Becoming a freelancer in Switzerland in 2024

Becoming a freelancer in Switzerland in 2024
Discover our guide to becoming self-employed in Switzerland in 2024. Explanations, administrative procedures, checklists and much more.

Table of contents

Becoming self-employed in Switzerland: the essentials

Becoming self-employed in Switzerland: the essentials

What is an independent?

In Switzerland, a self-employed person is an individual working self-employed and in his own name. A worker is generally considered self-employed when he or she has a sole proprietorship. It manages the organization and management of his company as he sees fit.

Who can become self-employed in Switzerland?

The following workers can become self-employed:

Cross-border commuters with work permit G or the Swiss abroad can also become independent under certain conditions.

What's more, some professions are regulated and therefore require specific qualificationsThese include dentists, nurses, doctors, dieticians, psychologists, pharmacists, etc. The list of regulated activities in Switzerland can be found on the Swiss Confederation website.

How can I become self-employed in Switzerland?

To become self-employed in Switzerland, you'll need to follow a number of steps, depending on your situation.

1. Choice of company name

The first step in obtaining self-employed status in Switzerland is to choose a name - also known as a company name.

The company name can be freely chosen and may include additions such as the field of activity or fanciful designations. However, the surname and first name (optional) must appear in the company name.

For example, a sole proprietorship could be called "Dupont Conseil", or "Conseils et développement RH, Dupont". In all cases, you can check the availability of the chosen company name in the ZEFIX register (Central Index of Trade Reasons).

2. Entry in the Commercial Register

The second step in obtaining self-employed status in Switzerland is to register with the Commercial Register of your canton with the chosen company name. Please note that this step is optionalbut highly recommended.

Registration is mandatory when the activity is carried out in the commercial formand when annual sales exceed CHF 100,000.

For liberal professions andagricultureregistration is optional (art. 931 ORC).

3. Social insurance registration

A crucial step in obtaining your self-employed status is registering for social insurance. It is imperative that you register your new status with your employer's social security office. compensation fundwho will have the power to accept or refuse your request.

To do this, you'll need to provide proof of your activity, in order to justify that you are indeed self-employed, and complete the AVS form.

Then, various evidence will be requested, such as:

The list is not exhaustive, as otherother evidence may be requested, such as a website, business cards, a professional e-mail address, a business plan, etc.

In order to ensure that you receive your social security benefits as quickly as possible, you need to take the necessary steps as soon as possible.

4. Take out the necessary insurance

In addition to compulsory LAA (accident insurance) and LPP (occupational pension plan) insurance, other types of insurance are optional, but in certain cases or professions, it is advisable to take out them to protect yourself against the main risks to which you could be exposed:

5. VAT registration

VAT registration is optional for freelancers making a sales less than CHF 100,000. You can still register on a voluntary basis.

To register, please fill in the online form available on the FCA website. You will need to fill in the details of your company available in the Trade Register, such as: IDE number, certificate of registration, company nameetc.

Why become self-employed in Switzerland?

The advantages of being independent

Self-employed people in Switzerland enjoy a number of advantages. Firstly, the Swiss tax system is one of the most advantageous in the world, with low tax rates. tax rates relatively bottom. Moreover, self-employed workers are not subject to the double taxation (taxation of the company and the entrepreneur).

Other benefits include creation costs andadministration very low. To register a sole proprietorship in the Commercial Register, the following are required administrative procedures are rather low. In addition, the contractor can keep a simplified accounting with just its income and expenses.

The disadvantages of being independent

The main disadvantage of self-employment in Switzerland is its unlimited liability. In other words responds to debts of his company with his personal assets, as there is no distinction between the two (a sole proprietorship cannot exist without its founder).

In addition, the sole proprietorship may not be transferred to a third party or transformed into a company. SA or Sàrl.