1. What is the KSK?
KSK is the abbreviation for Künstlersozialkasse. The artists' social insurance levy is charged on fees paid by companies to self-employed artists and publicists. The levy is used to finance the artists' social insurance. This is intended to provide self-employed creative artists with a similar provision for illness and old age as employees by enabling them to be insured under the statutory health, nursing care and pension insurance schemes.
2. What is the composition of the KSK?
The self-employed creatives in the artists' social insurance pay only 50% of their contributions. The other half of the contribution is financed by a subsidy from the federal government (20%) and by the artists' social security levy (30%).
3. How high is the artists' social security contribution?
The rate of the levy is 5% as of 2023 but is redefined each year.
4. Does the artists' social security contribution apply to influencers?
According to the case law of the Federal Social Court (BSG), all persons are artistically active in the field of advertising who "contribute to the success of an advertising order on their responsibility and not insignificantly" (BSG, judgement of 12.05.2005, ref.: B 3 KR 39/04 R).
Accordingly, influencers are classified as artists. Nevertheless, it cannot be said across the board whether influencers are artists or publicists within the meaning of the KSVG. It always depends on the field in which the influencer is active and exactly what services he or she provides.
5. Who pays the levies?
The artists' social security contributions are always paid by the last instance in the booking process of an influencer. This applies in particular to influencer and advertising agencies as well as advertising companies that book the influencer directly. The client may also be liable to pay the levy if the booking is made via a foreign influencer agency and there is no direct contractual relationship with the influencer.
6. Does it make a difference if the Influencer sets up a UG or GmbH?
Payments to a UG (limited liability) or a GmbH (limited liability company) are not subject to levy obligation. If the influencer acts as a legal entity, the client is in the clear. Especially if the influencer is the sole shareholder and managing director, however, the company is usually liable to pay levies for the fees paid to the influencer, so that the influencer ultimately is cutting his or her own throat from the point of view of artists' social security contributions by founding a UG or GmbH.