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Smart – the coop for freelancers

A new way of working as a freelancer or collective

As a member of the Smart cooperative, you work flexibly with your clients as usual, and you are employed by the cooperative. As an employee, you benefit from public health, pension and unemployment insurance. Your salary is based on the orders you process through the cooperative. You have a constant income, even if things don’t go so well. This gives you social security and stability for now and the future!

Here’s how it works in detail

You are employed by the cooperative – full or part-time, with a Mini-Job or subject to social security contributions. You no longer invoice your clients. Smart takes care of this for you. Smart’s administration team is responsible for sending payment reminders and other bureaucratic matters, leaving you more time for the essentials! As your employer, Smart handles the punctual payment of your monthly salary and the deduction of social security contributions and income tax. You are also automatically covered by accident and liability insurance.

A model based on solidarity

As a member of Smart you are part of the revival of the cooperative idea in Europe. Smart Germany is part of a European network with a total of over 100,000 members in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands. As a member of Smart in Germany, you share services, infrastructure and costs in a spirit of solidarity and can actively participate in determining how the cooperative develops. Smart has over 750 members from many different sectors throughout Germany: Business consultancy, creative and cultural industries, education, IT and software and many more.

Become part of an innovative shared company!

To learn more, sign up for one of our weekly online info sessions.

 

Smart was mentioned in:

Creative City Berlin Magazin: “Wir wollen die soziale Absicherung von Selbstständigen verbessern.”
IT Freelancer Magazin: “Freelancer-Genossenschaft mit interessantem Geschäftsmodell”
ver.di – Menschen Machen Medien: “Smarter Wechsel”
Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH: “Als Unternehmer:in angestellt – die bessere Alternative zur Selbstständigkeit?”

Awards

Smart is a prize winner in the “Berlin’s Social Enterprises 2022” competition in the “Transformation” category. With this award, the Berlin Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations recognizes outstanding social enterprises and makes their impact visible to all.

Smart was awarded the second prize of the Global Goals Lab Social Impact Fund 2021.

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Testimonials

Dr. Carol van Buren
“Joining this co-op when I became a freelancer was possibly one of the best decisions I made in my first year in Berlin.”
Dr. Carol van Buren
“Joining this co-op when I became a freelancer was possibly one of the best decisions I made in my first year in Berlin.”
Christelle Kamanan
“As a member of Smart I feel supported: there is always someone either from the cooperative or the members’ network to answer a question or help find a solution. It is also inspiring to be part of a network with so many creatives, you find new ideas, you extend your network; it opens your mind.”
Christelle Kamanan
“As a member of Smart I feel supported: there is always someone either from the cooperative or the members’ network to answer a question or help find a solution. It is also inspiring to be part of a network with so many creatives, you find new ideas, you extend your network; it opens your mind.”
Nara Silva das Virgens-Merlitz
“Smart is a big help for my professional career plan and gives me the stability that I’m lacking as a freelancer.”
Nara Silva das Virgens-Merlitz
“Smart is a big help for my professional career plan and gives me the stability that I’m lacking as a freelancer.”
Amanda Groschke
“Thanks to Smart I can fully concentrate on my projects and have a dedicated partner who takes care of all of my administrative tasks. Smart as a cooperative solution is a godsend for freelancers, especially in the teaching sector. Even if there are difficulties and problems, Smart always tries to find a solution.”
Amanda Groschke
“Thanks to Smart I can fully concentrate on my projects and have a dedicated partner who takes care of all of my administrative tasks. Smart as a cooperative solution is a godsend for freelancers, especially in the teaching sector. Even if there are difficulties and problems, Smart always tries to find a solution.”
Jan & Laura (Museum für Werte)
“The cooperative is a saviour for many freelancers, creatives and intermediaries – in a system that’s otherwise quite inflexible, it provides us with both social protection and flexibility at the same time.”
Jan & Laura (Museum für Werte)
“The cooperative is a saviour for many freelancers, creatives and intermediaries – in a system that’s otherwise quite inflexible, it provides us with both social protection and flexibility at the same time.”
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Für wen

For Who?

Smart is a cooperative for people who offer services that don’t require a license. Those who sell products are currently not supported. Here are some examples of how Smart can help you:

You need support with administration?
Become a member of Smart and get an employment contract. Turn your fluctuating payments into a steady income. At the end of each month you’ll get a salary, public health insurance, pension contributions and unemployment insurance, all based on your contracts invoiced through Smart.

Do you want to accept a freelance contract but don’t have a tax number?
There’s no need to register for a tax number to receive irregular payments. Smart is your employer and handles contracts and collect payments on your behalf. Smart then pays you a salary through an employment contract.

Do you run projects with other people?
You and your team members can use Smart as a back-office. Send us an e-mail to info (at) smart-de.org for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Services & Kosten

Services & Costs

Contracts and Invoices

Smart checks every incoming contract for certain criteria: Minimum wage, bogus self-employment, trustworthiness of the client and whether the service may be invoiced by Smart. The cooperative is always the invoicing partner and will receive payments from your clients.

Employment Contracts

Members of Smart are employees of the cooperative, based on their average income from their clients. Smart employment contracts include payments for social security services (public health insurance, nursing care insurance, unemployment insurance and retirement contributions), as well as income tax. All costs – both employee and employer contributions – are deducted from the member’s Smart budget account. Members can choose their preferred public health insurance provider.

Detailed Requirements and Prices

Frequently Asked Questions

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Mitglied werden

Become a Member

1. Come to one of our info sessions. All info sessions currently take place online as a live-stream. The basic features of Smart’s services will be presented at the information session. If you cannot make it to an info session, please email us at info (at) smart-de.org.

2. After attending the info session, make an appointment for a personal consultation. You become a member by signing up and buying a cooperative share.

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Für Kund*innen

For Clients

How do Smart invoices and order forms work?

As a client of a Smart member, little will change. You negotiate the details of the order directly with the person carrying out the work. After confirming the order by signing the Smart order form, you won’t receive an invoice from the person you have commissioned. Instead, you will receive an invoice from the Smart cooperative. On the invoice, the name of our member will be mentioned. You are welcome to add any additional information you may need for your accounting. Any additional information must be added to the Smart order form.

Invoices from the cooperative comply with German value-added tax (VAT) law.

When members process orders via Smart, they are employed by Smart. This gives them better economic and social security, and they are bound by instructions by the cooperative.

SMartDe eG’s international VAT ID number is: DE302421357.

Smart is a reliable business partner with the legal form of a registered cooperative (eingetragene Genossenschaft).

For any further questions, you are welcome to contact us at: info@smart-de.org.

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Team

We are here to help.

Magdalena Ziomek

Magdalena Ziomek

Co-Director & Member of Board
DE / EN / PL

Alicja Möltner

Alicja Möltner

Co-Director & Member of Board
DE / EN / PL / FR / IT

Marie Reiter

Marie Reiter

Head of Operations
DE / EN / NL / FR

Valentina Vighetti

Valentina Vighetti

Operations – Member Support
DE / EN / IT / FR

Anna-Lena Lausenhammer

Anna-Lena Lausenhammer

Operations – Member Support
DE / EN / ES / PT

Anita Richelli

Anita Richelli

Operations – Member Support
DE / EN / IT

Maja Zuchewicz

Maja Zuchewicz

Operations – Member Support
DE / EN / PL

Katharina Kniess

Katharina Kniess

Operations – Member Support
DE / EN / ES

Marius Le

Marius Le

Team leader bookkeeping
DE / EN / PT / FR

Silvia Loi

Silvia Loi

Client Support
DE / EN / IT

Magdalena Mizera

Magdalena Mizera

Bookkeeping
DE / PL

Andreas Arnold

Andreas Arnold

Project managament MASAKU (digitalization and market place)
DE / EN

Manfred Sprößer

Manfred Sprößer

Bookkeeping
DE

Marius Koester

Marius Koester

IT support
DE / EN

Gabriele Koch

Gabriele Koch

Director of Smart Bildungswerk
DE / EN / NL / FR

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Kontakt

Find us

BERLIN

Office and visitor address:
Wilhelmstr. 149-150, 10963 Berlin, Germany (U Hallesches Tor)

Mailing, contract and billing address:
SMartDe eG, Mehringplatz 8, 10969 Berlin, Germany

Contact us

Opening hours

Our office is currently closed for personal visits. The best way to get in touch is via e-mail.

E-mail: info@smart-de.org

Note our availability on the phone is currently limited. Please contact us via e-mail instead and we’ll get back to you right away.
Phone: + 49 (0) 30 2433 6740

Infosessions

Attend an Info Session

Interested in working with Smart? Want to know more about our services? Then come to one of our weekly infosessions, where you will hear all abut our services and how employment by Smart works.

Infosession – Online

Date:29.09.2022
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online
Seats:14Booked up
Language:English
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:06.10.2022
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online
Seats:15Booked up
Language:German
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:12.10.2022
Time:17:00 - 18:15 h
Location:Online
Seats:24Booked up
Language:English
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:20.10.2022
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online
Seats:25Booked up
Language:German
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:27.10.2022
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online
Seats:25Booked up
Language:English
Register

Partner

Smart Partners

Bildungswerk Smart
Haus der Selbständigen
Kreative Deutschland
platforms2share
Platform Cooperatives Germany
Prüfungsverband deutscher Konsum- und Dienstleistungsgenossenschaften e. V.
Touring Artists
Agit Polska
Supermarkt
Kreatives Sachsen