Detailed Requirements and Prices

What are the requirements for a member to obtain a Smart employment contract with access to public health insurance?

  • Registered residence in Germany
  • Non-EU nationals must have a valid residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) that allows employment by any employer (“Beschäftigung gestattet” or “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet”)
  • A standard minimum Smart employment contract period is four months for those who didn’t have public health insurance in Germany before
  • Contracts with clients that can be invoiced by Smart
  • The orders must be carried out personally.
  • To obtain health insurance through an employment contract with Smart, the Smart employment contract must represent the majority of the member’s income. At least €695 average net monthly income from clients is required
  • Your client mustn’t have the authority to issue instructions (Weisungsbefugnis) regarding the times, duration, place and nature of the activity, and your activity mustn’t be integrated into your client’s business
  • The member is obligated vis-à-vis the cooperative to secure orders and to carry them out correctly.

What are the costs?

To join Smart you must sign a membership agreement and buy at least one cooperative share for €50. This makes you officially a member-owner of the cooperative.

For every payment collected by Smart from your clients, the cooperative charges 9% of the net amount. As a member of Smart, you are part of a community that shares the costs of administration. The Smart fee is therefore not a service fee that is tax deductible, but a contribution to the functioning of the cooperative. The fee flows back to the members through the services provided by the cooperative, such as the upfront payment guarantee, and allows Smart to develop even better services.

The remaining amount is deposited in your Smart account, and is paid out to you via an employment contract.

There are no charges on income you receive outside the cooperative.

For Smart employment contracts, all social security payments and income tax will be deducted from your Smart account. This includes both employee and employer contributions.

The total additional charges are:

  • Social security: public health insurance (14.6%, plus any additional fees), nursing care insurance (3.05-3.3%), retirement contributions (18.6%), unemployment insurance (2.4%) and possible variable employer costs.
  • Income tax: progressive rates based on income level