Procedure descriptions

Artists¿ social welfare fund (KSK) - registering as a freelance artist or publicist


Freelance artists and publicists are obliged to pay contributions to the statutory pension, health and nursing care insurance schemes via the artists’ social welfare fund (KSK). You must apply to the KSK for admission.

Note: According to the law on social insurance for artists (Künstlersozialversicherungsgesetz - KSVG), an artist is understood to be a person who creates, performs or teaches music, fine arts or performing arts. A publicist is a person who works with the media as an author, journalist or in a similar capacity or who teaches media studies.

You must pay monthly contributions to the KSK. The factors used to calculate your monthly contributions are

  • the income you expect to earn from your work as a freelance artist or publicist and    
  • the contributions you pay to each insurance scheme.

Tip: The KSK website offers various brochures for download. You can also find more information about this topic in the brochure “Die Künstlersozialversicherung” (Social Insurance for Artists) published by the Institut für Freie Berufe (Institute on Liberal Professions) in Nuremberg (IFB).

Responsible department



You are obliged to pay insurance contributions if:

  • you perform an artistic or media activity on a commercial basis and not only temporarily.   
  • You do not employ more than one employee in connection with the artistic or media activity
    Exception: the employment is for professional training purposes or is a mini-job.   
  • The expected earned income from self-employment as an artist or publicist must exceed the minimum income limit of 3,900 euros.
    Exception: Newcomers to these professions.

Note: The law on social insurance for artists provides for various exemptions from compulsory insurance. Please request further information from the KSK.


You must register with the KSK verbally or in writing. You can download the questionnaire to check the legal obligation of artists and publicists to take out insurance, notes on filling out the form and information leaflets on the KSK website. You can also request the documents using an order form.

Note: The KSK will automatically send you a confirmation that your documents have been received.

If all the insurance requirements are met, the KSK will issue a notice of assessment.  The KSK will register you with the statutory health or nursing care insurance fund you have chosen and with the data office of the pension insurance company.


You should file the application as soon as you meet the requirements for admission to the KSK.

Required documents

  • photocopy of your ID card/passport
  • proof of work (e.g. evidence of vocational training as an artist or publicist, contracts with your clients, statement of accounts with your clients, confirmation of membership in professional interest groups)
  • if you are already a member of a statutory health insurance company: confirmation of membership from the health insurance company
  • if you are bringing up or have brought up a child: copy of the child’s birth certificate, proof that you are the parent of the child




Your obligation to pay insurance contributions begins on the day the KSK receives your questionnaire. If the KSK receives your application before you begin work, your obligation to pay insurance contributions will begin no earlier than the date on which you begin work.

Note: If you are unable to work at the time you register with the KSK, your obligation to pay insurance contributions will begin when you are again able to work.

Your obligation to pay insurance contributions ends on the first day of the month following the KSK’s receipt of your notification of change, e.g. when you give up your activity as an artist or publicist. You must notify the KSK immediately, also of changes in your work.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Künstlersozialkasse released it on 28.02.2013. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.