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In Germany, if you are a non-EU student, you are not allowed a paid job, and so it's not possible for a non-EU student to freelance in Germany.

However, as a student you are allowed to work certain hours per week and so I'm wondering: can an actual freelancer based in Germany hire a non-EU student to work part-time for them?

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As a non-EU student you can work "120 days or 240 half days per year."

(source)

If you're a German citizen concerned with compliance, consider asking the freelancer to incorporate as a business in the US as you would then have a business to business transaction.

Nevada Secretary of State: Form a Nevada or Register a Foreign (Non-Nevada) Limited-liability Company

  • This is most probably in relation to employment. Not when conducting your own business. – serverhorror Dec 1 '17 at 16:32
  • Depends on. It is written in the visa conditions and it is strongly related to taxation, health insurance and retirement payments as they have to be made in Germany in the second when you earn money. – Jankapunkt Jan 23 '18 at 21:35
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I've worked as freelancer remotely for clients based in Germany several times.

They paid me via Paypal and I sent them an invoice for "consulting services" or "web hosting", not sure how they handled their financials internally but most likely along the lines of "business expense".

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It doesn't actually matter whether you're a EU citizen or not. You can engage in commercial activities under your own company.

What might be a problem:

  • you, quite possibly, won't be subsidized any more
  • you might have to address a few legal topics such as

    • where is your company located
    • what is the legal form of your company (equivalent of Limited, sole-company, ...)
    • what are the countries where you have to pay taxes

Also there's the social implication whether the client will accept it. There's no law that keeps you from being a student in Germany and running a company. Get professional tax advise from a German advisor and possibly an advisor from the country where your company originates from.

That being said: Germany doesn't exactly make it easy to get this right but it is not prohibited by any means.

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