Contract in Switzerland

Contracting in Switzerland - FAQ

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in Switzerland? 

5% min of €550 per month.

Only for EU nationals.

How long does it take to get a work permit in Switzerland?

Up to 3 months for B permits. 

What is the estimated net retention in Switzerland for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

Depends on with canton, city and muncipality the candidate works and resides in but a guess etimate would be around 75%.

What is the estimated net retention in Switzerland for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depends on with canton, city and muncipality the candidate works and resides in but a guess etimate would be around 75%.

*doesn’t include fee for work permit or other immigration costs

More questions? See the rest of the FAQ for more information on the Switzerland work permit process

Getting Started

Taking a contract in Switzerland means tackling numerous administrative headaches. Before you even begin working as an independent contractor, there are complicated payroll, tax, and immigration issues to work out.

All this complex admin comes on top of any personal matters you need to sort, as well. Even worse, it can be a huge nuisance when you’re already in Switzerland, trying to adjust to a huge relocation – and a new contract!

Streamlining even a few of these obstacles can dramatically improve your experience.

Luckily, there are ways to simplify more than just a few…

Freelance Switzerland Requirements


One of your first hurdles will be securing the proper work permit. To get one, you usually need an employer to sponsor you. This means they take full responsibility for you while you’re working in the country.

That’s fine for full-time employees, but what about independent contractors?

Many clients won’t offer sponsorship for a temporary worker and, even if they do, you’ll need to apply for a new permit for each new contract. This creates a mountain of paperwork each time you want to work with a new client.

Certain Swiss laws place even more boundaries on contractors; learn more about these regulations and how they can affect contracting in Switzerland.


Additionally, you need to figure out what you owe (if anything) in taxes for your work in Switzerland.

Of course, there’s also your country of tax residency; you’re likely to owe something on that front, too.

You can take advantage of certain tax structures, but doing so requires a strong familiarity with expat tax law in Switzerland.

Benefits of working through an Umbrella Company in Switzerland

You can outsource a lot of these admin problems to specialists at an Umbrella Company (or contractor management company).

An Umbrella Company basically becomes your full-time “employer,” even though you stay in control of your workload, clients, and schedule. The Umbrella Company simply collects and processes your payments, filtering out social security and any necessary fees.

They can also sponsor your work permit, meaning you get to take on new clients without the aggravation of applying for a new permit each time.

Even better, most specialise in tax law for contractors in Switzerland and can ensure you’re keeping the largest amount of your earnings as possible. They can even assist you with reducing your tax liability back home.

In short, you get all the benefits of a working for an employer, without sacrificing your autonomy as a contractor.

How to get started with the right Umbrella Company

There’s a lot of Umbrella Companies out there; finding the right one for you can be daunting.

We’ve done the research on Umbrella Companies in Switzerland, and know how to match contractors with the perfect company. If you’ve already secured a contract, get in touch with us and let us know your situation. We can get you started with the best Umbrella Company for you, or simply offer feedback on contracting in Switzerland.

Oh, and we don’t charge anything. Drop us a line and get free, honest, simple advice.

Send your details for more information

Additional FAQ - work permits & payroll

Only EU nationals on L or B permits.

What is the cost of a Work Permit in Switzerland?

CHF 1000

What documentation is required for a work permit in Switzerland?

Passport, 2 passport photos, certified copies of education certificates, employment contract, police clearance certificate (dependent on nationality).

What is the work permit process in Switzerland?

*update pending

Can you transfer from a business visa to a work permit in Switzerland?


Can we organise a business visa for Switzerland?


How long does it take to process a business visa in Switzerland?


How much does a business visa cost in Switzerland?


Can nationals of certain countries enter Switzerland without a business visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?

Yes nationalities of months first world nations can enter on a Visa Waiver for 90 days.

Depends on the Canton and city but it's around CHF 300 per day.

How does payroll work in Switzerland?

Tax and social security deducted at source by a local company and paid to the local tax authorities

Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping