Questions to translators based in Switzerland
Thread poster: Muriel Delestre

Muriel Delestre
Local time: 15:06
German to French
+ ...
Nov 8, 2004

Good morning,

I have moved to Switzerland about three months ago (I'm from France) and I am thinking about working as a freelance translator from German or English into French.

Can anyone tell me what I have to do in order to be okay with the authorities ? How about VAT within Switzerland / with European countries ?

Please also feel free to give me advice or to let me know anything you think I might find useful.

Many thanks in advance for your help!


Giuliana Criscuolo-Bruce
Local time: 14:06
English to Italian
+ ...
Contact ASTTI Nov 8, 2004

Hi Muriel,
have you tried to contact ASTTI (Swiss Association of Translators and Interpreters member of FIT –
It is a small organization, but it has good credentials, and it is a good professional body to belong to. I am a member, and find their activities and seminars well organized and interesting.
I cannot help you on the burocratic side of things, because I now live and work in the UK, and when I lived in Switzerland I was not actually freelancing.
Good luck


ibz  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:06
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Call the AHV (age and disability insurance) Nov 8, 2004

Hi Muriel

If you want to work as a freelancer in Switzerland, you need the approval of the AHV (age and disability insurance). Years ago, you were asked to send in three or four invoices so that they could see if you were freelancing or not. I don't know if this is still the way it works and if this also applies to non-Swiss people. Have a look at

As to the VAT: If you have an annual turnover of more than 75,000 CHF, you need a VAT number and are required to pay VAT. If your turnover amounts to at least 40,000 CHF, you can also apply for a VAT number but you are not required to do so (also see

If you have further questions, feel free to contact me.
Good luck


Muriel Delestre
Local time: 15:06
German to French
+ ...
Thank you very much... Nov 13, 2004

... Giuliana and Irene for your helpful tips. I have contacted the ASTTI and they should send me more information per mail.

I wish you both a nice weekend!



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Questions to translators based in Switzerland

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