How to Register with the German tax office (Finanzamt)

If you have successfully registered with your trade office, the tax office („Finanzamt“) will contact you to register your business for tax purposes. If this does not happen, simply contact your tax office.

You will then receive an unfortunately long and complicated form which, in addition to general personal information, will also ask for specific information about your business activity, business assets, the expected amount of turnover, and the type of accounting and profit determination. You can then simply copy these things from your business plan. Finally, you must go to the tax office with the completed questionnaire for tax registration.

 Some tradespeople and freelancers also have to prove their professional qualifications or licensing. Trademark or patent protection issues may also be important to you. You may need a special permit for certain activities, for example, a restaurant permit.

If you want to establish a corporation or partnership, you must submit copies of the articles of association, the trade license, and the entry in the commercial register.

Once everything has been checked, the tax office will either request further necessary documents or issue you with a tax number and a VAT number (Ust.-IdNr.) for your business, if you have applied for one.
As soon as you have received the Ust.-IdNr. by mail, you can start invoicing and thus selling/trading. So most of the work is done!

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As a trader, the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) or the HWK (Chamber of Crafts) will also contact you for a required membership. In addition, you (and your employees, if applicable) must register with the relevant employers‘ liability insurance association. The employers‘ liability insurance association is the body responsible for statutory accident insurance. Membership in a federal association relevant to your company is also highly recommended.

So, finally, it remains to say: It is best to take all the (above-mentioned) documents with you when it comes to registrations, or ask again specifically beforehand what will be required. Also, find out what additional documents you need to apply for and present for your business.

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