Marta Srebrakowska

Freelancer in Austria

A term “freelancer” has been used for the first time by Walter Scott (1771-1832) in his novel. It helped him to describe a medieval mercenary warrior and was indicated that a lance (kind of weapon) is not sworn to any lord’s services, nor that the lance is available free of charge.

Nowadays, according to Wikipedia the “freelancer” term is “commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or an agency that resells their labor and that of others to its clients with or without project management and labor contributed by its regular employees. Others are completely independent. “

Internet contributed to the development of the profession, and in result communication with freelancers became easier and has increased the demand for services in this mode (eg. Web design). A freelancer in his work primarily uses contacts found through a professional community portals.

Popular and best paid freelancer fields are:

  1. Marketing
  2. Business Project Management
  3. Web Development
  4. Writing
  5. Accounting
  6. Insurance Inspection
  7. Teaching and Tutoring
  8. Social Media
  9. Graphic Design
  10. Administrative Assistance

Other fields: music, journalism, publishing, screenwriting, filmmaking, acting, photojournalism, cosmetics, fragrances, editing, photography, event planning, event management, copy editing, proofreading, indexing, copywriting, computer programming, tour guiding, video editing, video production and micro jobs.

In Austria, income taxes and social security contributions etc. of each employee derived from their employment are deducted at source by the employer and paid directly to Austrian fiscal authorities or to a responsible social security institution.  Freelancers are responsible for payment of taxes and social security contributions themselves. An Austrian income-tax system is based on progressive taxation rates.

This means the more money you make the higher taxes you pay. A freelancer doesn’t have to pay any tax if his annual income is less than €11 000.

Besides that, some freelancers (depending on type of a freelance carrier) need to get a business license to work legally, it means registering for Gewerbeschein, in Vienna they can do it in a municipal district offices ( Magistratische Bezirksamt ) .

These jobs for which Gewerbeschein is not required fall usually into a category of ‘new self-employed workers’ (e.g. writers, consultants, translators, lecturers, psychotherapists). The new self-employed and freelancers have to report their activity to the Social Security Institution for Trade and Industry (Sozialversicherung der Gewerblichen Wirtschaft, SVA) once their relevant income rises above a specific threshold. They are covered by sickness, pension and accident insurance. Since 1 January 2009, self-employed persons are able to insure themselves against a risk of unemployment.

You can be discharged from your health and pension insurance if you do not exceed the annual income limit. This limit applies when you exercise no other economic activity in the year of contribution and have no other source of income.

Insurance threshold: EUR 5.256,60 (valid for 2018)

For more information visit: (taxes and money (Steuer & Geld))  (Federal Chamber of Commerce) (living & working in Austria )


The article above is only the result of knowledge and research of the author and has no value in the legal sense.

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