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Switzerland: providing services and travelling for business

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Switzerland: providing services and travelling for business

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Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Switzerland.

The authoritative source for Swiss market regulations is the Swiss government. This guidance links to official Swiss sources wherever possible.

The UK has reached an agreement with the Swiss government which protects the rights of UK workers living in Switzerland, and of service providers with existing contracts.

Trade and services regulations in Switzerland

If you are a UK business providing services in Switzerland, you will need to follow Swiss regulations about:

  • getting an authorisation or licence to provide a service
  • complying with local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

You may benefit from the part of the Swiss Citizensí Rights Agreement which deals with service provision. This applies to service provision contracts that have been agreed and where implementation started before 1 January 2021.

Services Mobility Agreement

You may benefit from the Services Mobility Agreement ( SMA) which allows UK professionals to provide services in Switzerland for up to 90 days without a work permit.

The SMA also establishes a working group, through which the UK and Switzerland aim to develop a comprehensive agreement on the recognition of professional qualifications for service suppliers working in each otherís markets.

Ownership of companies registered in Switzerland

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Switzerland.

UK legal professionals who have investments in law firms in Switzerland should contact the Swiss Bar Association for information on implications on those investments.

Business travel and entry requirements

Check our travel to Switzerland for work guide for detailed information on:

  • types of visa and work permits available
  • exemptions that may apply to you or the activity

The State Secretariat for Migration website has more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Social security payments for employees

Recognition of professional qualifications

The Swiss Citizensí Rights Agreement includes specific arrangements for the recognition of professional qualifications held by Swiss nationals and UK nationals.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Switzerland, look at ENIC, the information centre for the academic and professional recognition of qualifications.

You can also contact UK NARIC, the national information centre for professional qualifications.

See also the Services Mobility Agreement which aims to develop a comprehensive agreement on the recognition of professional qualifications for service suppliers working in each otherís markets.

UK statutory auditors working in Switzerland

If you are a UK statutory auditor working in Switzerland, your access to the audit profession has not changed.

UK lawyers working in Switzerland

If you are a UK-qualified lawyer registered and working in Switzerland on a permanent basis, and under a UK title, you can continue to practise while you remain registered in Switzerland.

If you are not registered in Switzerland, UK-qualified lawyers have 4 years from 1 January 2021 to register or to start the application to register, to permanently work under a UK professional title, or to transfer or to start the process of transferring to a Swiss professional title.

If you are a UK-qualified lawyer who transferred to a Swiss-professional title before 1 January 2021, this transfer will be recognised while you remain registered in Switzerland.

If you are practising in Switzerland under an EU qualification and professional title, you should contact your local regulator for specific advice.

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