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Being a freelance translator in Germany
Thread poster: Silvia Gutiérrez Mayo

Silvia Gutiérrez Mayo  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 9, 2002

Dear colleagues,

I now live in Germany and need to know what I have to do to become a freelance translator here i.e. Finanzamt...and so on.

Can any of you help?

thank you very much

Silvia


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:20
English to German
+ ...
;) Dec 9, 2002

Hey Silvia,



as far as I know, you just have to tell your local Finanzamt that you have just started to work as a freelance translator (mention that you are a \"freiberuflicher Übersetzer\") and ask them to provide you with a tax number. They should know what to do. They might ask you to fill out some forms. (As far as I know you have to register there within 6 months after you actually started to work.)



These forms can be very tricky, so it might be helpful to fill them out together with one of the assistants at the Finanzamt. I am usually doing so, because I NEVER know what they want from me.



If you are a freelance translator, you actually don\'t need to register yourself at your local Ordnungsamt, which is the case if you want to work as agency, e.g.



Regards,



Sonja


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:20
German to English
+ ...
More advice Dec 10, 2002

Sonja\'s advice is good.



There is relatively little bureaucracy involved in setting up business in Germany, and in my experience the tax authorities are very efficient and helpful. (The same can\'t be said of all areas of the German civil service, unfortunately.)



Having said that: you must insist on your \"Freiberufler\" status. Some civil servants are known to insist that you register a \"Gewerbe\". This is not necessary for a freelance translator and if it happens, stand your ground.



When you get a tax number, remember to quote it on your invoices. This is not the same as the international VAT number (which is a subject in its own right).



There is a threshold for turnover above which you must charge your customers VAT (Umsatzsteuer). Below that threshold, you have the choice. Obviously, you must decide before you start business whether you are going to charge VAT, because you can\'t do so retrospectively.



Marc


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:20
English to German
+ ...
Marc is right Dec 10, 2002

You have to insist that you are working on a freelance basis (FREIBERUFLICH).





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Silvia Gutiérrez Mayo  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you!! Dec 10, 2002

Thank you very much for your help. I´ll do exactly as you told me. I´ll keep you posted on my advances.

Thank you again

Silvia


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