Consultancy Agreement

We will enter into a project-based or service agreement with you as a consultant (contractor). As a contractor, you will invoice us via the company (GmbH or AG located in Switzerland) which employs you. Your hourly rate will be billed to us plus 7.7% VAT. This contract arrangement is not available for every customer project.

As a freelancer and national of an EU/EFTA member state, you have the right to offer your services for up to 90 days in Switzerland without obtaining a work permit. There is only one (preliminary) registration required for jobs lasting 8 days or longer. As long as you have the (Form A1) from your country of domicile and can produce confirmation that you are paying social insurance contributions to that state, you will remain signed up with your national insurance system.

If you provide services for 90 days or longer in Switzerland, you will need to apply for Swiss residence and work permits ( Form D1 ). These permits have been subject to quotas since autumn 2014, which means that they are not automatic and the number of permits allowed is limited in each canton. With the goal of preventing people who are actually employees being treated as contractors, the Swiss government has issued relatively high requirements for someone to claim freelance or self-employed status. The following documents are helpful for proving your freelance status to the Swiss authorities:

  • registration in a professional or trade register as a self-employed person;
  • number of clients (working part-time for several clients);
  • availability of your own materials and office space;
  • having the trappings of being in business (advertising, letterhead, website);
  • your own VAT number;
  • full debtor risk.

Experience shows that many (foreign) freelancers cannot meet these strict requirements. For this reason, a consultancy agreement can only be signed when the freelancer creates his or her own AG, GmbH or branch in Switzerland. Alternatively, there is the option of being assigned as a temporary employee to the customer (see below).

Temporary Employees

As a former freelancer or employee, you will be employed by us at an hourly or monthly wage. We will then assign you to work temporarily for the customer. With this arrangement, you will be forced as an employee into participating in mandatory Swiss social insurance. GHR calculates the hourly rate charged to the customer as follows Example:

(Trade pension plan + withholding tax not included)

Deductions:

The employer and employee contributions to social insurance are calculated as follows:
ContributionEmployerEmployee
AHV/IV/EO/FAK 7.5000% 5.2750%
ALV 1 1.1000% 1.1000%
ALV 2 0.5000% 0.5000%
BU 0.0768% -
BUE 0.0048% -
BUZ 0.1011% -
NBU - 0.8500%
NBUE - 0.0112%
NBUZ - 0.2359%
KTG 1.4785% 1.4785%
BVG Fixed amount depending on wage and age Fixed amount depending on wage and age
Withholding tax - Depends on withholding tax rate of the respective canton
Old age and survivors' insurance (1st column pension)
Occupational and personal accident insurance
Short-term disability insurance
Occupational pension (2nd column pension)

Stand January 2020 (Rates subject to change)

© GHR Global Human Resources AG 2020