Rivermate | Albania flag


Freelancing and Independent Contracting

Understand the distinctions and regulations for freelancers in Albania

Difference employees and contractors

Distinguishing between employees and independent contractors in Albania is crucial for both businesses and workers. The classification determines the applicable legal framework, impacting taxes, social security contributions, and employment rights.

  • Control vs. Independence: The core distinction lies in the level of control exerted by the engaging entity. An employment contract grants the employer significant control over how, where, and when the work is performed. Conversely, independent contractors have greater autonomy in managing their work methods and schedules.

  • Integration vs. Independence: Employees are typically integrated into the company structure, working alongside colleagues and using company resources. Independent contractors, on the other hand, operate as separate entities, often providing services to multiple clients.

  • Contractual Framework: Employment relationships are formalized through employment contracts, subject to the Albanian Labor Code. Independent contractors operate under service agreements governed by the Albanian Civil Code.

Additional Considerations

  • Risk of Misclassification: Misclassifying workers as independent contractors can lead to legal and financial repercussions for businesses. Albanian authorities are increasingly scrutinizing worker classifications to ensure proper social security contributions and employee benefits.


  • An individual hired full-time with a set schedule and office space to perform specific duties under the supervision of a manager would likely be classified as an employee.
  • A freelance graphic designer working remotely on a project-by-project basis, with complete control over design choices and deadlines, would likely be considered an independent contractor.

For complex situations or when the distinction is unclear, consulting with an Albanian employment lawyer is highly recommended to ensure proper classification and compliance with labor laws.

Independent contracting

Independent contracting is a viable option for businesses and individuals in Albania, but understanding the nuances of this work arrangement is crucial to navigate the legalities and maximize benefits. This guide explores key aspects of independent contracting in Albania, including contract structures, negotiation practices, and common industries.

Contract Structures

Independent contractor agreements in Albania are distinct from traditional employment contracts. Governed by the Albanian Civil Code, these service agreements, known as "sui generis" agreements, emphasize the independent nature of the contractor's work. Here are some key elements to consider when structuring an independent contractor agreement in Albania:

  • Scope of Work: The project, deliverables, and timeline should be clearly defined.
  • Compensation: The fee structure (fixed fee, hourly rate) and payment terms should be specified.
  • Termination Clause: The terms under which the agreement can be terminated by either party should be established.

Negotiation Practices

Clear communication and attention to detail are required for negotiating a successful independent contractor agreement. Here are some recommended practices:

  • Define Independence: The agreement should reflect a genuine independent working relationship, with the contractor having control over their work methods and schedule.
  • Tax Considerations: Both parties should understand their respective tax obligations. Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own social security contributions.
  • Dispute Resolution: A process for resolving any disagreements that may arise during the project should be established.

Common Industries for Independent Contracting

Several industries in Albania frequently utilize independent contractors. These include:

  • Information Technology (IT): IT professionals such as software developers and web designers often work on a freelance basis.
  • Creative Industries: Independent contractors are in high demand in fields like graphic design, writing, and translation.
  • Consulting: Businesses often engage independent consultants for specialized expertise in areas like marketing or finance.

Intellectual property rights

Freelancing and independent contracting are increasingly popular work arrangements in Albania. These arrangements raise important questions about who owns the intellectual property (IP) rights created during the course of the work.


Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as literary works, artistic works, computer programs, and sound recordings. In the absence of a written agreement, the general rule under Albanian law is that the copyright belongs to the person who created the work. This means that a freelancer or independent contractor will typically own the copyright to the work they create, even if they are working for a client.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a freelancer is hired to create a work as an "employee", the copyright may belong to the client under the doctrine of "work made for hire". Additionally, a client may negotiate for ownership of the copyright in a written agreement with the freelancer.


Trademarks are used to identify and distinguish the source of goods or services. In Albania, trademarks are registered with the Albanian Patent and Trademark Office. Unlike copyrights, which arise automatically upon creation, trademarks must be registered to be protected.

A freelancer or independent contractor may own the trademark rights to a logo or brand name they create for a client. However, as with copyrights, the client may negotiate for ownership of the trademark rights in a written agreement.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information that gives a business a competitive advantage. In Albania, trade secrets are protected by the Law on Unfair Competition.

A freelancer or independent contractor may have access to a client's trade secrets during the course of their work. They have a duty to keep these trade secrets confidential, even after the work is completed.


A freelancer or independent contractor may grant a client a license to use their intellectual property. A license is a permission to use the IP in a specific way, such as for a certain period of time or in a certain territory. The terms of the license will be determined by the agreement between the freelancer and the client.

Importance of Written Agreements

Given the potential for disputes over IP rights, it is important for freelancers and independent contractors to have written agreements with their clients. These agreements should clearly specify who will own the IP rights to the work created, as well as any restrictions on the use of the IP.

Tax and insurance

As a freelancer or independent contractor in Albania, you are responsible for managing your tax obligations. Here's a breakdown of the key points:

Tax Registration

Freelancers must register with the Albanian Tax Administration (Tatime Transportuese) within 15 days of starting their freelance activity. This can be done online or at a local tax office. A Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be assigned which is needed for filing tax returns and invoices.

Taxable Income

All income earned from freelance work in Albania is considered taxable income. This includes fees, commissions, and any other payments received for services.

Income Tax

Freelancers and independent contractors in Albania pay a flat income tax rate of 10% on their annual net profit (gross income minus deductible expenses). Quarterly income tax declarations must be submitted and any taxes due must be paid by the deadlines set by the Tax Administration.

Social Security Contributions

Freelancers in Albania are not automatically enrolled in the social security system. However, there is an option to voluntarily contribute to social security for benefits such as pension and healthcare. Voluntary contributions are based on a percentage of declared income, and the specific contribution rates are set by the Albanian Social Security Institution (Qendra e Sigurimit Shëndetsor dhe Pensionimit).

Insurance Options for Freelancers and Independent Contractors

Freelancers in Albania are not mandated to have health insurance or other types of insurance. However, having appropriate coverage can provide financial security in case of illness, accidents, or other unforeseen events.

Health Insurance

Private health insurance plans can be purchased from various insurance companies operating in Albania. These plans offer coverage for medical expenses, hospitalization, and other healthcare services.

Professional Liability Insurance

This type of insurance protects freelancers from financial losses if a client sues for negligence or errors in work.

Life Insurance and Disability Insurance

These can provide financial support to dependents in case of death or disability. It's important to explore different insurance providers and plans to find coverage that meets specific needs and budget.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.