What are the various statuses of self-employed?
If you do not have entitlement (or not sufficient entitlement) to social security through another status, your self-employed activity will be considered as your main activity.
It is nevertheless possible to combine this status as self-employed with another activity or capacity.
Setting up a new activity obviously involves a cost. To bring a project to fruition, you must first invest money, as well as time. This last factor is only a formality because you are probably enthusiastic about getting your project started! Concerning professional fees and expenses, the self-employed person bears them alone. But the status of self-employed is well organised and your professional fees and expenses are tax deductible, including your social-security contributions!
Will you be covered in case of illness? What about family allowances? And when you retire, will you receive a pension in the capacity of a full-time self-employed worker? The answer is: yes!
By becoming affiliated to our Social Security Fund, you will pay social-security contributions calculated according to your income. You will therefore contribute to the social-security of the self-employed and you are then covered in the various areas.
Your self-employed activity will be considered as a supplementary activity if you have sufficient entitlement to social security through another status, by exercising a main activity or benefiting from replacement income.
- You are a salaried employee and are subject to the ONSS for at least 50% full-time hours.
- You work at least 8 months or 200 days per year as a civil servant and at least 50% of a full-time occupation per year.
- You work at least 6/10ths of full hours as a teacher
- You receive a replacement income* from the social-security system, the amount of which is at least equal to the minimum pension for a lone self-employed person.
* Caution: to access the status of self-employed in a supplementary profession, the authorisation from the payment organisation (ONEM, mutual insurance company,…) is required.
New feature: the “Self-employed springboard”
Under certain conditions, the allowances granted by the ONEM may be retained when exercising a supplementary activity in a self-employed capacity.
More information is available on www.onem.be
The status of student-self-employed
Thanks to this status particularly adapted to this situation, the student-self-employed can benefit from a reduced social-security contributions regime if his/her self-employed income does not exceed €13,847.39 (after deduction of professional expenses) per year (in 2019).
There are three possibilities:
- The income is less than €6923.69: no contributions due
- The income is between €6923.69 and €13,847.39: reduced contributions
- The income is greater than €13,847.39: the contributions are those of a full-time self-employed person. They will therefore be at least €737.36 per quarter.
During the first three full years of activity, in the absence of a known definitive income, you will have to pay a fixed contribution of €81.57 per quarter (first year of self-employed activity).
If you have a more precise idea of your income, you can request an increase or a reduction in your contributions. When the real income is known for these years, the provisional contributions will be regularised.
- You must be aged between 18 and 25
- You must be studying in an educational institution and, where applicable, be supported by this institution for a project as a student-entrepreneur.
- You must be registered for at least 27 credits (ECTS) or 17 hours of course per week in an educational institution in Belgium or abroad, with the aim of obtaining a diploma recognised by the competent authorities.
- You must regularly follow the courses to obtain this diploma. If you pursue your self-employed activity without regularly following the courses or after abandoning your studies, you risk losing the status as student-self-employed. You may then be automatically considered as full-time self-employed and will have to pay a contribution of at least €737.36 per quarter. To avoid this case, inform us immediately if you are not a regular student.
- You must exercise a self-employed activity outside any connection of authority with an employer.
The status of working pensioner
Even as a pensioner, you can exercise (or continue to exercise) a self-employed activity.
- Pensioner aged over 65: no limit on income and no matter what the duration of the professional career
- Early retirement with 45 years of work on the effective date of the pension: no limit on income
- Early retirement, but less than 45 years of work on the effective date of the pension: limited income
A new step has been taken to encourage entrepreneurship in Belgium! On 1 April 2018, the threshold for the calculation of the definitive minimum contribution fell from €13,847.39 to €7150.87 for primostarters (in 2019).
Who are primostarters?
- self-employed persons exercising a main activity who are starting their business for the first time;
- self-employed persons exercising a complementary activity or self-employed students who exercise a main activity for the first time;
- self-employed persons exercising a main activity who resume their activity, provided that they were not exercising a main activity as a self-employed person in the 20 quarters prior to resuming the activity.
This measure applies to the first four consecutive quarters of activity and does not, under any circumstances, affect the social rights provided for by the payment of social contributions (e.g. pension, healthcare coverage).