Who pays social security contributions?
In principle, everyone who is self-employed pays social security contributions. This applies to both owners of a sole proprietorship and managers of a company. Assisting spouses and helpers also contribute, as do those who start-up self-employed as a secondary occupation. The calculation of your social security contributions depends on your status.
Who must join a social insurance fund?
Anyone who sets up his or her own business must join a social insurance fund of his or her choice. This applies both to individual entrepreneurs with a sole proprietorship and to founders of a company.
Owners of a sole proprietorship
Self-employed persons with a sole proprietorship can easily join a social insurance fund. The affiliation must take place before the official start-up as a self-employed person. Your social insurance fund will then help you calculate the provisional contributions you will have to pay in order to qualify for your social rights.
If you have a company, you pay a so-called company contribution. The underlying principle is the same as for social security contributions for entrepreneurs with a sole proprietorship. If you are authorised as a mandate holder or working partner in a company, you are liable for your company paying social security contributions.
Someone who helps or replaces you in your sole proprietorship is regarded by social security as an independent helper. He or she must join a social insurance fund from 1 January of the year in which the helper turns 20 or, if the helper is already married, before that age.
Certain categories of helpers are exempt from paying social security contributions. These are:
- Helpers who assist you less than 90 days a year in your business
- Helpers who don’t provide help on a regular basis
- Students still entitled to child allowances
Assisting spouses must also join a social insurance fund and pay contributions. This is done in accordance with what is known as the maximum status, which gives them full social rights. Only if your assisting spouse was born before 1 January 1956, can he or she opt for a limited social status that only entitles him or her to a work incapacity allowance.