German freelance translators based in Germany
Thread poster: Jan Lindeman

Jan Lindeman  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
English to Slovak
+ ...
Mar 27, 2017

I would like to ask you for help regarding how to proceed when one wants to move to Germany and (continue) his/her translation services as a freelance translator in Germany (in particular in Bavaria). I would need to know what steps one must take (possibly all of them) in order to be fully registered. Is the process difficult? Also, I have information and I hope it is not correct that the threshold for VAT payments is 24 000 EUR. Is that correct?
Many thanks for advice/help.


Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Debated not long ago Mar 27, 2017

It was debated not long ago on .

You can probably find many answers there.

The VAT threshold is quite low, but it is often an advantage to be VAT-registered, as you get VAT paid on expenses back, while it makes no difference for outsourcers whether or not you are VAT-registered.


Katrin Braams
Local time: 02:53
English to German
+ ...
No special requirements Apr 8, 2017

You do not need to register yourself anywhere. There are no special requirements for working as a freelance translator in Germany, as translator is not a protected job title. Everybody can call himself/herself a translator. Only if you want to be able to certify your translations, i.e. act as a sworn translator, you will need to fulfill certain (relatively strict) requirements. Of course, this statement only applies to your question about being a translator in Germany, not to respective work/residence permits you might need if you are not a EU citizen.

The VAT treshold is 17500€.


Mair A-W (PhD)
Local time: 02:53
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
registering Apr 9, 2017

GermanLaw1 wrote:

You do not need to register yourself anywhere.

Well. You need to register your residence in Germany. You also need to register as a freelancer in order to get the Steuernummer which you need to put on your invoices.


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German freelance translators based in Germany

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