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Become a Successful Freelancer Today!
Self-employed, Business or Freelance?

Self-employed is, who works "on account" and gets paid full fees, paid income and usually sales tax (if not the small business rules apply), to take care of social security for old age and sickness and insurance against accidents at work and claims for damages itself, negotiates its own fees and has no legal entitlement to protection against dismissal, paid leave or sickness pay. But who is a freelancer and who is a tradesman?


A freelancer is a person who carries out an activity that is not subject to the Industrial Code and therefore not subject to trade tax.
The term freelancer refers to a person who performs an activity that is not subject to the Industrial Code and has a scientific, artistic, writing, teaching or educational background. Do you know what freelancers do?
who are freelancer
what freelaners does?


Freelancers perform independent services in the interest of the clients through their professional qualifications or talents. All freelancers must have an academic degree or special education and must complete additional training relevant to the activity in advance. In contrast to the tradesman, the freelancer does not have to register a trade with the trade office and pay any trade tax. It is sufficient to register with the tax office, where he receives a tax number. The tax office also decides whether a job is freelance or commercial. The freelancer does not operate double-entry bookkeeping and is not accountable regardless of the amount of his profit - it is sufficient to present a revenue-surplus calculation (EÜR) to the tax office. Not all freelancers are necessarily members of a chamber, but they can be obliged by their professional group to do so. Freelancers can merge into a partnership and are liable with their private assets.


Self-employment of the following professions can be performed as freelancers: doctors, Graphics Artists, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, Auditors, notaries, patent attorneys, surveyors, engineers and architects. Freelancers, however, are also commercial chemists, accountants, tax consultants, advisory economists and business economists, sworn auditors and tax representatives. Non-medical practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, journalists, image reporters, interpreters, translators, pilots and similar professions are also considered as freelancers.

For Instance, David is a lawyer and runs his own law firm. There he offers his services as part of his legal practice in the field of criminal law. He practices this job as a freelancer, which means he does not have to register with the trade office and pay no trade tax. By the way, Thomas still manages as a manager a small café near his office. He does not operate this as a freelancer, but as a trader. Thus, he is obliged to register this trade and pay business taxes.


Many freelancers join together to form office, law office or practice communities. However, this form of professional practice does not change the status as a freelancer for each participant. For as long as the joint office or firm does not merge into an economic community and form a common enterprise, the members of the community act economically and hence independently of each other. Each doctor in the practice community remains just like any lawyer in the joint office an independent freelancer.


Freelancers enjoy some privileges - above all, there are many rules for traders for them not to fail. As a freelancer you do not have to organize double-entry bookkeeping and you do not need to create a balance sheet. You can make your tax information on the revenue surplus bill, which is much easier to do compared to a balance sheet.


In principle, any self-employed person who does not practice a catalog or similar profession is considered a trader. For traders’ different duties apply:
  • business registration
  • business tax
  • Entry Commercial Register
  • double entry

  • Commerce operates - regardless of whether he deals with used goods on Ebay or if he opens a flower shop
  • Goods produced
  • Does consulting work that does not require a university degree (for example, doctors and lawyers are not included)
  • works as a mediator (for example in your own brokerage office, as operator of a carpool or artist agency ...)
  • or works as a recycler (for example, as publisher or organizer)


If you achieve your income in both commercial and freelance form, then you should strictly separate the two activities. For this you can register two companies. For both activities, you should set up a separate accounting, a separate account and an independent report to the tax office. In the financial statements you have to create a separate profit calculation for both activities.
If a separation of the two types of income is not possible, because the freelance work interacts directly with the business, then the income from your freelance work is part of the business. If you, for example, as a freelance health trainer also operates a sales department for sports equipment, your teaching activity falls under the trade. Because when selling your sports equipment, you bring your expertise and services as a health coach.



Your start in self-employment as a freelancer leads you first of all to your local tax office. Here you announce your freelance over a questionnaire to the tax registration. You may need to provide the tax office with evidence of your work so that it recognizes your status as a freelancer.


Once you can rule out that you can work as a freelancer, you have to register your self-employment with the trade office. With your registration you submit yourself to the industrial code, about which you should inform yourself in detail. Registration with the trade office costs a fee. After your registration, the trade office informs both the responsible tax office and the professional association about your business activities.

Having read all these, we recommend you checking the next article on how to become a successful freelancer.

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