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Renato Stalder, CEO Klara Business, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #30 - Renato Stalder: Financial Advice For Early Stage Startups

Renato Stalder

July 17, 2019

1:53 – What mistakes do Swiss Startups make repeatedly regarding their finances?
4:11 – When should you decide to hand your accounting to someone else?
16:05 – Insurances, deductions and fees to take into account
34:06- What to do when a customer doesn’t pay the invoice
44:05 – Where to find the right financial partners

The Episode In 60 Seconds

When it comes to finances, the mantra is “never procrastinate”. Here are the most important points to start off on the right foot:

VAT (Value added tax)

  • VAT is a self-declaration tax, meaning you will not get a declaration form but have to submit it yourself on a quarterly basis.
  • You have to pay VAT if your business generates more than 100k in revenue for the entire year.
  • If you import software from abroad, you have to declare VAT as if you imported goods.

Be aware of mandatory fees and deductions

  • Mandatory fees: old-age pension (first pillar/ AHV), accident insurance (UVG), family allocation (EO), 2nd pillar (BVG) if you earn above 20k, unemployment insurance (ALV).
  • Non-mandatory but recommendable: insurance for salary payments in case of sickness (Krankentaggeld-Versicherung). The insurance covers the employees salary after a certain time on sick leave (usually 60 days).


  • Always invoice as fast as possible.
  • 30 days payment period is customary but not mandatory.
  • Try to inquire with the customer about the problem first before you consider debt collection in case of an outstanding payment.
  • Pay your own bills at the end of the payment period.

Accounting costs and tools

  • Try to do as much as possible by yourself and then get feedback from an accountant.
  • Use a good software tool and choose a bank that integrates with it (for software tools you can check this list).
  • A year-end review of your work by an accountant should cost something in the range of 1.5 to 4k.
  • If you employ more than 10 people, you have to undergo an external audit which will cost you another 1.5 – 2k.

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