This article covers the following topics

What are the social contributions?

As a self-employed person, you pay quarterly social contributions to your social insurance fund. These are calculated for a given year on the basis of your net taxable professional income as a self-employed person for that year. As your current income is only officially determined by the government after two years, you pay provisional contributions at first. From the fourth year of activity, your provisional contribution is calculated on your income from the past three years instead of 2 years.

Social contributions for a student self-employed

The provisional contributions 

In your first three starting years, you pay a provisional minimum contribution of €96,72 per quarter. You can apply for an exemption from the provisional contributions if you already know in advance that your final income of the year will not exceed the limit of €8.204,59. This can only be done via an application. Read how to submit the application here. 

Final social contributions

Once your income for a given year is known, your final contribution will be determined for that year. The revision of your contributions after some time determine how much tax you actually needed to pay in that year. You need to estimate that amount beforehand and the revision of your contributions will be done: there will be a compensation through a refund if you paid too much, or a penalty payment if your estimation was wrong and you actually had to pay more. You can estimate your social contribution amount off of your income:


IncomeSocial contributions per quarter
< €8.204,590,-
€8.204,59 to €16.409,20 20,5% (on the part of your income above €8.204,59)
> €16.409,20> €874,19 (you become self-employed in main occupation)

Read more about how to apply for an exemption of social contributions

Social contributions for a self-employed in secondary occupation

Provisional social security contributions

Starting self-employed people in a secondary occupation pay a standard provisional contribution of €96,72 per quarter. Moreover, as a starting self-employed person in a secondary occupation, you can apply for an exemption for your social contributions if your expected yearly income is lower than €1.815,41. As a self-employed person in a secondary occupation, you are not entitled to a starter's discount on your social contributions.

Final social security contributions

As a self-employed person in a secondary occupation, just like a self-employed in a main occupation, you pay a social contribution of 20,5% if your taxable income is €1.815,41 or higher. Do you earn less? Then you pay no social security contributions. You must explicitly request this exemption from your social insurance fund, otherwise you pay the minimum quarterly contribution of €96,72.

Social security contributions for a self-employed in main occupation

Provisional social security contributions

As a provisional contribution, you pay a minimum contribution of your estimated net taxable income. Since April 1st 2018, for the first 4 quarters, any self-employed person starting up in a main occupation can claim the starter's discount for social contributions. The only condition is that you were not connected in the 20 quarters before starting your activity in main occupation. 

Below you can see the different income levels and the provisional social contribution or starter's discount:

Estimated income

Provisional social contribution

< €7.569,71399,78 (incl. discount)
€7.569,71 to €14.658,4420,5%
> €14.658,44€874,19 (no discount possible)

Self-employed people in main occupation, starting on April 1st 2022 or later, will also get an additional 100,- discount on their first social contribution, on top of the starter's discount.

Final social contributions

Once your actual income is known, you will get a revision. Your final contribution is a percentage of your actual income that year:

  • If your income is less than €14.042,57, the final minimum contribution becomes: €874.19
  • On your income between €14.042,57 and €60.638,46, you pay a contribution of 20.50%.
  • On your income between €60.638,47 and €89.361,89, you pay a contribution of 14.16%.
  • On your income above €89.361,89, you pay no social contributions.

When do you pay your social security contributions?

Your payment must invariably be in the account of your social security fund on the last day of each quarter. In order not to miss this deadline, pay at the latest on the following dates:

  • Your contribution of quarter 1: on 25 March
  • Your contribution of quarter 2: on 25 June
  • Your contribution of quarter 3: on 25 September
  • Your contribution of quarter 4: on 25 December