How can I pay wages or fees?
You are allowed to charge yourself or others money for your work with the participatory budget. It's important to note that you can't just transfer the money to an account - if you don't pay social security contributions and taxes, you would otherwise be working illegally. But there are several ways to do it legally:
Employment through a local organization
The easiest option is to be employed by a local organization (association/foundation/cooperative/company) that already employs other people and therefore has an employment administration anyway. You can transfer the salary part of your project budget to such an organization (against invoice) and they will settle insurances & co. for you, create a salary statement and pay you a corresponding salary. This will be a bit lower than what you have budgeted for wages - just because taxes are deducted - but it is legal and you are covered. If you know in advance which organization you want to work with, you can enter the idea in the name of the organization. The city order will then be entered in the name of the organization and you do not have to transfer the money to the organization first.
If you do not find such an organization, you can approach a payrolling provider. Payrolling means that you are employed by a company that specializes in "just" employing people and can take care of all the payroll process for you.
If you don't want to pay a real salary for the work done on the project (by yourself and others), but only want to "reward" it in a small, quasi-symbolic way, you don't have to worry about salary administration. Small pocket money, for example, can simply be paid out as a lump sum for expenses (i.e. to compensate for travel, meals, cell phone costs, etc.). Or you can invite all participants to a large dinner at the end of the project and/or give everyone a generous gift as a thank you - for example a case of wine or the drill that was bought especially for the construction of the project and is no longer needed.
Of course, you can also register as a self-employed person, i.e. set up a so-called "sole proprietorship". To do this, you must register with the SVA Zurich for self-employment: Link to the registration form. The SVA will then inform you whether you are recognized as self-employed.
But be careful, this is not easy: only if you can show several self-employed jobs in a similar field, your registration has a chance. As a self-employed person, you must then take care of the wage processing yourself. Below we have summarized the most important points regarding self-employment:
Do I have to pay social security contributions as a self-employed person?
- Yes, after successful registration as a self-employed person you will receive invoices from the SVA for these contributions - as a percentage of your income.
- If the total income of your self-employed activities is less than 2,300 CHF, you do not have to pay social security contributions or only at your request. The condition for this is that you carry out the activity on the side and that your main employer pays social security contributions for you.
Do I have to take out accident insurance?
- If you are employed by an external employer for at least 8 hours per week (and also as a non-self-employed person!), you are automatically insured against occupational and non-occupational accidents; if you do not have a corresponding permanent position, you must also take out accident insurance with your health insurance company.
- In order to receive financial compensation as a self-employed person for the time you are unable to work due to an accident or illness, you can also take out daily sickness benefits insurance.
What taxes do I have to pay?
- You have to pay taxes on your salary as income from the first franc.
- You are probably exempt from VAT: You are only liable to pay VAT if you achieve an annual turnover of at least CHF 100,000 as a sole proprietor.
Do I need an entry in the commercial register?
- Probably not, because no entry in the commercial register is required by those who establish a sole proprietorship (this can be done informally) and neither achieve an annual turnover of more than 100,000 CHF nor conduct a business in a commercial manner.
- However, If you have many projects, you should gather further information on the subject.
You can find more information here: