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Freelancing in Germany?
We’re here to assist.

This is SMartDe.

SMartDe is a cooperative that takes the hassle out of freelancing. Members get affordable health insurance and retirement contributions, help with paperwork and guaranteed on-time payments.

SMart – Societe Mutuelle pour artistes – was founded in 1998 and now has over 90,000 members in nine European countries. Join us now. We’ll take care of the details so you can focus on your projects.

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SMartDE – the
freelancers’ cooperative

Are you a freelancer, or thinking of becoming one? Is your working condition unsecure? Health insurance too expensive, no retirement savings in sight? SMart creates individual solutions to guarantee your security.

As a member of SMart you’ll benefit from easier access to health insurance and retirement benefits, without being tied to an employer. Not only that, we also take care of administration for your projects, from contracts to invoices and more.

If you’re moving to Germany, we provide all the information you need to start working here. If employment isn’t an option, you can still benefit from our payment guarantee and invoice service.

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How do I join?

Want to know more about SMartDe? Come to one of our info sessions, or book a personal meeting in our offices in Berlin or Bremen.

For those who can’t visit us, we also give consultations over Skype. Click here to organize an appointment.
During your consultation we’ll talk about your personal situation and create an individual solution.

Ready to join? Become a member of our cooperative and start benefiting.

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How much
does it cost?

To become a member and use our services, you’ll pay a one-time €50 joining fee, plus 7% from each invoice processed by SMartDe. There’s no charge on other income not processed by SMartDe.

You benefit from more affordable health insurance and retirement contributions. We’re a member-owned cooperative, so all revenue goes back into creating more solutions for freelancers, like our on-time payments guarantee fund.


Freelancers face high costs for insurances with no access to unemployment benefits. SMart offers you the possibility to realize some of your projects as employee with full access to social insurances – and keep on invoicing for selected projects on the side as freelancer.

Exemplary Calculation:

Monthly income from projects 1000 €
Projects processed via SMartDe
minus SMart-fee 7 %
minus social contributions*
= salary as employee
600 €
42 €
150 €
408 €
Projects invoiced as freelancer 400 €
= in your pocket 808 €

* health, long-term care, pension, unemployment insurance
This is just an example and should not be taken as financial advice. Each member gets a unique financial solution based on their situation.

Für wen

Some of SMartDe’s members

New and self-employed in Germany

New and self-employed in Germany

When I arrived in Germany I wanted to start freelancing straight away. But I didn’t have the necessary documents or health insurance, and couldn’t speak enough German.

A friend told me about SMartDe, and I made an appointment straight away. Now thanks to SMartDe I have access to affordable social security (health insurance, retirement contributions, unemployment insurance). Now I’ve got no problems running my projects and can focus on working with my clients.

Part-time creative work in progress

Part-time creative work in progress

Art has always been my passion, and I wanted to turn my hobby into a part-time job. But I was always worried about the paperwork involved in having an extra income on top of my main job.

By chance I heard about SMartDe’s info sessions and went along. SMartDe sends invoices to my clients on my behalf and gives me a mini-job contract. There’s no paperwork mess, and I don’t even need to register as a freelancer.

On the border of “small business operator”

On the border of “small business operator”

I work as a small business operator (in German, Kleinunternehmer), and have the same problem every year. I get offered big projects that would push me over the €17,500 annual income limit. I don’t want to register for VAT, since that would affect my clients who are also not VAT-registered.

Instead, I now process my big projects through SMartDe, while still using my small business registration to work with my original clients.

Big project on the horizon

Big project on the horizon

Running big projects always creates extra unpaid work for administration and other problems, like having to set up a legal structure.

Luckily I’ve recently joined SMartDe and must say that it has been a huge help.  My team doesn’t have to think about getting paid on time, since they’re now paid by the cooperative.

I no longer carry all the financial responsibility, and can get help with contracts and invoices. I don’t have to start a company or legal structure for the project.

Support for international projects

Support for international projects

I’m often booked for international festivals, which is great since I love to travel. Sadly many foreign promoters won’t accept my invoices as a freelancer without VAT.

I found out about SMartDe over Facebook and booked a free consultation. I became a member to get the right legal framework. Now I’ve got no problems being booked by festivals around the world, as SMartDe sends the invoices to international promoters on my behalf.

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We are here to help.

Magdalena Ziomek-Frackowiak

Director & Member of Board

DE / EN / PL

Alicja Möltner

Member of Board & Development

DE / EN / PL / FR / IT

Henrietta Mehlis

Development & Consultating

DE / EN / ES

Marie Reiter

Development & Consulting

DE / EN / NL / FR

Gabriele Koch

Bremen office & Consulting

DE / EN / NL / FR

Doris Kleemeyer

Bookkeeping & Accounting



Find us



Mehringdamm 61 (EG 2. HH.)
10961 Berlin


Schildstr. 21 (im Theaterkontor, 1. Obergeschoss)
28203 Bremen



Contact us


BERLIN | Opening hours: Tue – Fri, 10am-1pm and 3pm-5pm, and by appointment
Telefon: + 49 (0) 30 2433 6740
Skype: SMartDe eG Berlin

BREMEN | Opening hours: Thursdays from 11:30am until 3:30pm
Telefon: +49 (0) 421 172 41 373


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