What does information before registration mean?

Until when do you have to register a small business?

To the forms

Where can I register a business?

You can register a trade with the trade office. In the case of rather smaller municipalities, the responsible office may not be known as the trade office, but as a regulatory office, where you can also apply for the registration of a commercial activity in some localities. In large cities, on the other hand, it can happen that there are several trade offices. Then you would first have to find the responsible office.

Register a business: on site or by appointment?

The next step is to see if you can do the business registration by simply going ahead place appears or whether you have a solid meeting needed. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you can simply appear on site, then you can be sure that you will hold your trade license in your hands that day. However, you can be just as sure that more time will be spent at the waiting area. However, if you need a fixed date, then the business registration will go much faster.

The problem here, however, would be that you might not get an appointment for several weeks or months because the rush for registrations is very large. In the meantime, more and more cities are also offering online registration. This is ideal and, so to speak, combines both alternatives and even improves them.

How long does the business registration take?

The business registration only takes now a few minutes. You don't need a fixed appointment and you don't have to adhere to any opening times.

But the only problem here: the type of business registration is not yet offered nationwide in Germany. Founders must therefore first see which alternative is offered by the responsible trade office or by the city. The process would look the same for all alternatives.

First you would have to have a Handling fee pay. This costs around 20 to 60 euros and differs from city to municipality. You also need to have some documents with you.

What documents do I need to register a small business?

  • one valid identity card or Passport,
  • a Report confirmation or as a non-EU citizen Residence permit,
  • Depending on the type of business, you may need further documents, such as a criminal record certificate, one Craft card or a Health certificate,
  • if the business is in the commercial register, an extract from it,
  • as a minor you also need the permission of the Legal guardian,
  • if you cannot appear on site yourself, you have to give a person a power of attorney. This person then has to have one himself Identity card and a Report confirmation have along.

How to fill out the small business registration form?

If you have presented the required documents, you will receive a form submitted, which you have to fill out. Among other things, you have to provide information about the company and the trader. You also have to specify there whether you want to start a secondary or main business. In a main business you would have to pay the costs for health insurance yourself.

Business registration form completed - what follows now?

When you have completed the form, it will be signed, stamped and copied. The founder then receives the copy. This copy then serves as a Trade license. However, this does not yet allow the founder to fully take off with the commercial activity. You can only do that after registering with the Office of Finance.

After registering your business, you no longer have to go to the Tax office, but the trade office informs the other authorities. Including the tax office, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the professional associations. You keep wondering when the part with the small business will come? Not at all!

Because a small business cannot be registered with the trade office. You have to go to the tax office. More precisely, you receive the tax registration questionnaire from the tax office. There you can select the option whether you want to claim the small business regulation for yourself. If so, the trade is automatically regarded as a small trade.

By when do I have to apply for a business registration?

If you know that you want to pursue a commercial activity, then you should register as a business as soon as possible. When exactly one is obliged to register a business in Germany is also clearly regulated.

If one carries out an activity with the clear intention of generating an economic profit with this activity, then one must register a trade. Excluded from this rule are people who fall under the hobby regulation. These people are allowed to earn up to 410 euros in profit per year with an activity (a hobby) without becoming a business person.

Freelancers also do not have to go to the trade office. All they have to do is register with the tax office. All others are obliged to do so. If you don't do this, you have to expect a fine of around 1000 euros and more.

In Munich, for example, a fine of around 50,000 euros can be imposed in the worst cases. This would mean financial collapse for most people. This is not so often the case, but this example should make it clear to you that registering a business should not be trifled with.

Is it possible to register a small business retrospectively?

You can also register a trade retrospectively. You have up to 60 months Time. You would then have to pay the taxes that have been left out so far. The tax office would then charge a predetermined interest rate on these taxes.

However, this repayment of taxes does not prevent the offices from continuing to impose the fines. Although these tend to be lenient with rather smaller amounts, you should not rely on them alone and the business registration should be applied for as soon as possible.

What do you need to be able to register a small business?

In order to be able to complete a small business registration, it is not enough just to go to the trade office. You cannot state on the form that you want to register a small business. This can only be done on the tax entry sheet.

This can be obtained from the tax office. This usually reports to the trader within seven to ten days. The said arch is then obtained. This is seven pages long and should be filled out with the greatest care, as smaller errors can mean a larger sum of neglect.

What happens if you don't make use of the small business regulation?

You have to take advantage of the small business regulation. If you use this, then traders do not have to pay sales tax if they adhere to the strict templates.

Take care when doing business

You have to indicate on the sheet what exactly the commercial activity looks like. It is important to describe this activity as comprehensively as possible, as the tax office checks very carefully afterwards whether the information is correct.

After filling in all the required fields and sending them back, normal businesses receive a tax number for the company. In the case of small businesses, however, this is not the case. Small businesses use the private tax number on their invoices, which every citizen has been given since birth.

What is the small business regulation?

The small business regulation is an aid for smaller companies in order not to have to pay sales tax, if certain requirements have been met in this regard. These prerequisites are as follows: In the first financial year you are no longer allowed to like 22,000 euros and in the second no longer how 50,000 euros Generate sales.

If this is the case, you don't have to pay sales tax. If you exceed these sums, you are no longer considered a small business and would then have to act under the HGB and no longer under the BGB, among other things. The company would then also be obliged to publish annual financial statements and to keep accounts.

What does a trade license look like?

Most businesses are still about to register their first business. That's why you are usually very excited when you are presented with a form. In order to better adjust to the questions, here is a little insight into what is waiting for you.

The fewer questions you have for the official, the shorter the business registration process will take. The form consists of a single page where you have to provide information about yourself and your company. The first nine questions are about the business owner. There you have to specify things like:

  • what the first and last name is,
  • what gender you have,
  • Birthday and country of birth,
  • Nationality,
  • Address of the apartment,
  • Phone / mail

From ten to 25 you have to have information about the company. Including:

  • (if available, number of shareholders and their names),
  • Address of the business (for small businesses it is usually your own),
  • whether a subsidiary or main business is to be established,
  • Date of commencement of the registered activity,
  • Type of the registered establishment

In the last section, certain information must be provided, which, however, most of the traders do not need to fill in, as these are very specific questions. For example, trades that require a permit, must be entered in the trade register or these are foreigners. At the end you have to sign and give the date. If that form is stamped, you will receive a copy of this, which then functions as a trade license.

What is a small business license?

Many people assume that there must also be a small business license, since you cannot register a small business with the trade office. However, you cannot register a trade with the trade office, you have to register it with the tax office or state on the tax registration sheet that you want to take advantage of the small business regulation.

The misconception of a second certificate stems from the fact that many people who assume small businesses have their own certificate. However, everyone who has registered a trade receives the same form and therefore only one certificate, which can be obtained at the end.

What does a small business cost per year?

One of the reasons why a small business is so popular with many traders is that it does not cause excessive costs. Since most founders are still about to register, the processing fees from the trade office can also be included in the calculation. These fees cost around 20 to 60 euros.

Every trader is obliged to become a member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Here, too, fees have to be paid. Smaller businesses pay around 30 to 70 euros a year. Companies that are registered in the commercial register pay around 150 to 300 euros a year. That would be the only fixed costs that one would have to reckon with.

However, further bills can still occur. For example, if you have a full-time trade leads. Then you would have to pay for health insurance out of your own pocket. The costs for this start at 200 euros and can even run into four figures, but these payments are dependent on your own income.

Further costs can also arise if the industry continues to grow. For example if you Rent a space, hire employees and pay for their health insurance, register patents, enter into partnerships and collaborations, attend training courses or make new purchases.

These are all potential costs that could arise each year and should be kept in mind. As a small business owner, you should accept these payments with pride, because that means that the foundation is already in place and you are aiming for the next step towards growth.

Is a small business exempt from tax?

Germany is known for having one of the most complex tax systems in the world. It's not something to boast about, but at least .. 😉 Well, no. Let's be honest, that's pretty lousy.

It is therefore all the more surprising that a small business does not seem to have to pay so many taxes if some conditions have been met. The small business regulation allows you to avoid sales tax, for example.

In Germany, you can also earn an allowance of up to 24,500 euros per year without having to pay trade tax. If you don't have to pay these two taxes, then you have a considerable advantage in order to be able to make a lot of profits. This makes commercial activity all the more worthwhile.

How much can you earn a year with a small business?

Small business owners have to live with the fact that their small business does not promise as much profit per year. The commercial activity can be so lucrative, with a small business you can not earn that much .. Is that also true? No not true.

The name of such a business is small, but the achievable profit and turnover are anything but small. This may even surpass the actual main source of income for many people. With a small business you can do up to 500,000 euros Sales or 50,000 euros Make a profit.

This is an incredible amount. However, you shouldn't forget that you also have to pay some taxes. Including sales tax, trade tax and income tax. However, with a little skill you can handle two of the three taxes .. how? The next section continues!


When you have to register the small business is clearly regulated in Germany. If you do not do this, you face a fine of around 1000 euros and more. However, you have the option of registering the trade retrospectively. You have up to 60 months for this.