Self-Employment with a contract for work and labour (Werkvertrag)

This type of work requires no work permit. The legal regulations concerning social insurance, taxation and trade law, however, have to be observed.

Since the legal consequences differ greatly between an employment contract (Dienstvertrag) and a contract for work and labour (Werkvertrag) you have to differentiate strictly between these two types of contract. It is not the name of the contract that is relevant but the type of work that is actually carried out!

  • An employment contract obliges you to personal, repeated and regular presence and work in a fixed place of work (e.g. Monday to Thursday, 9:00 to 12:00 on the premises of the XY company in Vienna) and you have to follow the personal instructions of your employer. You are integrated into the organisation of your employer. You are paid according to the hours you work. Your employer is obliged to report your employment to the National Insurance provider for the duration of your employment and to deduct the income tax from your salary and forward it to the tax office.
  • In the case of a contract for work and labour (self-employment) you only owe your client the supply of a specified service/result (e.g. addressing of 1000 envelopes); in carrying out this job you are not bound to fixed working hours and/or a fixed place of work. You can even have it carried out by somebody else. You are paid exclusively for the pieces of work/for the result you accomplish. With a contract for work and labour you will not be insured with National Insurance by your client nor will he/she deduct taxes. Both these things you have to take care of yourself.

Please note: It is often difficult to determine whether a work contract is an employment contract (Dienstvertrag) or a contract for work and labour (Werkvertrag). However, this is crucial in determining whether you need a work permit or not. Therefore please make sure to enquire at the Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer, AK), the Employment Market Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS), the Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer, WKO) or other advisory bodies before taking up a job!

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