Do I have to register my activities?

  • Posted on: 27 January 2020
  • By: Eileen Möller

If you want to make any kind of income with your activities (even as a side activity), you must register them at your local tax office. After filling out a questionnaire called “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung,” you will be assigned a tax number (“Steuernummer”) which is both specific to your local tax office and the activities you registered. You can find guidelines on how to fill out the questionnaire in English here, here, and here. Note that the tax number is not the same as the tax ID (“Steueridentifikationsnummer”) which is assigned to you automatically when you move to Germany for the first time. While the tax ID can only be used for employment, invoices as a self-employed person/freelancer can only be legally written with a valid tax number. General guidelines on becoming self-employed in Germany are provided by the BMWi business start-up portal. You can find information on which details have to go in an invoice here.
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