Working abroad: our tips for getting started : For many people, working abroad is a lifelong dream. But before you take this step in your career, you need to be well prepared. Unfortunately, there are rarely ready-made answers to the questions we all ask ourselves: « Where will I pay my taxes in the future? « or « what will happen to my pension? However, there are guidelines and points of contact that can make it easier to start working abroad. Here they are. The « umbrella company » model can be one of these points of contact. It is particularly suitable for those who do not want to deal with bureaucracy and who wish to combine the freedom of a freelancer with the security of an employee. Before you even begin the steps to work abroad, you should ask yourself the following questions:

● Will you be employed or self-employed abroad?

● Will you be sent abroad by a company or recruited by a company abroad that can offer you support?

● Do you have family accompanying you?

● Are you moving completely or moving regularly between two or more locations?

● Will you be working in another EU country or outside the EU and European Economic Area?

There are four key areas that should concern you as you prepare: taxes, health insurance and social security, retirement, and immigration and labor law.
For taxes, the determining factor is the length of your stay abroad and whether you are seconded or hired by an employer abroad.
For health insurance and social security, it is important to know whether you have social security coverage in your home country or in your host country, and if so, under what circumstances. It is advisable to discuss with your insurance company the possibilities offered by your current coverage, the restrictions to be taken into account and what will happen upon your return to France.
As far as your pension is concerned, prolonged stays abroad do not necessarily mean that you lose your right to a pension in your home country. However, the amount of the payment may change.

Young man using laptop on the beach

Here is some important information for people planning to move abroad, including questions about tax obligations, social security, retirement, and immigration and labor law issues.

Tips for getting started abroad: what you need to know before you start working.


The tax liability depends on the length of stay abroad and whether you are an end user or an employee abroad. In Spain, for example, the limit is 182 days. It is important to research international tax regimes and to seek tax advice from a tax advisor who is familiar with the rules of both the home and host countries. You can find out about the double taxation treaty or the OECD model treaty, the treaty for the avoidance of double taxation.


For social security coverage, find out if and under what circumstances you have social security coverage in your home country or in your host country. In the EU, for example, you can find information on this site. For countries outside the EU, there are countries with and without an agreement with Germany for instance. If you want to work in a country without a social security agreement, you may have to pay social security contributions in both countries.


Retirement rights in your home country may be affected by extended stays abroad. If you go abroad temporarily for a German employer and continue to be paid, you remain subject to pension insurance in Germany. The duration of the secondment is decisive here. If you plan to stay abroad for an indefinite period of time, you can also contribute to pension insurance there. The minimum length of time you must work in a country to receive a pension varies and must be clarified individually. If you have worked for 45 years in Germany, you can receive your pension without a discount. If you spend a long period of time abroad, this does not necessarily affect your pension entitlement in Germany. However, it may affect the amount of the payment.
If you work temporarily abroad for a German employer and continue to be paid, you remain subject to pension insurance in Germany. However, the duration of the secondment is decisive and the insurance obligation within the European Union is limited to 24 months. You can also contribute to the pension insurance on a private basis. Many companies offer generous packages for abroad. If you plan to stay abroad for several months or years, you can contribute to a pension plan there. The conditions vary from country to country and must be clarified individually. The company’s HR department can help you with this. If you are self-employed abroad, it is urgent to seek advice. It is important to talk to experts from the French pension insurance and the competent HR department if you are seconded abroad.

Tips for working abroad


Questions about immigration and labor law depend on whether you are staying in your home country or moving to another country. It may be useful to seek advice from a pension insurance expert and, in the case of secondment, from the relevant HR department. If you are working as a freelancer or abroad, you can take out private accident insurance if there is no statutory protection.

As far as immigration and labor law is concerned, be aware that keeping your residence in your home country or leaving it can have major consequences. For liberal professions and self-employed persons having an activity abroad, it may be wise to de-register in your home country in order to benefit from financial advantages. However, de-registration can have consequences on your tax and social security status, especially if you wish to return to your home country and receive unemployment benefits. Each country has its own labor laws, even within the EU. This is why you should definitely check whether there are any registration requirements in your destination country. In non-European countries, the circumstances are often completely different. For public holidays, labor protection, data protection, notice periods and unemployment benefits, the conditions of the host country always apply, even for posted workers. If you work abroad as an expatriate, you can rely on the experience of the HR department. As for self-employed workers, they can benefit from the expertise of the host country’s embassy. Digital transformation is driving changes in international labor law. More and more countries are offering a digital nomad visa, which allows you to work abroad within certain limits, while paying taxes only in the home country.

Freelance administration, or Umbrella Company, helps you to start your professional activity abroad successfully and quickly.

If you want to work abroad, a freelance administration or an umbrella company like SKALIS can help you get started quickly and safely. Your consultant will take care of the administrative tasks such as contracts and pay slips. He or she will also ensure that you are working in compliance with local laws and regulations. This gives you more time to focus on your work and adapt to your new environment, without having to deal with bureaucratic issues. Freelancing can also provide you with pension insurance and other benefits you may need in your host country. Overall, using a freelance administration company or an umbrella company can facilitate a smooth and successful move abroad.