The A1 Certificate: Everything European Employers Need to Know

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An A1 certificate states where an employer pays their employee’s social security. In the European Union (EU), citizens are able to move freely among EU member states to live and work.

While visiting another European country for business purposes, however, EU citizens need to prove where they pay social security. Employers use an A1 certificate to verify this information so they don’t get into legal trouble since under EU policy a person can only pay social security to one country.

Let’s dive into what an A1 certificate is, when you need it, and how to get one.

When Do You Need an A1 Certificate? 

You need an A1 certificate when you visit a member state of the EU, Switzerland, or a signatory of the European Economic Area (EEA) that is not your home country for business purposes. While working remotely from another country, an A1 certificate signifies where you pay your social security.

You’ll need an A1 certificate if you’re on a business trip or assignment in another European country, even if you’re self-employed.

Where Is an A1 Certificate Valid? 

An A1 certificate is valid in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The EEA includes all EU member states, plus Lichtenstein, Norway, and Iceland.

The EU member states are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Is an A1 Certificate Mandatory? 

Yes. All EU member states, EEA countries, and Switzerland require an A1 certificate. The form is available in each country’s official language. Without this form, you won’t be able to verify where you pay your social security and run the risk of being penalized.

How To Apply for A1 Certification 

The employer typically applies for A1 certification on behalf of the employee. Employers request an A1 form from their employee’s home country and use it to inform both the home country and destination country about their social security payments.

Most countries that require A1 certificates have online applications. The questionnaire typically revolves around the person’s personal information, the reason for visiting their destination country, and the intended length of stay.

How Long Is an A1 Certificate Valid? 

An A1 certificate is valid for two years. If you want to stay in the country for longer than 24 months, you’ll have to either get a new A1 certification or start paying social security in the new country.

Help Your Global Employees Stay in Compliance

An A1 certificate is necessary for employees visiting another country in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland to conduct business. And it’s up to the employer to secure the certificate on behalf of the employee. An Employer of Record can step in to make sure you’re compliant with the labor laws in each country where your employees do business.

Contact us to see how we can help your global business.

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