One of the biggest changes entrepreneurs need to face when they decide to launch a startup has to do with their work status: going from being an employee at a company to being self-employed means crossing a line that also comes with doubts, regardless of which country you live in. However, across the whole European Union the self-employed have to live with regulations and expenses which are constantly changing.
According to the latest reports published by JP Morgan Chase News Skills at Work, about 14% of Europeans are self-employed but this average hides large differences between countries: in Greece 30% of the population are self-employed whereas in Norway that figure falls to 6%. This diversity in the ratios of self-employed is also reflected in the conditions, rights and obligations of these workers.
• Germany: A compulsory insurance of between 150 to 200 Euros must be paid. Furthermore, if the self-employed person’s profits are more than 1,700 Euros per month, they need to pay an extra fee of 140 Euros monthly.
• Austria: There is no monthly fee but they must pay for health insurance by a variable amount.
• Belgium: There is no monthly fee but the taxes range between 25% to 50% depending on income.
• Cyprus: There is no monthly fee but taxes are paid depending on the overall yearly income.
• Croatia: Self-employed must pay a concept of 500 Euros for registration. At the end of the year they pay 20% in taxes based on income.
• Denmark: There is no monthly fee and between 25% and 50% are paid in taxes at the end of the year.
• Slovakia: Self-employed must pay 50 Euros for registration. At the end of the year a tax rate is calculated according to their income.
• Slovenia: A variable percentage is paid based on income.
• Spain: A minimum of 264 Euros needs to be paid and 19% taxes.
• Estonia: Self-employed pay a 100 Euro fee at the start of their activity and later a percentage of their income is subject to taxes.
• Finland: There is no monthly fee. Taxes are paid based on a percentage of their income.
• France: The first year of activity the self-employed don’t need to pay anything. After that, a tax rate is calculated according to their income.
• Greece: They pay 50 Euros as a month fee and a variable percentage of taxes are based on income.
• Holland: Self-employed must pay 50 Euros as a registration fee and 100 Euros monthly for compulsory medical insurance.
• Ireland: There is no monthly no registration fee and 5% of income is paid in taxes.
• Italy: Self-employed only need to pay based on their income and the limit is set at 20% for taxes.
• Latvia: There is no registration or monthly fee and taxes range between 9% and 24%.
• Lithuania: There is no registration or monthly fee and the percentage of taxes is paid based on the activity and income.
• Luxembourg: There is no registration or monthly fee but the bureaucracy in this country is complex and one must show competency to be self-employed in order to receive a permit. Taxes are paid based on the activity and income.
• Malta: There is no registration or monthly fee and the tax rate varies and is based on the activity and income.
• Poland: There is no registration fee, but the monthly fee is 200 Euros. At the end of the year taxes are calculated based on income.
• Portugal: There is no monthly fee. 24% of yearly income is paid in taxes.
• United Kingdom: The monthly fee ranges between 13 and 58 Euros according to income, an on top of which a tax rate is later calculated to be paid.
• Czech Republic: There is a registration fee of 40 Euros. After, taxes are paid according to income.
• Romania: The registration fee is 100 Euros, after which yearly taxes are paid according to income.
• Sweden: There is no registration or monthly fee. The self-employed could pay up to 50% of their income in taxes.
Apart from the cost of being self-employed in each country, there also exist a number of different social protections and aids for them as well.