Guest Article: What is SMart?

SMart is a non-profit organisation created in Belgium in 1998 which is developing itself in 8 European countries.

We aim to simplify and support the professional paths of creative and cultural workers. Our principal goal is to help the self-employed develop their own activity through a secure system.

SMart offers multiple services such as information, trainings, legal advice, van rentals, subsidies, a social professional network, etc. Also at the heart of SMart, artists will have access to online invoicing tools.

By choosing to work through SMart, artists will be working as a salaried worker employed in very short term contracts and with the particularity of negotiating the details of thier assignments directly with their client.

SMart will back artist for all administrative aspects.

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WORKING IN BELGIUM

Every worker in Belgium needs to choose between these 3 categories: SALARIED WORKER Your employer pays around 30% on top of your salary into the social security fund.

Artist as an employee also pay a proportion of your gross salary as social security contributions. This fund is then used to pay social security: health insurance, retirement plan, unemployment benefit, family allowance, etc.

INDEPENDENT WORKER

The self-employed can also claim social security. Therefore they pay a social contribution that’s lower than the joint contribution of employers and employees, but gives fewer rights.

The self-employed, for example, cannot claim unemployment benefit. However, the self-employed may pay extra voluntary contributions which give them additional rights in certain cases.

CIVIL SERVANT (only when employed directly by public administrations)

The civil servant gets the best overall social protection. But he cannot benefit from certain extras like a group pension funded by the employer, and his work environment can be considered as less flexible.

SMART’S INVOICING TOOLS

Artists negotiate with your client all aspects of their mission (tasks, the price, dates, etc.), then you declare that assignment on our website before starting to work.

To validate that job, you will have to return your contract to us signed by you and your client. SMart will take care of the social declaration, we will pay the different social contributions and expenses to the relevant institutions and we will pay your salary (7 working days after the assignment is finished).

SMart guarantees the payment of the salary even if your client has not already paid. Artists will have access to those tools by becoming a SMart member. SMart also offers a more complete invoicing tool available by SMart for professionals who have a more complex workflow (working as a collective, receiving subsidies, invoicing intellectual property rights, having important professional expenses).

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The SMart management cost is 6,5% of your invoiced amount (VAT excluded). There is also a yearly membership fee of 25€ (taken out of the first contract invoicing more than 150€/day).

Written by: Giulio Stumpo

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