Getting registered as a freelancer in Germany
Thread poster: MonikaB
MonikaB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
English to German
+ ...
Dec 12, 2004

Hi all,

Can anybody tell me how long it takes to get registered as a freelancer in Germany?
As far as I understood (please correct me if I am wrong) when you go to register with the Finanzamt, they will send you a form to fill in and then assign you a tax ID, and you need that to apply for a VAT ID, which you need if you want to work for clients outside Germany.
Can you start working as a freelancer as soon as you have started the registration procedure, or do you have to wait till it's all finished and you got these numbers, especially for working for clients outside Germany? (And how long does it take to get them?)
I am currently living and working in the Netherlands and will move back to Germany at the end of the year to go freelance. Now my current Dutch employer is already asking me to do work for him in January - would that be a problem, considering I can only start the registration process when I am back in Germany?

TIA

Monika


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:43
German to English
+ ...
Getting registered as a freelancer in Germany Dec 12, 2004

Monika,

The process of registration with the FA is likely to be quick and painless. From my experience, the FA is the most efficient of the public services: it seems the government puts the best civil servants where they can do most good (collecting taxes).

You can start working immediately. You just won't be able to write any invoices until you have your tax ID, because that needs to be quoted on them. But I wouldn't expect to have to wait more than a week or two for the tax ID anyway.

The VAT ID is even easier: one phone call to Saarlouis was all I needed to do, admittedly ten years ago now.

You will have other things to get sorted out, e.g. various insurances, but nothing that should stop you working.

Marc


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Sybille  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
VAT ID Dec 13, 2004

Just done the same, called to Saarlouis and got a VAT ID during the phone call, which will be confirmed in wirting the next day.

Sybille


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Michaela Müller
Germany
Local time: 19:43
English to German
+ ...
VAT-No.? Dec 13, 2004

After I completed and sent in the form (here in Bavaria "Fragebogen für Gewerbeanmeldung-Anmeldung einer freiberuflichen Tätigkeit"), my Finanzamt needed only 5 days to tell me my tax number.

MonikaB wrote:

... they will send you a form to fill in and then assign you a tax ID, and you need that to apply for a VAT ID, which you need if you want to work for clients outside Germany.

Monika


Are you sure you will need a VAT ID? I don't know if you have already searched other postings in the German forum, where you can find pretty much about VAT and Kleinunternehmer (17.500 €/50.000 €/ year) and the pros and cons of each side.

Michaela


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:43
German to English
+ ...
VAT-No.? Dec 13, 2004

Michaela Müller wrote:

Are you sure you will need a VAT ID?



You need a VAT ID only if
a) you have registered for VAT and
b) you have customers outside Germany (in fact, probably only in other EU countries).

Unless both of these criteria apply, you don't need a VAT ID.

Marc


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MonikaB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Dec 15, 2004

Thank you all for your advice!

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