DE - Who needs to register a business?
The commencement of or a change in a (fixed location) business has to be notified to the responsible department. The same applies to a branch office or a dependent local office. It is recommended to discuss your plans in good time (eg. with your tax consultant, Points of Single Contact or Chamber of Commerce and Industry). An overview of the Single Points of Contacts in Germany can be found here:
iXPOS – Points of Single Contact
In the case of retail trade, it is duty of the sole traders to register the business, in the case of partnership (Personengesellschaften) (e.g. OHG, BGB-Gesellschaft) the duty of all partners with managing authority and in the case of corporations (e.g. GmbH, AG) the duty of the legal representative.
DE - What a trade means?
A trade means every activity which you perform in self-employment, for your own account, in your own name and on a permanent basis. It does not depend on your actually making a profit; however the intention has to be there. To be able to have your activity classified as a trade, it has to be socially acceptable. "Clairvoyance" for example is not included.
Furthermore there are additional activities which are not part of a trade. These include in particular professions (such as doctors, legal profession or tax consultants) and other activities which require higher education. Primary productions (e.g. agriculture and forestry, fishing) and scientific consulting are not trades. Likewise, the management of one’s own assets normally is not a trade.
Some business operations require a license. Others are subject to an inspection requirement. Other conditions apply for these businesses. Inform yourself in good time which personal, financial and professional requirements you have to fulfill in order to operate in this industrial sector.
DE - Purpose of business registration
The purpose of registering a company is to enable the relevant authorities to inspect the running of the business and also to carry out surveys.
DE - Deadlines
Notification of the registration of your company is due immediately at the start of business activities. If you delay in notifying your business, then a fine could be imposed.
DE - Legal basis
The following regulations apply: