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Old 06.09.2018, 13:58
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Contracting situation in Switzerland

People here owning a GmbH and working in software industry: are you having the contracts directly with your customers or via a "strategic partner" like BBV, Unic, etc? It seems the latter is more and more the case these days unless I am wrong or unlucky.

It seems that the big companies are preffering this approach so they don't have many individual contracts therefore overhead. Fair-enough. But I am curious if anyone here performs software contracting work directly with big companies (banks like) so he/she doesn't give (big) margins to the middleman.
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Old 06.09.2018, 18:50
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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People here owning a GmbH and working in software industry: are you having the contracts directly with your customers or via a "strategic partner" like BBV, Unic, etc? It seems the latter is more and more the case these days unless I am wrong or unlucky.

It seems that the big companies are preffering this approach so they don't have many individual contracts therefore overhead. Fair-enough. But I am curious if anyone here performs software contracting work directly with big companies (banks like) so he/she doesn't give (big) margins to the middleman.
Do you understand the financial requirements to do body shopping directly, to start with? Even if you were able to obtain a direct contact with say a bank you would be required to meet the same requirements.
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Old 07.09.2018, 13:27
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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Do you understand the financial requirements to do body shopping directly, to start with?.
Sorry to be naive, newbie here, but I don't, could you explain more? Is somehow related with the fact that if the contractor fall ill then the position is not covered so is better to go via a body shopping company?
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Old 07.09.2018, 13:57
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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Sorry to be naive, newbie here, but I don't, could you explain more? Is somehow related with the fact that if the contractor fall ill then the position is not covered so is better to go via a body shopping company?
The middle man does more than just taking in money, keep a bit and give you the rest. He basically makes it possible for a lot of people who do in fact run their own business to avoid doing a lot of the work involved in owning such company, before you start talking with a bank you must know what all is involved in running a company in Switzerland and how to do the bookkeeping/taxes/social securities/insurances etc..
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Old 07.09.2018, 18:23
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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Sorry to be naive, newbie here, but I don't, could you explain more? Is somehow related with the fact that if the contractor fall ill then the position is not covered so is better to go via a body shopping company?
You will need to be licensed, you will need to put up a bond to cover social security and another one for VAT. Last time I did this back in 2007 it came to 55k + 25k capital and 4K professional fees. If you were to get a direct contact with a pillar bank for instance you’d be required to present those documents.

Recently I have seen a few UK agencies being ‘represented’ by Swiss agencies when going for such contracts to avoid the costs.
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Old 12.09.2018, 19:55
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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You will need to be licensed, you will need to put up a bond to cover social security and another one for VAT. Last time I did this back in 2007 it came to 55k + 25k capital and 4K professional fees. If you were to get a direct contact with a pillar bank for instance you’d be required to present those documents.

Recently I have seen a few UK agencies being ‘represented’ by Swiss agencies when going for such contracts to avoid the costs.
Thanks Jim2007 and EdwinNL, it make sense. Then best is to find the body shop company which takes a decent cut. Can you or others advice what would be the percent from the client's bill rate from your past experience? Thanks!
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Old 12.09.2018, 22:57
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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Do you understand the financial requirements to do body shopping directly, to start with?

You will need to be licensed, you will need to put up a bond to cover social security and another one for VAT.
There are no special requirements. A (GmbH / AG) company only "leasing" the company owner(s) needs no licence at all. This has been in force since 2014:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a28

To set up a company one does need capital (~20 000CHF) and there is some bureaucracy involved (taxes, social security, insurance, pension fund).

If one already runs a small GmbH, (almost) no additional paperwork is required for body shopping. No bonds to put up either.
(customers may want to see an official confirmation that you need no licence, the canton where your company is located will provide that)

A middleman cannot deal with your GmbH in the context of body shopping. There can only be one intermediary between the natural person and the customer. It is either
you <-> your company <-> customer
you <-> someone else's company <-> customer

The formalities are not a problem. Getting a large customer to enter into this kind of relationship with you is another matter.
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Old 13.09.2018, 00:44
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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Getting a large customer to enter into this kind of relationship with you is another matter.
Your theory versus the reality. SFA point in setting it up if you are not going to land serious contacts when you can’t provide the full assurances expected while other agencies can is there???
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Old 13.09.2018, 08:02
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

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There are no special requirements. A (GmbH / AG) company only "leasing" the company owner(s) needs no licence at all. This has been in force since 2014:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a28

To set up a company one does need capital (~20 000CHF) and there is some bureaucracy involved (taxes, social security, insurance, pension fund).

If one already runs a small GmbH, (almost) no additional paperwork is required for body shopping. No bonds to put up either.
(customers may want to see an official confirmation that you need no licence, the canton where your company is located will provide that)

A middleman cannot deal with your GmbH in the context of body shopping. There can only be one intermediary between the natural person and the customer. It is either
you <-> your company <-> customer
you <-> someone else's company <-> customer

The formalities are not a problem. Getting a large customer to enter into this kind of relationship with you is another matter.



And as soon as the company is set up, about 3 weeks in general, you get the Chf 20k back, minus about Chf 2.5-3k for cantonal taxes and notary fees, into the company account to use a syou see fit.


Even as a loan to yourself.....


So actually setting up a company costs about Chf2.5-3k, you just need Chf 20k, or indeed Chf 10k + assets (car, computer etc) to set a company up.
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Old 13.09.2018, 08:39
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Re: Contracting situation in Switzerland

I've been working as a contractor through my own GmbH, as sole employee, since 2004. To set up I needed the seed money for the GmbH and a few grand notary and legal fees. Yearly there are insurances, pension and employers social security. When I began, some cantons required an employment bond, but mine recognised that it wasn't necessary for single man companies.

Initially, I had direct contracts with even multinationals. But over time, it's been more and more through agencies, such as Hays. This is the norm.

I have a GmbH because it allows me flexibility with clients. I don't work fulltime for any of them.

The work is do could not be fulfilled by a bodyshop. At least, not to the same level of quality and expertise. As for illness - if I'm ill, I'm not available. It hasn't yet proved to be a problem.

Tl;DR Don't compete with bodyshops, have your own USP. And sell it.
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