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How to Have a Side Business in Germany

Many people do not dare to take the step into self-employment, because they think that they will have to give up their main job for it and from that moment on they will have to fully focus on their business.

However, it’s possible to register your business as a secondary trade and continue to do your main job on the side as a side business. In this way, you can limit the financial risk and continue to work in your main profession in case your business foundation doesn’t develop as expected.

Many people do not dare to take the step into self-employment, because they think that they will have to give up their main job for it and from that moment on they will have to fully focus on their business.

However, it’s possible to register your business as a secondary trade and continue to do your main job on the side as a side business. In this way, you can limit the financial risk and continue to work in your main profession in case your business foundation doesn’t develop as expected.

But what is the difference between a main business and a side business in Germany?

The only two points in which a Nebengewerbe (secondary trade) differs from a Hauptgewerbe (main business) is that a secondary trade requires a much smaller investment of time, nor does it account for a larger percentage of gross monthly income.

If you register your business idea as a secondary trade, you still have to fulfill all the legal conditions that a main trader also has to fulfill! So persons who register a secondary trade are liable to pay tax in the same way as main traders.

 

Why should you register for a secondary trade then?

Many consultants talk a lot about this topic. But we would like to bring it to the point here: The only institution in Germany that is interested in whether you are self-employed on a part-time or full-time basis is the health insurance company. As a part-time self-employed person, you no longer have to pay health insurance contributions above a certain limit. So make sure to keep your health insurance company informed about your working relationship (but more on that in another post).

blog post cover side business in Germany

By the way you can just check out our ,,All-in-one-guide“ if you would like to know more about this topic such as how the things are with a side business while being an employee, a student, a civil servant, during apprenticeship or even if you’re unemployed. For everything else, you get free access to our community where you can ask your more specific questions.

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