I have always worked as a permanent employee, but with so many companies working fully remote I am considering switching jobs. The thing is that most of the companies I am looking at are based in other countries and don't have subsidiaries where I live (Germany), so I would need to work as a freelancer.

I know very little about the legal aspects of being a freelancer. I guess that I'd be paying less money in social contributions, but also getting less benefits, so earning the same net pay as a permanent employee means losing money. So my question is, how much should I get as a freelancer assuming I want to keep the same total compensation? 10% more? 50% more? I know this can only be a very rough estimate, as it depends on things as my tax class (married or single, children, etc), and many other factors that can't be measured, as future retirement pension or probability of getting ill or unemployed.

I'm interested in Germany but also in Spain, as there is a good chance I'll move there in the near future.

  • the absolute, absolute, minimum is AT LEAST 3x the nominal weekly rate. best of luck.
    – Fattie
    Jul 21, 2021 at 20:12
  • ( "10% more? 50% more?" - you were kidding around right? a joke? )
    – Fattie
    Jul 21, 2021 at 20:12
  • Social contributions and benefits are one thing. Another thing is that as a freelancer, you have to constantly be aware that you get a continuous stream of work, but not too much so that you can fulfill your obligations. You can be laid off at any time, a thing which cannot happen in a civilized country with useful labour laws.
    – glglgl
    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:52
  • @Fattie I wasn't kidding. That's how lost I'm in this topic.
    – antonro
    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


Antonro, you might want to check out this answer: Freelance vs Agency Contract vs Full Time Salary.

It is based on U.S. tax laws, but may give you useful ideas.

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