Categorized | Find Employment, Legal, Procedures

Working in Switzerland as an Independent

Posted on 23 May 2007 by info

For foreign nationals seeking to find a job and establish themselves professionally in Switzerland, one can avoid potential obstacles by preparing the relevant documents and applications a few months before finishing one’s studies.

It is also possible to set up one’s own company (‘société’ anonyme’). For a salaried activity that is fewer than 3 months, one need only register at the ODM (Office fédéral de la migration) — see – and fill out the application found on their website. For a salaried position longer than 3 months, one needs to contact the Office de la population in the canton where one intends to live, and they will indicate the documents which need to be presented in order to legally work in Switzerland.

In general, these are the employment contract, a copy of your passport, and a few photographs. For nationals of non-European countries, a letter describing the job or professional activity you will be doing as well as a resume of your skills and experience should additionally be made available to the commune where you will be residing.

This process comes after having looked for employment in Switzerland, perhaps through the numerous recruitment websites or employment agencies publishing job offers for work in Switzerland in the major sectors of the Swiss economy, like banking, finance, trading, the luxury industry, pharmaceuticals, hotel and tourism, or other branches.

One can go directly to the commune where you will be domiciled with the employment contract, a curriculum vitae, a copy of your passport, copies of your diplomas, passport photos, and the cantonal application filled out. Sometimes the authorities will ask for a copy of your police record (which should be empty, obviously).

One does not have to find a job in Switzerland if one has the wherewithal to create one’s own employment. If you want to set up your own Swiss company (in which you must be a salaried employee), the documents which will be required are:

1.a letter describing your skills and experience for the Office de la population
2. a business plan, which must contain the financial aspects related to the consitution of an SA (société anonyme) with a minimum capital of CHF 100′000.
3.any relevant elements relating to intellectual property
4.a governing board or administrative council, conformant to the legal requirements of domicile and nationality. See :;
5.the project hould have some economic interest for the canton ;
6.copies of passeport, employment contract, diplomas, passport photos
7. the cantonal application filled out.

For EU nationals ONLY, the procedure for obtaining a residence permit for engaging in an independent professional activity is simplified : One needs only:
1.copy of passport,
2.letter describing the professional activity you will be engaging in;
3.a copy of the dimploma, where relevant, necessary to work in such a professional field.
4.the filled-out application for the Canton;
5. a dcument from the Social Security authorities (caisse compensation AVS) stating that you are affiliated as an independent and will be paying your own social security.

Finally, for a permanent residency (after 6 months), the independent professional from the EU working in Switzerland, will need to proivde :
1. his accounts which prove that he is effectively functioning as an independent professional ;
2.the relevant documents proving the creation of a company or juridic structure.
Consult the ODM (Office fédéral de la migration) :
or the Canton de Vaud Site Employment Office for more information.

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