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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
  • Contracts with clients that can be invoiced by Smart
  • At least €600 average net monthly income from clients
  • A standard minimum Smart employment contract period is four months
  • To obtain health insurance, the Smart contract must represent the majority of the member’s income
  • Non-EU nationals must have a valid residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) that allows employment (“Beschäftigung gestattet” or “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet”)
  • Your projects have to conducted as a real freelancer. 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.

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 7% of the net amount. This 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 either via an employment contract or invoices.

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. You can decide the amount of monthly income you receive via your Smart employment contract.

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

Example monthly income and charges*:

Smart monthly salary 600 € 1500 € 3000 €
Minus Smart fee (7%) 42 € 105 € 210 €
= Gross employer salary 558 € 1395 € 2790 €
Health insurance (employer contribution) 34 € 85 € 170 €
Nursing care insurance (employer contribution) 7 € 17 € 35 €
Retirement contributions (employer contribution) 43 € 108 € 217 €
Unemployment insurance (employer contribution) 7 € 17 € 35 €
Additional employer costs** 2 € 6 € 13 €
= Gross employee salary (amount in employment contract) 465 € 1162 € 2320 €
Health insurance (employee contribution) 20 € 93 € 186 €
Nursing care insurance (employee contribution) 4 € 17 € 35 €
Retirement contributions (employee contribution) 23 € 108 € 217 €
Unemployment insurance (employee contribution) 3 € 17 € 35 €
Income tax (progressive, based on income level) 0 € 14 € 256 €
= Net employee salary (final amount paid) 415 € 913 € 1591 €

* Based on health insurance additional costs of 0.7%, rounded, and can vary based on income tax class. Smart can make an individual cost estimation based on your financial situation.

**Additional employer costs relate to compulsory insolvency and maternity contributions.