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Old 16.08.2009, 14:19
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UK/Swiss Company (LTD to GmbH) Help Needed

I followed this thread with interest. I have a slighly different issue that I would appreciate help with. I have a Ltd company in the UK which employs me. I am currently consulting in Switzerland and from what I understand I can only do this for 90 days before having to become an employee of a GMBH. If this is the case then I would like to set up a GMBH and get someone to run it for me as a service. Are there any accountants in English Forum that can do this kind of thing for me as well as confirm the 90 day rule?
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Old 16.08.2009, 15:12
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Re: UK/Swiss Company (LTD to GmbH) Help Needed

Will you be resident in Switzerland?
  • Yes? You can be the sole owner. You need back-office support for taxes, VAT, social security, pensions, etc.
  • No? You need a resident co-owner, who can do all of the above, too.
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Old 16.08.2009, 18:13
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Re: UK/Swiss Company (LTD to GmbH) Help Needed

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I followed this thread with interest. I have a slighly different issue that I would appreciate help with. I have a Ltd company in the UK which employs me. I am currently consulting in Switzerland and from what I understand I can only do this for 90 days before having to become an employee of a GMBH. If this is the case then I would like to set up a GMBH and get someone to run it for me as a service. Are there any accountants in English Forum that can do this kind of thing for me as well as confirm the 90 day rule?
Hi There,

Yes it is correct that you will need to apply for a work permit, if you are going to be working here for longer than 90 days in one 12 month period. Depending on you long term objectives, you have a few options:

- If you are going to be here only for a few extra months then your UK company could apply for the permit for you.

- If you are going to be around for a few years or so your UK company could establish a branch office (without registration) and employee you here

- Set up a Swiss company if you are going to be here for the really long term.

Another option, and one I would strongly recommend is to work via a Swiss agency. This option involves the least amount of red tape and most importantly it ensures that you will qualify for unemployment benefit once you have been worked for the required period.

I know contractors hate the agencies, but as an accountant and one who has contracted over here for well over 15 years I can say that when you take everything into account there really is not such a big difference in the end. And most importantly going via an agent means that you are sure of getting unemployment and loss of income insurance.

Good luck with that,

Jim
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Old 16.08.2009, 20:12
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Re: UK/Swiss Company (LTD to GmbH) Help Needed

Thanks for all the helpful tips - it is much appreciated.

The reason for my initial question is that I have been convinced by everyone I have spoken to so far that, including your advice, that I have to convert to becoming an employee on a Swiss GMBH after working 90 days in Switzerland using your UK Ltd Company.

The bit that I was not totally sure about was if my assigment was based around deliverables (which it could easily be) and not just Consultancy day rate recharging, would that make a difference?

I also have employees of my UK Consultancy operation that will be joining me in the coming few months and will be working here for about a year, or longer. They are likely to be commuting so that they can go back to the UK at weekends. So I have the hassle of taking them out of my UK Payroll arrangements and putting them into a Swiss GMBH.

I take it there is no other way around this challenge of having to transfer to a Swiss GMBH after 90 days? Does anyone know how big Consultancies like Deloitte or KMPG deal with this? I can't imagine that if they have a London based employee who is getting sent to Zurich for 6 months to do some audit for a Multinational that they end up taking them out of their UK Payroll after 90 days and put them into a Swiss GMBH for couple of months and then transfer them back to the UK Payroll. It all sounds a bit clumsy, not least from a tax return perspective - however this might actually be what happens!!!

To make things more confusing, I was at a Barbeque last night and spoke to a Contractor for a big Finance House who said he was been working out of his UK Ltd Company as a traditional contractor for the past 4 years without issue and the Swiss authorities are also happy with this (he just fills in his Swiss Tax return with Zeros)!!!!!

Any thoughts or insights on the above gratefully received!

Also, anyone know of a good accountant that I can use for exploring more complex issues like this, as I am sure the above situation is going to through up other peculiarities like offsetting travel costs against Swiss tax etc?
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