  • If you are an EU citizen on a B permit there are no legal barriers to 'moonlighting'. If you're not an EU citizen then there will be legal restrictions - not relevant to the OP, but may be to other people reading this thread.
  • Even without legal restrictions, 'moonlighting' is specifically prohibited in many work contracts and even when not employers may take a dim view of it.
  • If you earn from any 'moonlighting' gig and are on source tax you will need to declare it for income tax, the same way as you would in any other country. Speak with your local tax authority about tax declarations.
  • There are various rights and obligations to self employment, registration, VAT, etc, however many of these may not apply to you if you earn under a certain amount p.a. Speak to your local authority for more information on this, or read this.
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