What are your rights and obligations as a self-employed person?

When you're self-employed, you have to pay social security contributions. In return, you get certain social rights. You also have certain obligations as a self-employed person. This page explains your rights and obligations. 

What are your obligations as a self-employed person?  

If you're self-employed, you have a different social status than employees. According to this status, you have two key obligations: 

  • You have to join a social insurance fund for self-employed people; 

  • You have to pay social security contributions every 3 months. 

To whom do you need to pay social contributions? 

You will pay your social security contributions directly to your social insurance fund. They will in turn forward your contributions to The National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed (NISSE)

The NISSE uses all social security contributions of self-employed people to finance the benefits of the general system. This includes reimbursements for medical care, compensation for industrial accidents, family benefits, and pensions. 

What are your rights as a self-employed person? 

In exchange for paying your social security contributions quarterly, you will receive certain rights. These rights provide basic social protection for you and your family. 


At the end of your career, you will receive a pension. Most likely, this pension will not be very high. That's why you are recommended to also build up a supplementary pension so that you can maintain your standard of living in retirement. 

Parental leave

Are you a self-employed new mum? Then you will be paid a maternity allowance during your maternity leave. You are also entitled to 105 free service vouchers after the birth of your child. Fathers and co-parents get paternity and birth benefits respectively after the birth of the child. 

Bridging allowance

A bridging allowance helps you to retain certain social security rights and receive temporary compensation for up to 12 months if you have to interrupt or stop your self-employment activity due to economic difficulties. 

Incapacity for work

This insurance guarantees, under certain conditions, a replacement income if you have to stop working (temporarily) due to illness or an accident. 


Thanks to your social status, you can count on financial support from your health insurance fund if you need healthcare. 

Informal care

You can interrupt all or part (at least 50%) of your self-employed activity to care for a child who has a severe disability, a relative who is seriously ill, or a relative who is dying. 

Bereavement support payment

You can temporarily interrupt your self-employed activity in the event of a family member's death. 

Family allowances

You receive monthly child benefits for all your children. The amount of child benefits is the same for all social statuses entitled to it (self-employed people, employees, civil servants). 

Still have some questions?

No worries: we've put together an overview of all your rights as a self-employed person, including information on the entities you can turn to for more information. 

To the overview