Registering a business in Germany (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Registering Business in Germany

In this era, almost everyone has thought of starting a business be it educational, entertainment, commercial and so on. But very few succeed in taking the first step. Well, you are one among them I suppose. After having a business plan and the resources both physically and financially, you need to make sure you’re sure with the legal form of your business and you must have your trade license ready as well. Then, the next step to make the business official is by registering your business. In this blog we will be looking into the most important legal procedure to be done and the application process.  

Who needs to Register a business (Gewerbeanmeldung)?

According to Paragraph 14 Gewerbeordnung , people whoever start with self-employment must inform the concerned department, be it retailers, restaurant owners, handymen, service providers and so on.  

Unless the planned activity is a freelance profession, there is no need to register the business. Freelancers include architects, interpreters, educators, journalists, and accountants. If your occupation is listed in the list of catalog occupations in  § 18 EStG, you can determine whether it is a freelance activity. Freelancers need to register with the tax office before going to the trade office. 

How much does the business registration cost?   

Gewerbeanmeldung costs somewhere between 15 – 60 Euros and you can do it in a Gewerbeamt near your city. Make sure you carry cash in hand as well, as not many places accept card payments. 

Where do I have to register my trade and how long does it take to register?  

Once your registration is done, you will most likely have to wait for a while to get your Trade License, as your form will first be forwarded to the trade office and processed there. You will then receive your trade license by post. How long this takes depends on the workload of the agency. This can take days or weeks.  

The fastest way to register a business is to go directly to the trade office with the completed documents and your ID card It only takes about 15 minutes to process and you can then take your trade license with you.  

Do you have the right visa if you are a foreigner? If not, apply for the Self-Employed Visa

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What are the requirements documents to register a business?  

The Trade office can register a business without prior registration. It is important to note, however, that founders must provide some documents to register, such as an identity card or your passport with the registration certificate, in the case of people from abroad a residence permit. Additional documents may also be necessary in the case of certain professional groups such as: 

  • Business registration and re-registration  

Identity card or passport or EU ID card  

  • For foreign traders (not EU)

Copy of the residence permit required for the registered activity  

  • For companies registered in the commercial register:

Copy of the extract from the commercial register  

  • In the case of legal persons in the process of being established:

a partnership agreement certified by the notary including the appointment of the managing directors  

  • For craft Businesses that require approval:  

Master craftsman’s certificate or confirmation of registration from the Chamber of Crafts  

  • For Business that requires a permit:

Copy of the relevant permit  

  • In the case of a trust business (e.g. travel agency, dating agency, trade in used goods, credit agencies, key service):  

Certificate of good conduct for submission to an authority as well as information from the central trade register  

Can you register your business online? 

There are, however, some large cities where you can already register your business online; for example, in Berlin you can easily do this. There are, however, more and more offices that allow online business registration. Business registration forms can be filled out online and submitted digitally at offices where this is already possible. 

When can I start my entrepreneurship?  

As a blogger, you normally do not operate a business that requires a license. This means that when you have registered in Gewerbeamt, you can start.  

Please note, however, that there will still be further formalities. For example, reporting to the Tax office, the employer’s Liability insurance and the IHK 

You only have to take care of it first if you want to operate a business that requires a license, or if your company has to be entered in the trade register. If you are doing internet entertainment, it is extremely unlikely that you will be affected. 

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next steps after registering a business? 

 If no special permits are required for your business and your sole proprietorship should not be voluntarily entered in the commercial register, then setting up your sole proprietorship usually consists of the following steps.  

  • Business registration at the trade office or online  
  • Complete the Tax questionnaire for the tax office on Elster Online or Sorted 
  • Report to the employers' liability insurance association  
  • Report to the IHK  
  • The IHK will be automatically informed of the business registration and will contact you as soon as possible. You should take care of the tax questionnaire and the BGN yourself as soon as possible.  

Filling up the form for the business 

It is not difficult to register a business, but applying for the required documents may take longer. When you register your business, these documents should be ready. There are many offices that offer online registration as well as on-site registration. 

While filling up the form for registration, one needs to decide the type of Legal form one need to choose (solo proprietorship or UG or GmBh etc.). Based on the type of legal form you need to choose, each have its own advantage and disadvantages. Having only one company and starting a new business will allow you to cross Hauptniederlassung. You can mark it as Zweigniederlassung if you have more than one company address. Certain business activities require prior approval. Selling alcohol, becoming an expert in some activities, etc.  

Check out the video and other blog, where we have explained the detailed procedure for filling this form. 

Business re-registration: When and Why is it necessary? 

Re-registration of your business is required under these circumstances; 

  • Opening of a branch of your business 
  • Change of your business’ purpose 
  • Change in the ownership 
  • Entry and exit of shareholders of the company 

Deregistration of your business 

Of course, a trade can also be deregistered. In the case of a trade discontinuation or a transfer of the company headquarters, this would be necessary. If the founders wish to transfer their business to a new location, they should deregister their business from their current location and register it with the new one. 

I hope this blog help you to understand about the business registration in Germany. Feel free to contact us if you want guidance on starting a business or freelancing activity in Germany. We’re here to help! Not only this we are also providing consultation for insurance, investment, buying loans and taxation in Germany. 


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We want to be transparent with you. This article contains affiliate links, which means that when you click on them, we may receive a small bonus. Rest assured, this will not affect the price for you. Instead, it enables our dedicated Vanakkam Germany Team to continue delivering valuable content and improving our services. Your support is greatly appreciated as we strive to serve you better.

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