In Germany, the freelancer (Freiberufler) is for self-employed professionals with special qualifications who sell their services. Self-employed doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, IT professionals and architects are usually Freiberufler1, 2. Food delivery drivers and tour guides are not Freiberufler.

There are a few benefits to being a freelancer:

  • You do not need to register in the Handelsregister, the German Trade Register1.
  • You do not need a trade licence (Gewerbeschein)
  • You do not need to pay the trade tax (Gewerbesteuer)1, 2.
  • You do not need to use double entry bookkeeping1.

The Finanzamt decides if you are a Freiberufler when you register your business. If you are not a Freiberufler, you are usually a Gewerbe.

Freiberufler or Gewerbe: what is the difference? ➞