I plan to move to Germany with my spouse soon, and I will be employed full time. We do not speak the language, therefore it would be quite difficult for my spouse to find work.

My spouse would like to do some occasional minor creative work to earn a bit of extra income, if possible. We calculated that this would maybe bring in €500 in an active month, but do not want to commit to doing it regularly. I am now trying to research how to do this legally, and read up on freelancing in Germany on websites like this one.

I learned that if my spouse registers as a freelancer, they won't be able to use my health insurance anymore. They will need to purchase their own, which involves a monthly fee of at least €350 if choosing public insurance. There are additional taxes on top of this. If this is really so, registering as a freelancer may cost as much, or even more than the small income my spouse expects to generate. (Consider that there may be months with little or no business, but the health insurance still needs to be paid.)

Question: Is there a legal solution that is appropriate for our situation? We are looking for a way to do only occasional work (perhaps there would be no work at all in some months) without a major commitment (such as a monthly health insurance payment which may end up costing more than what my spouse earns)?

We have no experience with this even in other countries, so I am not even certain that the term I should be searching for is "freelancing".

I am not looking for a full explanation about how to proceed. I am simply trying to understand what is possible, and what may be worth it, so I know in which direction I should be doing more research.


1 Answer 1


This is from a German insurance carrier, AOK:

In Germany, the marriage partner and children can also be insured (dependent coverage) over the member without any contribution being due, as long as the domicile or usual place of residence of these relatives is in Germany. They must also not be insured themselves and are not full-time freelancers. Their own monthly income may also not exceed 425 EUR (2017). Should a family member have a so-called mini-job, the income limit is 450 EUR (2017) per month.

Having a income limit for freelancer income makes more sense than requiring separate insurance for just registering as a freelancer. This does not guarantee that the insurance carried by your job is similar.

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