Last week Adriana Liendo shared her story about her decision to become an (expat) freelancer in Austria. This week she gives us an insight on how to proceed and the steps that need to be taken in order to be able to do so.
As mentioned in my previous post (click here to read it), I decided to work as an (epxat) freelancer in Austria. In order to do so, I needed to accomplish certain requirements according to Austrian law. The very first step I took, was going to the Vienna Business Agency – Expat Center Vienna. There I got some basic advice and information on the next steps to take.
In my case there are two main factors to keep in mind. The first one being my field of work which is IT. Nowadays I am mainly working on website development and technical support. And the second factor being my husband who works for the CTBTO at UNO. This is important to keep in mind because as a non-European citizen it can be challenging to get a work permit. However, one of the benefits the UN offers is supporting the partners to get their permission. It was supposed to take about three months, but actually I got it about 3 weeks later. So that’s how I got my work permit, which was my first step to take.
In order to work independently in Austria, it is necessary to get a license depending on the field of work. Some require passing an exam, but in the IT sector the license is enough. The process to get this document is easy. You just need to present yourself at the Magistrate office of the district you live, with your ID, work permit and your penal antecedents. For those I needed to present the document form my country (translated to German) and the document corresponding to the time I have lived in Austria which is given by the police station of your district of residence and delivered on the same day your request it (you need to pay a certain fee on the spot, when you ask for it).
The day you go to the Magistrate to deliver all your documents, you need to fill out a form with all your information. Unless there is something wrong with your documents, you will be allowed to work as an independent from that very same day. You will receive the formal answer by mail a few days later.
You will also be automatically registered for the SVA (Social Security Service for Entrepreneurs) and the WKO (Austrian Economic Chamber) as well. Being member of the WKO requires an annual payment. And the SVA requires another payment but that’s another history, depending on different factors, so I won’t go into details here.
There is one final step that should be done: It is going to the Ministry of Finance and register for your tax records. By doing so, you will get provided an identification number that will be used to pay the corresponding taxes.
There are also some others details that everyone should take into consideration but vary from case to case.
PS: I omitted specific details because they might be different in every case.
Adriana Liendo is an experienced Freelance Web Developer with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry and an invaluable resource for VIE LESA when it comes to IT questions. Thanks a lot for your great support!
VIE LESA is proud to have had Adriana Liendo as a valuable part of our non-profit association from the beginning. And we are happy to keep you posted on her journey here in Vienna!
VIE LESA has started its initiative “VIE Speak Up” to speak up for Dual Career(s) in Vienna. We invite expat partners and stakeholders in Austria and abroad to share their individual challenges, highs and lows to be able to learn from each other and create a vibrant buzz for the spousal talent out there. Reach out to us, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you also want to contribute.