New self-employed

New self-employed is a term for people who earn taxable income from self-employment in a business activity (section 22 paragraphs 1 to 3 and 5 and section 23 Einkommensteuergesetz) but do not need a licence to trade (e.g. authors, public speakers, psychotherapists).

These people work on the basis of a contract for work.

Working in exchange for payment constitutes a contract for work. In contrast to a contract of employment, the product of the service is the key element of a contract for work. The work (a specific service) or a particular outcome must be delivered.


In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

Please note

Companies can also enter into contracts for work with clients as new self-employed.

The new self-employed basically have the same characteristics as contractors with a licence to trade, namely:

  • they are personally and economically independent from the client;
  • in general, they must not engage in the activity personally (representation by third parties);
  • contractors are not bound to follow instructions;
  • contractors have a corporate structure (office, equipment etc.).

The contract for work is one of the obligations met by providing the work. In other words, the obligation is automatically fulfilled on completion of the agreed work or commencement of the outcome.
On 1 January 2008 the category “new self-employed” was integrated into the self-employed provision model, in a similar way to “processing new” for employees.

Further information can be found in the chapter Provision for self-employed traders and the new self-employed.

Social Insurance

The new self-employed must register with the Social Insurance Institution for the Self-Employed, if their gross annual income in 2024 exceeds 6.221,28 Euro. Deadline: Within a month of starting to trade.

On 1 January 2016, the distinction between the high and low insurance ceiling was abandoned. In future, insurance will be mandatory across the board if the income in a calendar year exceeds twelve times the monthly low income threshold under the Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz.

The new self-employed have health, pension and accident insurance.


Anyone who fails to register with the Social Insurance Institution and is included in the compulsory insurance retrospectively (after the tax assessment notice has been issued) will subsequently be charged an additional 9.3 percent on top of the insurance contributions.

Unemployment insurance

From 1 January 2009 self-employed people who are subject to compulsory pension insurance under the Gewerbliches Sozialversicherungsgesetz because of their occupation or are exempt under Section 5 of the Gewerbliches Sozialversicherungsgesetz can sign up for unemployment insurance voluntarily.

Deadline: anyone who began to work as a self-employed person on or after 1 January 2009 can join within six months of receiving confirmation of eligibility for voluntary unemployment insurance from the Social Insurance Institution. If they join within three months of receiving confirmation, the unemployment insurance begins at the same time as the pension insurance. If they join later, the insurance begins in the following month.

They must notify the Social Insurance Institution of their intention to join in writing.

Tax liability

The new self-employed are liable for income tax but not wage tax and must submit an income tax return (Form E1) to the tax office the following year. Deadline:

  • In hard copy: by 30 April the following year
  • On FinanzOnline ( BMF)German text: by 30 June the following year


The deadlines for tax returns handled by an accountant or tax advisor can be longer.

Anyone starting to work as a self-employed person must apply to the competent tax office ( BMF)German text for a tax reference.

Further links

Legal basis

Last update: 1 January 2024
Responsible for the content:
  • Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection
  • Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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