Articles will be shut down - How to apply for A1 certificates now?

The clock is ticking ⏰ From March 1st, the entire A1 certificate application system will change. Take action now to ensure your company stays compliant with the switch to SV-Meldeportal.

Pieter Manden


After 23 years,, which allowed companies to apply for the A1 certificate electronically, is now being replaced in Germany.
What does this mean for companies? When will this change overtake effect? How exactly will the process change for companies? What are the costs for using the new software?
You can find the answers and more in this blog post, so thatHR and companies are optimally prepared for the upcoming shutdown of and the switch to the SV reporting portal on March 1st, 2024. This article also provides a comprehensive insight into the key aspects of the A1 certificate. It also sheds light on why the A1 certificate alone is insufficient to make work and business trips compliant and what compliance risks companies must be aware of.

First of all: What is an A1 certificate?

The A1 certificate, also known as the A1 certificate, is a document that regulates a person's social security rights within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It is important for people who work or are temporarily employed in an EU or EEA country. The A1 certificate shows which social security system applies to these persons and prevents them from having to pay into different social security systems twice. Employees, civil servants and the self-employed regularly require an A1 certificate if they are working temporarily across borders within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This applies to both business trips and workations.

How to apply for the A1 certificate in Germany until February 29, 2024:

To apply for the A1 certificate, employers and the self-employed have had to submit the application electronically since 2019. There are two main ways to do this: either they use payroll software such as DATEV or LOGA, which forwards the application in a straightforward manner, or they use the application to submit the application directly electronically. In both cases, the application is automatically forwarded to the responsible social insurance institution.


Shutdown of - what does this mean for companies from March 1, 2024?

After 23 years, ““will be replaced by “SV-Meldeportal”, which enables electronic data exchange with social insurance institutions. Over 500,000 employers carryout around 25 million transactions via every year. Previously, was offered by health insurance companies for the exchange of social insurance notifications.

The SV-Meldeportal allows the electronic exchange of notifications, contribution statements, certificates, and applications for employers and the self-employed. Registration in the SV-Meldeportal is required, preferably with an Elster organization certificate or via the BundID.

From March 1, 2024, the A1 certificate for Germany can only be applied for in the SV-Meldeportal. Use of the portal is free of charge until March 31, 2024, after which a user fee will apply, except for the self-employed.

How exactly will the process change for companies?

The IT Planning Council of the federal and state governments has decided to implement the "Uniform Company Account" based on ELSTER. Companies can set up accounts via the, using the company's tax number. Each company account consists of one or more user accounts that are assigned to individual persons. Upon registration, each user account receives an ELSTER organization certificate by post, which is used not only for the initial registration, but also for each login to the SV-Meldeportal.

From 2024, self-employed persons and employees who wish to use the SV-Meldeportal exclusively for applying for and retrieving A1 certificates can alternatively register and log in via the BundID account. This extended registration in the SV-Meldeportal offers employers secure and user-specific access to the applications and data.

It is important to note that a separate registration is required for each branch, each with its own ELSTER company certificate. However, branches can be merged via mandate management.

In general, data cannot be transferred directly from to the SV-Meldeportal. Every company must register with the SV-Meldeportal. This also applies to companies that previously applied for their A1 certificates via an integration with payroll accounting software - now they have to do this via the SV-Meldeportal. Automatic forwarding of the data is currently not possible. This means a lot of manual work for companies.

A little tip: With the all-in-one software from WorkFlex, you can create A1 certificates within a minute, saving valuable time and money.

Overview of the registration process

The registration process follows these steps:

1. call up the SV registration portal

2. complete registration for use via "My company account"

3. authenticate in the SV-Meldeportal with the ELSTER certificate

4. enter company number and company data

5. receive letter of authorization with activation code by post

6. enter the activation code

7. release the SV-Meldeportal for use

After successful registration, the SV-Meldeportal can be used without restriction. The ELSTER certificate with which the company has registered is required for each login.

What are the costs for using the SV-Meldeportal?

The use of the social insurance notification portal is subject to variable fees that vary depending on the number of company numbers required by the company for the transmission of social insurance notifications. There are two user groups: the single-client variant and the multi-client variant. Reduced fees apply until March 2024. Companies that register before March 31, 2024 are free of charge for the years 2023 and 2024. Fees will apply from January 1, 2025. If you register before this date, the multi-client variant automatically applies, which enables data exchange for several company numbers. In the fall of 2024, users must choose one of the two variants for which a fee will be charged from January 2025. The costs are 36 euros plus VAT for a single company number and 99 euros plus VAT for multiple company numbers, each for a period of 36 months. There is no limit to the exchange of social security notifications.


More data security with the SV reporting portal

The significant difference to is that data security is considerably higher for companies and employees due to registration via the ELSTER organization certificate on the SV-Meldeportal. Other countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and the United Kingdom have already been introducing much more advanced and thorough processes for years to ensure that data is better protected. Germany is now following suit with the SV-Meldeportal.


Apply for A1 certificates with WorkFlex

If you are looking for an uncomplicated and automated solution for applying for your A1 certificates, WorkFlex software is the perfect solution. With our software, you can apply for A1 certificates in less than a minute - without any extra effort for business trips.

Through our integrations with travel booking tools such as TravelPerk, Navan etc., all relevant compliance documents for business trips are automatically generated by WorkFlex - without any extra effort for HR or the business traveler.

If an A1 certificate is required for a workation, the employee only has to enter the relevant data on the platform. This takes about 2 minutes. After the manager's approval, we take care of creating all the necessary documents. With WorkFlex, you can make the A1 certificate process 95% more efficient and save valuable time. It also minimizes the risk of processing errors - in the event of an error, WorkFlex assumes liability.

German Webinar on the topic:

IMPORTANT: An A1 certificate does not protect against compliance penalties

An A1 certificate alone makes a business trip or workation legally compliant.

Although the A1 certificate is a crucial document for compliance in the case of workations and business trips, it alone is not enough to make a workation or business trip "legally compliant". There are several other compliance risks that companies must check and observe in relation to workations and business trips to avoid high penalties and fines.

Companies are aware of the legal situation concerning business trips. However, the legal situation abroad is often unclear, particularly in the context of the increasingly popular "workations". One challenge is that the relevant laws and regulations were not written specifically for"workations". On the contrary, they were written long before the concept of temporary work abroad even emerged.

In general, companies need to consider all 8 risks individually for each workation or business trip: Establishment Risk, Payroll Tax, Social Security, Insurance, Labor Law, Visa & Work Authorization, Posting of Workers Directive (PWD), and Data Protection.


If you would like to know more details about the individual risks, their complexity, and their legal and tax consequences, please take a look at our Compliance Handbook

- or talk directly to one of our WorkFlex consultants to get a more in-depth consultation tailored to your needs!

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workations and business travel

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