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Register social security for self-employed artists and publicists

Self-employed artists and publicists are compulsorily insured through the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) in the statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance. To be accepted, you must register with the Artists' Social Security Fund.

According to the Artists' Social Insurance Act (KSVG), you are an artist if you create, practice or teach music, performing or visual arts. You are considered a publicist if you work or teach journalism as a writer, journalist or in a similar way.

You have to pay monthly contributions to the KSK. Calculation factors for the payment of contributions are:

  • the expected income from self-employment as an artistic or journalistic activity, and
  • the contribution rates for each class of insurance.

Due to the fluctuating income situation in the case of self-employment, the monthly income is not used as a basis for determining the monthly insurance premiums. Instead, the expected annual income from self-employment, artistic or journalistic activity is the basis for calculation.
However, the expected income from self-employment, artistic or journalistic activity must exceed 3,900 euros per year (marginal income threshold).
Exceptions apply, for example, to young professionals: As such, you will be insured under the Artists' Social Security Act even if your income from work is unlikely to exceed the marginal income threshold.
If you are insured with the KSK, you only pay 50 percent of the contribution of the statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance to the KSK. The other half of the contribution is paid by the federal government as well as companies or clients (e.g. galleries, publishers, broadcasters or concert promoters) who exploit artistic and journalistic services and have to pay a so-called artists' social security contribution for them.
For compulsorily insured self-employed persons, there is the same entitlement to benefits from the statutory health insurance fund in the event of incapacity for work as for employees. This means that a self-employed person receives a sickness benefit payment from the health insurance company from the seventh week of incapacity for work.

The Artists' Social Insurance Act provides for various exceptions to compulsory insurance. Further information can be obtained from the KSK.

Process flow

You must register in writing or orally with the Artists' Social Security Fund:

  • The questionnaire for the examination of compulsory insurance for artists and publicists, instructions for filling out the form and information leaflets can be downloaded from the KSK website. Please fill it out and send it to the KSK.
  • You will receive an unsolicited confirmation of receipt of your documents from the KSK.
  • If all insurance requirements are met, the KSK will issue a notice of assessment. The KSK registers you with the statutory health or long-term care insurance fund of your choice and with the data office of the pension insurance institution.
  • Compulsory insurance under the Artists' Social Insurance Act begins on the day on which the application is received by the KSK. If you are unable to work at the time of registration with the KSK, the insurance obligation does not begin until you are able to work again.
  • The insurance obligation ends on the day on which you give up your self-employed artistic or journalistic activity. You are therefore obliged to notify the KSK immediately of any change in your activities.


As a self-employed artist and publicist, you are generally insured if you

  • carry out the artistic or journalistic activity on a commercial basis and not only temporarily, and
  • do not employ more than one employee in connection with the artistic or journalistic activity. Exception: Employment is for vocational training or is marginal.

Which documents are required?

  • Questionnaire for the examination of compulsory insurance for artists and publicists
  • Proof of activity: current contracts with clients or invoices, invoices and bank receipts.
  • Further evidence: Advertising material, proof of artistic or journalistic training, certificate of membership in professional interest groups, photocopy of your identity card/passport with current confirmation of registration
  • if you are already a member of a statutory health insurance company: certificate of membership of the health insurance company. Otherwise, a provisional certificate from the chosen health insurance company
  • if you are raising or have raised a child:
    • Copy of your child's birth certificate
    • Proof of parental status

What are the fees?

  • Registration: none
  • Monthly contribution: 50 percent share of statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

As soon as you, as a self-employed artist or publicist, meet the requirements for admission to the KSK, you must submit the application.

Processing duration

Depending on the investigative effort: 3 to 6 months

Applications / forms

  • Forms: see link
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: no.

Artists' Social Security Fund: Media Center Artists and Publicists

What else should I know?

  • For the first six weeks of incapacity for work, you can arrange an earlier entitlement to sick pay with your health insurance company for an additional contribution within the framework of optional tariffs. Therefore, please contact your health insurance company.
  • On the one hand, self-employed artists or publicists may be entitled to the benefits of the Artists' Social Security Act, while at the same time they may also be liable to the artists' social security contribution if they regularly place commissions with other self-employed artists or publicists.

Technically approved by

Artists' Social Security Fund

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The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)