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Old 23.01.2011, 22:45
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Gmbh related questions

I found relatively lot information from the forum regarding setting up a Gmbh in Switzerland. I still have few questions and I would hope to get guidance and experiences from those who have are already operating their companies.

Some background in I'm going work as an independent consultant and estimated revenue per month is 25 kchf. I'm currently based in Zurich.

Here is my list of questions:
- Where to establish my Gbmh (Zug,Zurich), pros and cons, ristrictions?
- What can I charge as expenses? part of rent (how much %), kilometers, daily allowances, electronics / IT hardware, phone and internet costs, etc.?
- Guidance on how to bring the money home and how to hit the target of not making profit?
- How investments are treaded, if I invest the companies money to stocks and funds?
- Recommendations for truehand, accountant

Thanks for your advises and support in advange.
Sam
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Old 24.01.2011, 08:10
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Re: Gmbh related questions

This is my understanding. On 25k per month though, I'd definitely talk to an accountant.

- Where to establish my Gbmh (Zug,Zurich), pros and cons, ristrictions?

If you plan on leaving money in your company, then you may want to be based in the lowest tax canton. Company profit is taxed. If you then take it out as salary, it'll still be subject to personal taxation. I take all my profit out at the end of the year as salary, pay minimal company tax, so it doesn't matter where my company is based.

- What can I charge as expenses? part of rent (how much %), kilometers, daily allowances, electronics / IT hardware, phone and internet costs, etc.?

The usual. Anything to incurred as a result of doing business. Though part of rent apparently is quite a complicated thing. I charge travel, subsistence, hardware and mobile phone to my company. And postage stamps.

- Guidance on how to bring the money home and how to hit the target of not making profit?

There you are - you don't want to make a profit. So it doesn't matter where your company is established. Expenses and salary are the only way to take money out of the company. There is no tax relief on dividends.

I am not an accountant. Any or all of the above may be materially wrong. Talk to an accountant - best get one in your canton of residence.
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Old 24.01.2011, 10:30
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Re: Gmbh related questions

I would consider where your client base is, the "prestige" of that location and thirdly convenience for you, above tax rates in locating your business. Saving a couple of % in tax each year will soon be forgotten when you need to commute 40min day and night. A good accountant is invaluable, we used Heinz Boksberger ( mailto:h.boksberger@trevin.ch ) from http://www.trevin.ch/ in Zurich. He set all the company register up, filed all the papers and registered the business name for about Chf1500 (his fee). He has good English and his knowledge of tax savings is outstanding. For us it was painless 7th dec we met and set things in motion, 12th Jan we had a complete registered ready to go company, you could do it in 2 weeks without chistmas in the middle. He will also do our monthly books for a very reasonable fee.
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Old 24.01.2011, 10:40
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Re: Gmbh related questions

you sound like someone from the UK who's trying to replicate the limited company contractor setup that works in the UK to dodgy taxes. you may find, for a one-man company, your efforts are inefficient as taxation in Switzerland is frankly much fairer. and that's speaking from an ex-contractor who had a limited company in the UK some years ago
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Old 24.01.2011, 12:55
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Re: Gmbh related questions

Contractors in the UK have to work either through an umbrella company or via a limited company, because of the laws governing agencies. They cannot work as a self-employed, which would be the preferred option for most.

So it's pretty unfair to call it a tax dodge. Unless you consider having all the expenses of being an employee without any of the benefits "fair". As an ex-contractor you should be aware that most contractors work through a limited company not for the tax benefits. Indeed, as you pointed out, there aren't really any tax benefits for working through a GmbH in Switzerland, yet a number of us choose to do so anyway.
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Old 24.01.2011, 13:26
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Re: Gmbh related questions

My lawyer suggested that setting up a GmbH as a contractor (IT) where you anticipate having only one client per annum might be frowned upon by the authorities. Did anyone else have that experience? (I know people do it)
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Old 24.01.2011, 18:41
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Re: Gmbh related questions

Definitely it's an issue if you go sole trader. I've not heard of people with GmbH having issues - except possibly requiring some kind of license required for "body shops".
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Old 29.01.2011, 21:50
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Re: Gmbh related questions

Thanks for all the tips.

I+m thinking of setting up the company to Zug. Does anybody know a good truehand in Zug that would provide all documentations in English.

Last edited by jrspet; 29.01.2011 at 22:10.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:38
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Re: Gmbh related questions

Have you tried startups.ch I know they helped me in English but I was starting up in Zürich.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:58
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Re: Gmbh related questions

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Definitely it's an issue if you go sole trader. I've not heard of people with GmbH having issues - except possibly requiring some kind of license required for "body shops".
Usually not an issue as a sole trader IF you go through an agency. IF you contract direct with a single client then it is a risk.

You just have to balance the benefits & costs of using an agency versus setting up a GMBH. Anyway now most big Swiss companies will only contract via agencies for various reasons including the risk that the authorities do not accept you as a sole trader & then the costs can back fire onto your Swiss company client.
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Old 31.01.2011, 13:10
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Re: Gmbh related questions

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Usually not an issue as a sole trader IF you go through an agency. IF you contract direct with a single client then it is a risk...
That is correct. Thank-you for the clarification.
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