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Old 16.02.2012, 19:46
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Sole Trader or not ?

Hi

This is a great thread, not sure it all applies to my current situation or not but its stating to make sense.

I currently work fulltime in the UK as a PAYE employe for a lighting company. The work has taken me all over Europe and we regularly use freelance lighting engineers.

My longterm Girfriend has got a job at an international school in Zug so we will both be moving to Zug in August. If we were married I belive I would automatically get a B permit as a dependant. As we are not married I have toget any permits on my own merits. I have been weighing up the options open to be. The simplist option would be to get a full time job offer and then apply for a permit.

I have also been considering going freelance and getting work in Switzerland and around europe and back in the UK from my old employers and other companies I know.

From what I have read I would be best to be a sole-trader, (as many of the freelancers I know in the UK operate this way) but I am unsure if I could get a residency permit by saying thats what I was going to do.

1) can anyone offer any advice on moving to CH to start being self employed for the first time

2) I have been sent a form (SE1) that look like it is an aplication for permit if you are self employed but that seems to me to imply you already have a business in CH or maybe you are setting up a company.

3) can anyone tell me the rules regarding tax liablity etc for how many days I can work outside CH and not be liable for tax in another country. I.E. working for 3 weeks back in the UK, but still invoicing from CH

Many thanks,
James
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Old 16.02.2012, 20:26
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Re: Sole Trader or not ?

1. My brother did that. You need to register as self-employed with the SVA who will issue a binding decision on whether they deem you to be such, and you need to take out health insurance. It's probably also best to register your Einzelfirma with the Handelsregisteramt although, legally, you don't need to do so unless your annual turnover is CH 100k or more. If you are coming from outside the country this will aid your case. Then take all this paperwork to your Gemeinde and you should get your permit. Worst case an L until you prove turnover, best case a 5-year B

2. Can't help, don't know that form off the top of my head

3. Technically this probably depends on the laws on tax residency in each country you work in. In practice the only place you're likely to have an issue with initially is the UK as you will start off in a transitional year and you have to have been out of the UK over an entire tax year before you have any chance of not doing a UK tax return (or even then - it's not as easy as it was, by all accounts)
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Old 16.02.2012, 20:33
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Re: Sole Trader or not ?

If I did a days work for a UK company in the UK but invoice from CH am I liable for tax in th UK?
What if I did a days work for a UK company in Germany but invoiced from CH?
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Old 16.02.2012, 21:00
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Re: Sole Trader or not ?

It's never as simple as that with HMRC! It's usually about where you physically are and for how long - and that's before you even consider double taxation treaties
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