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Registration in Germany as a commercial enterprise - is it necessary?
Thread poster: Tessa Kiock
Tessa Kiock
Germany
Local time: 12:17
German to English
+ ...
Dec 8, 2004

Hi everyone, I'm English and new to the freelance translation lark and am trying to get into it from Germany. I've got myself a Steuernummer, but I have a question as to whether I also need to register myself as a Gewerbe. I understand that there is a charge for this. I'm a bit confused as the self-employment thing seems quite complicated. I would be grateful for any useful comments.
Tessa Kiock
German>English

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-12-08 12:54]


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 12:17
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
In a word... Dec 8, 2004

Hi Tessa!

Welcome to the translation "lark" - although as I'm sure you'll find out it does involve a lot of hard work and not too much "larking around".

Proz.com also has a German language forum, and I think this question has already been asked there. You can search the forums by entering in the term you are looking for in the box at the left of the screen.

To answer your question: if you're going to be freelancing in Germany you don't need to register as a "Gewerbe" or commercial enterprise. Translators and interpreters count as "freie Berufe" in Germany (along with doctors, lawyers and the like), and as such we are not commercial enterprises. That also means we're not subject to "Gewerbesteuer" or trade tax.

However, if you want to open an agency, then that does make you a commercial enterprise, which is a whole different ball game.

Hope that helps!

Alison


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Tessa Kiock
Germany
Local time: 12:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Confusion Dec 8, 2004

Thanks very much for your help, Alison. Getting started seems to be really complicated and I was worried about what to do here in Germany, as I don't know the system very well and didn't want any tax collectors or the like hammering on my door.
I know that translation is definitely not a 'lark' and that it's very hard work, which is what I am prepared to do. If you have any tips on starting up, I'd be grateful. I've read some of the other forums and they seems to be quite useful.

Tessa


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