Even young start-ups sometimes encounter bad luck in their day-to-day work. And mistakes occasionally happen. To ensure they don’t lead to the end of your independence, there are various types of start-up insurance from AXA. The insurance check will show you how you can protect yourself against risks in the start-up phase so that you can concentrate fully on your opportunities.
Regardless of whether there's a fire in the warehouse or coffee on your company laptop, insurance offers protection for the self-employed against risks that could endanger your dream of running your own business. Choosing insurance cover is not about being able to show that you have a certain number of policies. Instead you should think about what risks your young company faces, and which ones you don't want to bear on your own.
Only very few types of insurance are compulsory for start-ups and the self-employed, and these mainly concern insurance for employees. Business owners are free to choose any other kind of insurance cover. Rightly so, as this is how they keep a grip on the greatest risks to their business.
Liquidity gaps in the start-up phase are the most common reason for self-employment to fail. When money is scarce, the room to maneuver also dwindles. Loans continue to run, invoices have to be paid, debt enforcements pile up. Many start-ups only have a limited financial cushion, so it's all the more important to insure yourself against the risk of a lack of liquidity. That’s fine - with the right planning.
If your business stops, it doesn’t earn any money. Insurance companies call this a break in earnings or interrupted productivity. These breaks are among the greatest risks for anyone who is newly self-employed, because if customers have to wait for your delivery or if contracts and agreements are not honored, this usually becomes expensive. We know a great deal about this. As Switzerland’s leading SME insurer, we know what matters when start-ups falter: the ability to start again quickly.
Those becoming self-employed are faced with new questions and decisions on an almost daily basis, from funding and business model to accounting, partnership and new customer acquisition. As a new business owner, you can't know everything, certainly not at the beginning. But the lack of know-how in legal, technical issues or insurance issues can become a problem, as uncertainties are a distraction and take up valuable time, The good news is that you don't have to know everything, but only who can advise you on your questions.
Visibility is an important success factor for your self-employment. Many start-ups underestimate how much work is needed to make others aware of their offer. That's a risk. You need new customers to establish yourself on the market, and you'll only find new customers if you're sufficiently visible. That's why whether it's through networking, online marketing, word of mouth, advertisements or viral posts on social media, you should give your new company the publicity it deserves. At the end of the day, you're good at what you do, and everyone should know about it.
The legal form of your company is crucial when choosing the right pension solution. Owners of sole proprietorships, general or limited partnerships are classified as self-employed. They can take out occupational benefits insurance, but are not obliged to do so. By contrast, owners of a company limited by shares (AG) or a limited liability company (GmbH) are classified as employees of their own company. They are subject to the OPA and are legally obliged to insure themselves and their employees through Pillar 2.
Find out more about pensions and self-employment in our blog entitled "Pensions for the self-employed: What do you really need?».
AXA supports founders with free liquidity planning workshops. Find out what you should bear in mind for planning your liquidity so that you have sufficient financial resources available. And the best thing of all? AXA pays the participation fees for customers who have set up a business in the last 12 months.
AXA is a proud partner of the Swiss Startup Association. It's also worthwhile for you, because at AXA, the self-employed and start-ups benefit from free basic membership with one of the leading networks for founders in Switzerland. Connect with entrepreneurs and investors at events, improve your skills in exciting workshops, and take advantage of political representation and attractive discounts.
Swibeco is the digital platform for staff benefits in Switzerland - it's worth it for you and your team. With Swibeco, you can benefit from discounts from more than 150 top Swiss companies, helping you to save costs. Another plus is that Swibeco is a fixed component of AXA's daily sickness benefits insurance which is why we pay the usage fees for you.
With AXA commercial legal protection insurance, founders benefit from five hours of free legal advice every year from AXA-ARAG lawyers and attorneys. Whether it concerns a change of legal form or tips about problems with the landlord, our experts are a strong partner when you set up, during crises and when you get started with your business.
You can access your company car quickly and easily with an UPTO car subscription. The subscription contains the new car of your choice as well as all maintenance costs (apart from fuel and parking charges). And the best thing of all? UPTO will give new business owners vehicle signage worth CHF 250 which also gets your company noticed when you're out and about.
The legal form you choose determines which types of social insurance are compulsory for new businesses. The compensation offices, and in some cases the Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (Suva), decide who qualifies as self-employed for the purposes of social insurance.
There are different types of social security insurance which include the following:
The most important types of business insurance for new companies include:
Depending on the type of company and sector, many self-employed also choose the following cover:
Self-employed people in Switzerland can’t register with the state unemployment insurance program, so they aren’t insured against unemployment.
Anyone registered as self-employed with the compensation office can withdraw occupational benefits for use as start-up capital. You can also withdraw tax-privileged capital saved in Pillar 3a to invest in your business. Such withdrawals are taxed at a special low rate.
Sole proprietors and partners in a general or limited partnership qualify as self-employed. You need to file your application within a year of becoming self-employed.
Owners of a company limited by shares (AG) or a limited liability company (GmbH) are classed as employees. They aren’t allowed to withdraw money from Pillar 2 or Pillar 3a for their business. This is why, in practice, many people first set up a sole proprietorship, which they then change into an AG or GmbH at a later date.
Whatever your company’s legal form, it’s important to ensure that your insurance solution suits your family’s needs. Self-employed people with no dependents can improve their risk coverage by paying into Pillars 3a and 3b. If you’re living with a partner and have children, you should also pay into an OPA pension as well as save capital in Pillar 3. This will allow you to maintain your whole family’s usual standard of living if you’re unfit for work due to sickness or an accident.