At Swissroll in Neuchâtel we receive plenty of inquiries from people living in Switzerland, or about to move to Switzerland, about working remotely. This is often with regard to an employer that is not based in Switzerland.

The acronym “ANobAG” is often mentioned. Enquirers have often read about it somewhere, without really knowing in detail what it means, or what the conditions of engagement under this scheme are.

To avoid confusion and provide you a clear overview of what solutions are available for working remotely from Switzerland – this bulletin is for your benefit and enjoyment!

Working remotely from Switzerland – What are the options?

Assuming you are a skilled specialist wanting to work remotely for a foreign employer (and have the right to live and work in Switzerland), there are two questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Does the foreign based company want to employ me directly? Or can I work for them as a contractor?
  2. Is the foreign based company located in the EU/EFTA area or is it in a so-called “Third Country“?

For contractors, knowing where the client company is located and how they wish to engage with you is a key step to begin!

  • Some assignments require that the worker is engaged as a direct employee (e.g. because of signatory rights when in a senior position, or for company branding, or as part of an HR policy).
  • It is a good idea for you to find out which company branch will engage you. Sometimes a company in a third country interested in engaging you may have a branch office in the EU/EFTA area. This can affect your negotiations regarding compensation and social contributions.

Having the above answered you can consider which of the following approaches is best for your situation:

  1. EOR
    EOR or “Employer of Record” is a service for companies who engage workers as contractors. Under this approach a Swiss based company employs you and leases you as an employee to the foreign client company. This indirect employment model is also referred to as “Labour Leasing”.
  1. ANobAG
    ANobAG is a German acronym meaning an “employee not having an employer liable to pay social contributions in Switzerland”. The ANobAG model is recommended for those client companies that wish to employ their workers directly, and not engage them as contractors. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach which we cover below.



The budget

For employers engaging a worker based remotely from Switzerland, it is important to establish the total budget for the job role. This will include basic salary + social contributions + any bonus payments.

  • For companies based in the EU/EFTA area a bilateral agreement applies between Switzerland and the EU regarding social security obligations, which determines how social security premiums are paid.
  • For companies located outside the EU/EFTA area there may be a bilateral social security agreement in place between Switzerland and the country where the company is domiciled.

Choices should reflect hopes not fears!

The question as to what model to use (EOR vs ANobAG) typically depends upon the expectations of the employer. However it pays for both parties to understand the ins and outs of each model before arriving at a decision…

Employer of Record (EOR)
For the client company
: EOR takes the risk out of international employment. Topics such as compliance, payroll, benefits, general HR administration, tax and social security compliance are all handled by the Swiss Employer of Record. In Switzerland, a company offering EOR services, must be licensed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Swissroll is SECO licensed and our team is equipped to manage both EOR and ANobAG enquiries.

  • An Employer of Record employs the worker on behalf of the (foreign) client  company. This means the client company can engage people in Switzerland without having to establish its own entity here. This task should not be underestimated as it can cost thousands to achieve and take up a lot of time!
  • The Employer of Record assumes all employment risk for the foreign company. The Client company has no tax exposure due to the employment in Switzerland.
  • Note: under EOR, certain positions must be advertised to the open market first and depending on the role, so-called GAV or Collective Labour Agreement guidelines including salary have to adhered to. Swissroll offers this check as part of our EOR service.

For the worker: you sign an employment agreement with the Employer of Record which details rates and conditions agreed. You have a Swiss employment contract and will be paying into – and protected by, all the Swiss social instruments. These include pensions (Pillar 1 +2), accident, sick pay and unemployment insurances, and protection.

How much does the EOR service cost?

  • The cost of the EOR service varies depending on a number of factors; not least, who is providing the service. Some things to look out for when selecting a provider are:
  • Is the EOR provider SECO licensed, or does some other organisation act as the license holder on their behalf ? This will affect pricing and in certain cases the legality of the leasing structure.
  • Does the EOR provider charge for consulting advice to answer all the initial or ongoing questions?
  • Does the EOR offer include ongoing personal contact or are they hiding behind a “webshop” with no real support?

Beware of EOR providers offering a low headline price. Switzerland is expensive and administration costs are no exception. Providers offering a low headline price, usually don’t offer an all inclusive service and significant extra costs can be expected.



The ANobAG scheme enables the client company to employ the Swiss based employee directly.

  • The job vacancy does not have to be advertised openly in Switzerland, and there are no wage constraints. However, as with the EOR approach, Swiss employment and privacy laws apply.
  • Any offer of share options or similar benefits as part of the compensation package, are usually straightforward due to the direct employment relationship.
  • The employee is 100% responsible for setting up and managing the regular social premiums and their payment. Swissroll can support you with this administration (see below: a la carte services).
  • You need to negotiate with the client company that it pays for the employer part of the social deductions.

Swissroll offers workers a set of  “A la carte” ANobAG services. As much or as little as you require!

  • We can help with the ANobAG administration and compliance – where we contact, negotiate and organise all the insurance, pension, and other obligatory social deductions on your behalf.
  • We can also calculate monthly payrolls, provide official annual declarations, check resulting premium bills and insurance claims, to ensure that both you and your foreign employer do not incur any risk.
  • if necessary we can manage all required payments of net salary, premiums and taxes. All major currencies are supported.

The Process

After the location of the client company has been established and the general view of the company management with regards to whether they want to employ you, or engage you as a contractor, you can contact an employment services company for detailed advice and a financial forecast. At Swissroll, there are a few simple steps to note:

  1. Once you have agreed the basic terms and conditions with the client, we can model the solution that best fits the needs of the employment relationship.
  2. After the initial complimentary consultation, we agree on the preferred model and sign a work scope document. This details terms and conditions and payment rates as well as implementation process.
  3. We provide progress updates at agreed intervals using the preferred communication channels.
  4. Once the agreed solution is successfully implemented, we offer ongoing support included in our all inclusive fee. (We don’t offer visa application support but can help with the permit administration).

In Summary

Selecting the correct model when wanting to work remotely requires a clear understanding of the location of the client company and their preferred engagement strategy. There are two models available:  EOR or ANobAG and each one offers different advantages.  At Swissroll our team of experts can advise on which model is best suited for the client company and worker. We look forward to your contact!

Swissroll GmbH was founded over 20 years ago. During this time our team of experts has worked with hundreds of companies and literally thousands of contractors. Beyond our core function of payroll management, we offer advice to workers about which engagement model best suits theirs, and the clients needs. This includes giving advice in French, German and English. Call or contact us now on: