Rendering Management Consultancy Services In Switzerland



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Both as a Swiss company purchasing management consultancy services from abroad and as a foreign company providing services in Switzerland, numerous legal issues must be taken into account.
Switzerland Employment and HR
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Both as a Swiss company purchasing management consultancy services from abroad and as a foreign company providing services in Switzerland, numerous legal issues must be taken into account.

In daily practice, we see that decisions are made based on information available (often free of charge) on the Internet. This includes the question of whether a work permit is required, what should be considered about social security, and whether taxes are payable in the country of assignment. It is not always easy to find the right answers to these questions. This is because some of this freely accessible information is now out of date and no longer corresponds to current case law. At first glance, these issues often appear to be identical, but in practice, it often turns out (unfortunately often in retrospect and too late) that they differ significantly in (sometimes decisive) individual points.

This concrete example from our daily practice is intended to help you understand the complexity and the various aspects to be considered in such a cross-border provision of services. We would like to sensitise you to possible pitfalls so that you can rule out potential legal difficulties as early as possible in the run-up to such a project.


Advice AG, based in Munich (Germany), has acquired a new client Swiss Insurance AG in Zurich (Switzerland). The contract negotiations are to be finalised next week. The contract is to be valid for 12 months and requires 2 employees to come to Switzerland in the first 4 weeks and then probably 5 to 8 employees.

Advice AG does not have a branch in Switzerland but does have subsidiaries in France, Italy, the UK, and the USA.

The contract between Swiss Insurance AG and Advice AG stipulates that Advice AG must ensure that all legal regulations are complied with when deploying foreign advisors in Switzerland.

Which regulations must be taken into account?

Advice AG must consider the following issues when sending its employees to Switzerland:

  1. Work permit
  • Is a work permit already required for the contract negotiations on-site in Switzerland?
  • What type of work permit do the employees who will subsequently provide the consultancy services on-site require?
  • If employees do not have EU citizenship, can they still obtain a work permit in Switzerland?
  1. Employment contract / Assignment contract: Do the employees need an addendum to the employment contract or an assignment contract for the assignment in Switzerland?
  1. Labour law:
    • What are the relevant mandatory labour law provisions in Switzerland that need to be taken into account?
    • Or can German law simply continue to be applied?
  1. Salary:
    • The Swiss salary level is generally higher than the German salary level, is there anything to consider here?
    • If the Swiss salary level is adhered to, how can this be calculated correctly?
    • This aspect should be considered during contract negotiations because if a higher salary has to be paid to employees, this will ultimately increase Advice AG's costs.
  1. Expenses: Are there any other costs or expenses relating to the deployment of employees that Advice AG is obliged to pay?
  1. Accommodation: Do employees have to rent a flat in Switzerland or can they also stay in a hotel or a flat hotel?
  1. Social security:
    • Can the employees remain insured under the German or their other foreign social security system?

Are there any formalities or legal requirements to be taken into account?

  1. Taxes:
    • Do employees still have to pay their income tax in Germany or can they benefit from the lower Swiss taxes?
    • What is the case for employees from non-EU branches in the UK and the USA, for example?
    • If the salary is taxable in Switzerland, does Advice AG, as a foreign employer, have to pay taxes for the employees in Switzerland?
  1. Tax Equalisation: If the employees become taxable in Switzerland, can they benefit directly from this? The Tax Equalisation Guideline of Advice AG should be consulted to determine which type of tax equalization applies.
  1. Payroll: Does Advice AG have to keep payroll accounting in Switzerland?

Advice AG must find the right answers to these issues and questions for its company and its employees. Depending on the home country (in this case, for example, DE, FR, IT, UK, USA) of the employee assigned to the project in Switzerland, the applicable laws and any bilateral agreements must also be taken into account in advance.


The various issues must be viewed as a whole because depending on changes to individual aspects, this can also have an impact on other subject areas.

You can find all the answers to the above questions in our March monthly special.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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