Part-time self-employment – pros and cons of part-time self-employment

Part-time self-employment - pros and cons of part-time self-employment

Partly these coincide with the full-time start-ups. In the following, we will give you some tips so that you know what steps you need to take to become self-employed on a part-time basis.

What is part-time self-employment??

From one part-time self-employment is spoken if, in addition to your self-employment, you also have a main job as dependent employee go to. Part-time self-employment can be just about any occupation that you can do on a self-employed basis.

As soon as the income from the profession as a salaried employee or as a civil servant significantly exceeds the income from self-employment, this is referred to as sideline self-employment. The Income from your self-employment May only be about 50 percent of your total income, and the hours for self-employment are only in part-time (less than 15 hours a week) are provided. Nevertheless, there must be an intention to make a profit in the secondary profession.


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Part-time self-employment: Are you up for it?

There are some basic requirements that you should meet if you want to become part-time self-employed. You should check these in advance to determine whether you are at all suitable as a self-employed person. To the Basic requirements belong to a part-time self-employment:

  • Mental, psychological and physical health
  • Willingness to take risks, be outgoing, open to new ideas, confident and able to take action
  • Supporting your family with your part-time start-up
  • Secure main job that guarantees income
  • Willingness to devote time and energy to part-time self-employment after your main job

Advantages and disadvantages of part-time self-employment

Those who are part-time self-employed don’t want to give up their main job (at least for now), even though they have a great business idea. After all, this Main job one secure source of income, while as a self-employed person there is actually no guarantee that the business will develop in such a way that an income can be generated quickly. A Part-time self-employment offers but not only Advantages, but also some Disadvantages, which we would like to explain in the following.

Advantages of part-time self-employment

  • Regulated income and thus security from the main job
  • Easier financing of part-time business and minimizing the risk of financial failure
  • Possibility to try out the business project in peace and quiet
  • More time to develop the business idea
  • Increase in overall income due to profits from the side job

Disadvantages of part-time self-employment

  • Hardly any free time, family and friends have to take a back seat
  • Less time available by the main job, which is missing under circumstances of the self-employment
  • Restriction of business hours due to the main occupation
  • Customers, suppliers and future business partners often view part-time self-employment negatively and suspect a lack of professionalism

part-time self-employed: Here’s what you have to watch out for

If you want to become self-employed on a part-time basis, you must pay attention to many things, just as you would if you were self-employed on a full-time basis. In the following we would like to explain the most important requirements explain:

informing your employer about your part-time self-employment

You must have your Employer about your planned self-employment as a sideline inform. This is usually a mere formality, as your employer cannot normally prohibit you from becoming self-employed. In the end, the most meaningful is the employment contract, but even if it should be regulated differently here, an examination by a lawyer specialized in labor law can be worthwhile.

Generally, the the following rules must be complied with:

  • You do not compete with your employer with your self-employment
  • You do not use any data or resources of the employer
  • Your main profession does not suffer from the part-time self-employment

If you register as civil servant self-employed you have to act a little differently, because officials have a Special status have. After all, you are not in an employment relationship, but in an Employment relationship. As Official you not only have to inform your employer, but you also have to get your part-time self-employment actually approve from being self-employed. addition, the the following rules:

  • Your working time for part-time self-employment is limited to one fifth of your working time
  • The income from your self-employment may only amount to a maximum of 40 percent of your final salary in the year

Registration of part-time self-employment

You must register as a part-time self-employed person at the Trade Licensing Office in the same way as a full-time self-employed person. You must take into account that since the beginning of 2021 the procedure for the business registration changed. Because from this point on you have to report your trade to the tax office at electronic way communicate. This applies to following trades:

  • freelance activities
  • commercial activities
  • agricultural and forestry activities

This Questionnaire you have to do without previous request and therefore independently within one month send after foundation. This can be done, for example, online via "My ELSTER. For this you must conclude an individual Elster certificate when you register for the first time on the portal. You should also check whether the activity you are activity subject to any laws and regulations, such as a master craftsman’s obligation or an permit or authorization requirement.

Special tax features of part-time self-employment

The selected legal form of your business is decisive for whether you have to pay trade tax, value added tax or corporate income tax. Which tax implications your part-time self-employment depends on whether you set up a corporation, such as a general partnership, limited liability company, limited liability company, cooperative or joint stock company, or whether you work as a freelancer or tradesman.

Freelancer and Small business have it a little easier with regard to the tax. In this case you must Income tax you have to pay this tax via your tax return. However, if you are Trade, you must pay additionally for income tax as well Trade tax and sales tax pay. With a Corporation on the other hand Corporate income tax to.

With the so-called Small business regulation you are from the removal of the sales tax to the tax office exempt. For this, however, you must comply with a few things, for example, your income in the previous year must not exceed 17.500 Euro and not more than 50 Euro in the current year.000 euros. A small entrepreneur can be a freelancer, a trader or a farmer and forester.

Reconciliation of main job, part-time self-employment and private life

Self-employment as a sideline usually involves less effort than starting up as a main business. However, there are still some other requirements, because you have to take into account that you still have a main job and therefore less time available for your self-employment.

This usually suffers your Family and your Free time. This means that you will be even more involved in terms of time – possibly even more than if you were self-employed in your main business. So that your Private life If you want to make sure that your income does not suffer, you should involve your family and friends in your plans in advance.

You should explain that you will have less time in the future due to your new commitments. You should also mention that financially you do not have as much money as before. Ideally, your family and friends will be behind you and support you in your plans.

change to full-time self-employment

Even if you initially set up your business on a part-time basis, you can later easily switch to part-time and your full-time self-employment. Caution is required, however, if you start a trade after the Small business regulation have registered. Because you should in the middle of the year change, this means that your income, which was previously exempt from sales tax, suddenly also becomes subject to sales tax, so that you have to report and pay additional tax.

The part-time self-employment as a stepping stone

Many take the part-time self-employment as Springboard for a later full-time self-employment. If you become self-employed on a full-time basis, however, there are a number of things you must take into account compulsory health and insurance. Because as a full-time self-employed person you are exempt from insurance and can voluntarily join the pension insurance only. In the other insurance branches there is an insurance obligation only for certain activity groups.

Wage tax

As Employee the Wage tax withheld from your income. Do you now practice part-time self-employment out, you are obliged to pay a Income tax return to file. In this case you income from self-employment, which is added to the income from employment (as an employee) added to become. In the context of your self-employed professional or commercial activity, you must carry out an income surplus statement, or, depending on the type of business you have chosen, double-entry bookkeeping.

You usually carry out your activity on your own account and therefore have to declare your income in the annual income tax return in a specific form. This means that this income is added to the income from employment, for which you have normally already paid wage tax through your payroll. This usually leads to Pay income tax in arrears must.

On the other hand, you can also use your income as a sideline losses offset against your income, so that you can possibly have a Income tax refund you receive. If you now quit your main job as an employee and only work as a self-employed person, accordingly, no more wage tax is paid and you only have to declare the income from a main business self-employment on your income tax return.

Social security

If your self-employed activity now significantly exceeds your work as an employee, which you actually perform as your main occupation, your self-employed activity represents the center of your gainful activity and you are no longer part-time self-employed.

The social security checks among other things the money and the time factor. Included in this Check will also agricultural and forestry entrepreneurs and artists.

As a self-employed person in your main job, you are now suddenly no longer subject to social insurance and must therefore look after your own Health insurance take care. Other insurance branches are also affected by this, for example, you should have a accident insurance conclude an insurance contract (you can often do this via the responsible professional association). This usually means that you have to take out voluntary health and nursing care insurance.

You need to take up the business of your responsible Health insurance report and can often remain voluntarily insured under this health insurance plan. Alternatively, it is also possible that you take out private health insurance. Also in the Pension insurance you are no longer obliged to pay pension insurance and you should inquire about an appropriate insurance policy.

In the Unemployment Insurance you can make voluntary contributions if you have been in an insurance relationship for at least twelve months within the last 24 months or if you were receiving a substitute benefit, such as unemployment benefit, before switching to full-time self-employment.

Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of part-time and full-time self-employment

It has Advantages and disadvantages, if you have a part-time or a full-time self-employment exercise. To make it easier for you to decide, we have compared and contrasted the pros and cons of each type of job.

Time factor

If you part-time self-employed If you are a game tester, you usually do this because you still have a full-time job. This means that for your self-employment, you only need a limited time is available. By the way, this is also the case in the Law regulated this way, because you are only allowed to work as a self-employed person in a sideline job within the scope of a Part-time employment exercise. This means that you still have the right to insurance coverage in the case of a sideline job less free time, since you also still have your main job.

Do you practice your self-employment full-time you normally don’t have an 8-hour job, but you probably still have more free time and time for your family. Another disadvantage if you part-time self-employed is that you can not fully concentrate on your self-employment, but of course you must also fulfill your job as before. Due to the Double burden However, as a part-time self-employed person, you may find it difficult to concentrate fully on your business.

Furthermore you are temporally not flexible and you cannot, for example, directly customer requests enter or react immediately if the market demands it. Business partners often view a sideline job negatively, as it may give the impression that you are not 100 percent behind your business idea, or that you may not want to be fully involved.


There is huge advantage, if you are self-employed on a part-time basis and have Secure income out of your Employment relationship you can access. Because as a full-time self-employed person, your income is rarely guaranteed. As a part-time self-employed person, you even have the possibility to access the income from your dependent work in case of financial problems in your self-employment.

It also gives you the opportunity to first try out how your Business idea developed and what the income from it is before you then quit your job and become self-employed full-time. This way you can establish your startup as a sideline and then later start as a full entrepreneur. This also gives you a good opportunity to Skills first of all test and extend.

Another financial advantage is that your Sideline job free of social security is and you only pay half of the contributions have to, the other half is paid by your employer. However, if you are self-employed on a full-time basis, you must insure yourself, and this sometimes involves quite high contributions.

FAQ’s to make part-time self-employed

How much may one earn with a part-time self-employment?

How much you are allowed to earn with a part-time self-employment depends on what you earn in the Main trade make. As Employee your income from self-employment may not exceed 50 percent of your total income, at civil servant 40 percent.

Retirees can unlimited earn extra money without this income being counted towards your pension, however, health insurance contributions may be due, namely if the self-employment exceeds 20 hours per week.

As pensioner with reduced earning capacity you may earn up to 6300 Euro per year earn additional income without it being counted against your unemployment benefit. Students may not exceed 20 hours per week and monthly maximum 435 euros earn. For recipients of BAfoG the limit is 4410 Euro per year.

What are the possibilities with a part-time self-employment?

Some business ideas are particularly suitable if you want to part-time want to start. Above all Online activities are very well suited, for example the creation of Websites or an activity as copywriter. Very popular are also Online sales, for example via market platforms such as eBay or Amazon. Also Affiliate marketing, and thus advertising on your own websites for certain products, is very suitable.

Similarly, self-employment works as Blogger: Here you write texts on a topic in which you are well versed and can place paid advertising there. If you have extensive knowledge in a certain area and are an expert, you can also pass on this knowledge through webinars. All these business ideas are characterized by the fact that the Acquisition costs very low are and a free time management is possible.

part-time self-employed in unemployment

If you unemployed you are allowed to earn a part-time Self-employment record, if you have certain limits comply with. Recipients of unemployment benefit I must work a maximum of 15 hours per week and may not earn more than 165 euros per month. There is no upper limit for unemployment benefit II, but there is also a weekly limit of 15 hours and 165 euros per month – any income above this limit will be deducted from your unemployment benefit. By the way, you must immediately report your part-time self-employment to the report to the employment office.

Can you be self-employed part-time with only one client??

Caution is required if you are self-employed on a part-time basis and are only have a single client have. Because then it can happen that you bogus self-employment accused. This is the case when you cannot decide yourself where, how and when you will work. In this case, you may be able to earn extra money retroactively additional payments for the social security must carry, likewise fines can become due.

Which form of business is suitable when you become self-employed on a part-time basis??

Theoretically you can report all Business forms choose the ones that exist. However, you should also pay attention to the Costs pay attention. The most uncomplicated is certainly the sole proprietorship, because here there are no costs for the actual foundation and the company is actually founded immediately. With this legal form you can work as a freelancer or operate a trade. This form of business is suitable if you are a Solo self-employed are.

However, should you not be alone, but have a Partner the simplest legal form for a company is the civil law partnership (GbR). However, depending on the individual project, other legal forms may be of interest; it is best to seek advice in this regard, for example from an tax consultant.

Result: Part-time self-employment as a springboard for success

Many successful companies have their Business idea first of all as sideline founded and then later, when the company was up and running, moved to the Full-time business changed.

A part-time self-employment has Advantages and disadvantages. It is advantageous, for example, that you can access a secure income you can trust from your main job. Besides you are from Social Security frees.

However, there are also some disadvantages to this, for example limited Free time, because you now have to spend time on the side job in addition to your main job. In addition, you will not be able to fully concentrate on your self-employment and you may not approach it with as much enthusiasm as you need.

If you are self-employed on a part-time basis, you can try out whether your business idea catches on and can then later switch to full-time self-employment.

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