What exactly is "employment"? Does running my own limited liability company (GmbH or similar) constitute "employment"?

I am asking this because my (Swiss) employment contract (which I am about to sign) forbids "any other remunerated employment". Is it then OK to (at the same time) form a company and serve another client(s), provided that all the other clauses and ethical rules are met, e.g. I am not entering into direct competition, trading business secrets etc.?

Thank you

UPDATE (1): OK thank you for your answers and hints so far. If we just remove this clause from the contract, would it then be OK to run a company and serve (for pay) other client(s) (provided that all the other clauses and ethical rules are met)? Or is this prohibited by default (where?), and hence must be explicitly allowed?

UPDATE (2): the employment contract in question is part-time.

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    I think you know the answer which is why you're asking us and not your employer. Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 14:04
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    It's technically legal to serve them for free, but that doesn't seem to be the intention here. Any contract of service for pay is likely to fall under this clause, unless explicitly excluded
    – Therac
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 15:08
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    I don't suppose the tax inspector will be inclined to believe that you set up a limited company, for no reward. Why would this employer? You've also mentioned "serve another client(s)," is that forbidden too? It won't just be about secrets or money: your employer won't want your attention diluted either, but expects your full potential. Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 15:47
  • Is your limited liability company going to be paying you a salary?
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 16:07
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    I think these comments illustrate why it's ill-advised to seek legal advice from whoever happens to be on the Internet message board you've come to. None of these comments appears to have any connection to actual Swiss law; instead, they merely reflect the commenters' biases in terms of an employee's obligations to an employer. Do yourself a favor and either ask the employer what they understand the language to mean, or ask an actual lawyer to interpret the agreement for you.
    – bdb484
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


Your own limited company will at the very least have a company director (you) which is most likely employed.


Answer to updated question.

It is legal to have to jobs, or a job plus your own company, in Switzerland.

This should be known to both employers to prevent them being in violation of labor laws.

Thus, the most non-controversial course of action is to negotiate this clause out of the contract, disclose your private practice, and ask what if anything is needed to comply.

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