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Smart –
the freelancers’ cooperative

Smart is a social enterprise for freelancers that combines resources to provide services and support.

Through the Smart cooperative, you can run your freelance projects without having to register as a business and obtain a tax number.

You can concentrate on your creativity and customers, while the cooperative takes care of administration, social insurances and legal protection.

Smart provides members with administrative services (invoicing and payment collection), an upfront payment guarantee, career consultation, access to public health insurance and professional liability insurance.

Members may obtain an employment contract from the cooperative based on their freelance income, and get access to the same social security benefits as regular employees.

Smart gives you the security of an employee and the freedom of a freelancer.

Joining Smart means becoming one of more than 100,000 members in nine European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Download press release (in German, pdf file)

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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 freelancers and self-employed people who offer services. Those who sell products are currently not supported.
Here are some examples of how Smart can help you:

Are you a frequent freelancer and 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.

Do you want to become self-employed, but don’t have a tax number?
There’s no need to register for a tax number to receive irregular freelance payments. Smart can handle contracts and collect payments on your behalf. Smart then pays you a salary through an employment contract or invoices.

Are you self-employed and close to the small business VAT-free limit?
If you want to remain a small business without registering for value-added tax (VAT, or Umsatzsteuer), you can use Smart to process some of your invoices. Smart can pay you your additional income via a minijob contract. This allows you to retain the status of a small business, without worrying about VAT.

Are you a freelance teacher, trainer or coach?
You can process payments for your courses, workshops and training sessions through Smart. The cooperative collects money from your clients and pays you via an employment contract. This turns your fluctuating income into regular wage, and also gives you unemployment insurance.

Do you run projects with other people?
By using Smart, you don’t have to start a legal company or an association. You and your team members can use Smart as a back-office. Smart can collect invoices and pay each team member individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Services & Kosten

Services & Costs

Contracts and Invoices

Smart sends invoices for the services you provide. The cooperative is always the invoicing partner and will receive payments from your clients. Smart offers you an upfront payment guarantee and pursues unpaid invoices. You are not obliged to use Smart for all your contracts and invoices.

Employment Contracts

Members of Smart can choose to have an employment contract with the cooperative, based on income from their clients. Smart contracts can 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. An employment contract can only be offered and extended if a member has secured sufficient income from their contracts with clients.

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 work?

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

As a client of a Smart member, very little will change. You will no longer receive an invoice from the self-employed person you have commissioned. Instead, you will receive a correctly prepared invoice from the Smart cooperative on their behalf. 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. This can be added to the order form.

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

For members, processing orders via Smart offers several advantages. They receive support with administrative processes, they can be employed by the cooperative based on their income, and may gain access to social security benefits.

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-Frackowiak

Magdalena Ziomek-Frackowiak

Director & Member of Board
DE / EN / PL

Alicja Möltner

Alicja Möltner

Deputy Director & Member of Board
DE / EN / PL / FR / IT

Marie Reiter

Marie Reiter

Member Support & Organizational Development
DE / EN / NL / FR

Maja Smoszna

Maja Smoszna

Member Support
DE / EN / PL

Valentina Vighetti

Valentina Vighetti

Member Support
DE / EN / IT / FR

Adam Tycner

Adam Tycner

Member Support
DE / EN / PL

Anna-Lena Lausenhammer

Anna-Lena Lausenhammer

Member Support
DE / EN / ES / PT

Franziska Szoradi

Franziska Szoradi

Client Support & Office Management
DE / EN / ES

Klaus-Dieter Romanowsky

Klaus-Dieter Romanowsky

Bookkeeping
DE

Magdalena Mizera

Magdalena Mizera

Bookkeeping
DE / PL

Gabriele Koch

Gabriele Koch

Consultant
DE / EN / NL / FR

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Kontakt

Find us

BERLIN

SMartDe eG
Mehringplatz 8
10969 Berlin

Contact us

Opening hours: daily 10am until 4pm, and by appointment

Our office will remain closed for the time being. We are still available by phone and e-mail during our opening hours.

info@smart-de.org
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 the different models of working with Smart.

Infosession – Online

Date:11.06.2020
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online, Online
Seats:22Booked up
Language:German
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:18.06.2020
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online, Online
Seats:23Booked up
Language:English
Register

Infosession – Online

Date:25.06.2020
Time:11:00 - 12:15 h
Location:Online, Online
Seats:25Booked up
Language:German
Register

Partner

Smart Partners

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