How to fill the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung

How to fill the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung

Detailed instructions on how to fill the form and declare a business or self-employment in Germany. Includes an English translation of the form.

The Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung is the document you must fill to become a freelancer or start a business in Germany. You submit this form to the tax office (Finanzamt), and a few weeks later, you get a VAT number and a tax number (Steuernummer). This guide will help you fill this form line by line, in plain English.

This guide is for the July 2016 revision of the form. Make sure it's still the most recent version!

Before you start

Download the English translation of the form

This guide goes with the English translation of the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung. Filling this form is easier with the English translation.

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Know if you can be self-employed in Germany

If you are not a European Union citizen, you need a visa to freelance or start a business in Germany. On your residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel), look for a line that says "Selbständige Tätigkeit gestattet" (self-employment allowed). This allows you to be a freelancer or business owner in Germany1, 2, 3.

If you don't have a residence permit, or if your residence permit does not allow self-employment, you should apply for the correct visa first. Consult a relocation specialist for more details.

See How to get a freelance visa in Germany

Know if you are a Freiberufler or a Gewerbetreibende

In Germany, there is a legal difference between being a freelancer (Freiberufler) and being a tradesman (Gewerbetreibende). If you are registering a trade (Gewerbe), you must get a trade licence (Gewerbeschein) first.

See Freiberufler or Gewerbe: what's the difference?

Get a Gewerbeschein

If you are not a Freiberufler, you must complete the Gewerbeanmeldung (trade registration) and obtain a Gewerbeschein (trade licence) before you fill this form. You must do this before submitting the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung.

See How to fill out the trade license registration in Berlin

Open a bank account

You need to have a bank account to complete this form. If you don't have a bank account, you can look at our comparison of German banks. You do not need a business account; a normal bank account is enough.

Understand the Value Added Tax (Umsatzsteuer)

This form will be much easier to fill if you understand how the Value Added Tax (VAT) works. This quick introduction should help you.

VAT number: If you want to sell goods and services in the European Union, you need a VAT number, also known as a Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer. You will get a VAT number 4 to 6 weeks after submitting the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung1.

Charging VAT: In Germany, you don't need to charge VAT if you are a Kleinunternehmer1. Not charging VAT saves you a lot of work, but it prevents you from claiming VAT refunds. See this guide to understand the pros and cons of not charging VAT. If you decide to charge VAT, you can't change your decision for the next 5 years1.

See A guide to VAT for freelancers in Germany

Understand the difference between revenue and profit

Revenue or income is how much money you get, even if you don't keep all of it. If you sell 500 bicycles at 200€ per bicycle, your revenue is 500 x 200€ = 100 000€. If you charge 50€ per hour, and you work 1500 billable hours, your revenue is 1500 x 50€ = 75 000€.

Profit is how much money you keep. If you sell your bicycles for 200€, but they cost 150€ to make, then you make 50€ profit per bicycle. If you sell 500 bicycles, your profit 500 x (200€ - 150€) = 25 000€.

Understand which numbers, dates and codes to use

The Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung form mentions various numbers like the tax number, the tax ID and the VAT number. This quick guide will help you fill the form correctly.

  • Dates: German dates are written in the DD.MM.YYYY format. March 11 2018 would be written as 11.03.2018.
  • Handelsregisternummer: The German Trade Register number. See our guide about the Handelsregisternummer for more information.
  • Identifikationsnummer: Tax identification number (Steueridentifikationsnummer). This is an 11 digit number with the "12 345 678 901" format. See our guide about tax numbers for more details.
  • Religion: Your religion code. Use the same religion you have declared during your first Anmeldung. Here is the list of religion codes1:
    • Not religious for tax purposes: VD
    • Alt-Katholische Kirche: AK
    • Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche: RF
    • Freie Religionsgemeinschaft Alzey: FA
    • Freireligiöse Landesgemeinde Baden: FB
    • Freireligiöse Landesgemeinde Pfalz: FG
    • Freireligiöse Gemeinde Mainz: FM
    • Freireligiöse Gemeinde Offenbach/M.: FS
    • Israelitische Religionsgemeinschaft: IB
    • Baden Israelitische Kultussteuer Land Hessen: IL
    • Israelitische Bekenntnissteuer (Bayern): IS
    • Israelitische Religionsgemeinschaft Württemberg: IW
    • Jüdische Kultussteuer (NRW): JD
    • Jüdische Kultussteuer (Hamburg): JH
  • Steuernummer: Tax number. This is an 10 or 11 digit number written in the "12/345/67890" format. See our guide about tax numbers for more details.
  • Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer (USt-IdNr.): VAT number, also known as sales tax number or turnover tax number. This is a 9 digit number with the "DE123456789" format12.

Know where to find help

If you are not sure about parts of this form, we recommend you to ask a tax advisor for help. You can pick one from our list of English-speaking tax advisors in Berlin. If you need help with visa issues, take a look at our list of relocation consultants.

You can also call the "Working and Living in Germany" hotline, a free, official hotline that helps people settle in Germany. They speak English.

How to fill this form, line by line

Here is how to fill the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung, line by line. You can find the official instructions (in German) here. You can find similar instructions (in English) here and here.

  1. The name of your local Finanzamt. For example, "Berlin/Mitte". You can find the correct Finanzamt on this page. Just enter your postal code in the search box.
  2. Your Steuernummer. This is a 13 digit number. Do not confuse it with the Steueridentifikationsnummer. See this guide for more information. If you don't have a Steuernummer yet, leave this line blank. 
  3. Check this box want to register a business (Gewerbe), or if you want to register as a freelancer (Freiberufler).
  4. Check this box want to register a business partnership or a business association.
  5. Your last name and your first name.
  6. Your birth name or maiden name, if it's different from your current name. If your name has never changed, leave this field blank.
  7. Your current profession and your birth date.
    1. Ausgeübter Beruf: your current profession. For example, "Zahnarzt" (dentist). You must write in German. Use this list of professions to help you find the right translation.
    2. Geburtsdatum: your birth date.
  8. The street name of the address where you live. For example, "Friedrichstraße".
  9. The house number of the address where you live.
    1. In Hausnummerzusatz, you can put your apartment or building number. For example, if you live at "Musterstraße 22B", write "B".
    2. In Adressergänzung, you can add information to your address. For example, if you live with John Smith, but your name is not on your mailbox, you can write "c/o John Smith" in that field.
  10. The postal code, city and region of the address where you live. For example, "10115" and "Wolfsburg, Niedersachsen".
  11. The postal code, city and PO number of your post office box. If you do not have a post office box, leave this line blank.
  12. Your tax ID and religion.
    1. Identifikationsnummer: The tax ID is an 11 digit number with the format 12 345 678 012. Do not confuse it with the Steuernummer. See this guide for more information.
    2. Religion: See the help above for available religion codes. Write the same religion as in your Anmeldung.
  13. The official status of your marriage or civil union. Only fill the fields that apply to you. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this line blank.
  14. The last name and first name of your spouse or civil partner.
  15. The birth name or maiden name of your spouse of civil partner. If his or her name has never changed, leave this field blank. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this line blank.
  16. The current profession and the birth date of your spouse or civil partner.
    1. Ausgeübter Beruf: your current profession. For example, "Zahnarzt" (dentist). You must write in German. Use this list of professions to help you find the right translation.
    2. Geburtsdatum: the birth date of your spouse or civil partner.
  17. The street name of the address where your spouse or civil partner lives. If you live at the same address, leave this line blank. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  18. The house number of the address where your spouse or civil partner lives. If you live at the same address, leave this line blank. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this line blank.
  19. The postal code, city and region of the address where your spouse or civil partner lives. If you live at the same address, leave this line blank. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this line blank.
  20. The tax ID and religion of your spouse or civil partner. Write the same religion as in his/her Anmeldung. See the help above for available religion codes.
  21. Your telephone number.
  22. Your second telephone number, if applicable.
  23. Your email address.
  24. Your website address, if applicable.
  25. A description of what you do as a freelancer or what your business does. You must write it in German, and you must be as specific as possible. If necessary, find a translator to help you. The Finanzamt will use this description to determine if you are a tradesperson (Gewerbe) or a freelancer (Freiberufler)1, so this is very important. Here are the official examples for this field1:
    • Handel mit Hilfsmitteln zum Schweißen oder Löten - Store that sells tools for soldering and metal welding
    • Bäckerei (Handel mit Bäckereierzeugnissen - Brötchen, Brot, Backwaren) - Bakery (commerce with baked goods: bread, rolls, pastries)
    • Arzt - Internist - Doctor, internist
  26. Extra space for line 25.
  27. The IBAN number of your main bank account. This bank account will be used for all tax matters. If you want to use separate personal (lines 31 to 34) and business (lines 35 to 38) bank accounts, leave this field blank
  28. The BIC number of your main bank account. For example, "COBADEXXX". If you want to use separate personal (lines 31 to 34) and business (lines 35 to 38) bank accounts, leave this field blank
  29. The bank name and branch location of your main bank account. For example, "Commerzbank Berlin". If you want to use separate personal (lines 31 to 34) and business (lines 35 to 38) bank accounts, leave this field blank
  30. The name of owner of your main bank account.
    • If it's your name, check "lt. Zeile 5".
    • If it's your spouse or civil partner's name, check "lt. Zeile 14".
    • If it's a different name, write it in the field on the right.
    • If you want to use separate personal (lines 31 to 34) and business (lines 35 to 38) bank accounts, leave this field blank.
  31. IBAN number of your personal bank account. This bank account will be used for personal tax matters (for example, income tax). If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  32. BIC number of your personal bank account. For example, "COBADEXXX". If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  33. The bank name and branch location of your personal bank account. If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  34. The name of owner of your personal bank account. If it's your name, check "lt. Zeile 5". If it's your spouse or civil partner's name, check "lt. Zeile 14". If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  35. IBAN number of your business bank account. This bank account will be used for business tax matters (for example, sales tax and payroll tax). If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  36. BIC number of your business bank account. For example, "COBADEXXX". If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  37. The bank name and branch location of your business bank account. If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  38. The name of owner of your business bank account.
    • If it's your name, check "lt. Zeile 5".
    • If it's your spouse or civil partner's name, check "lt. Zeile 14".
    • If you use a single bank account for all tax matters (lines 27 to 30), leave this field blank.
  39. Check this box if you want to allow the Finanzamt to deposit or withdraw money from your bank account automatically. This is very convenient, because it helps you avoid late payments.
    • If you check this box, you must include a SEPA-Lastschriftmandat (direct debit authorization) with this form - one for each bank account mentioned on lines 27 to 38.
    • If you want to determine the time and amount of your tax payments, do not check this box1.
  40. Check this box if you have a tax advisor. If you want to find a tax advisor, see our list of English-speaking tax advisors in Berlin.
  41. The company name of your tax advisor, if applicable. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  42. The last name and first name of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  43. The street name for the address of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  44. The house number for the address of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  45. The postal code, city and region for the address of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  46. The postal code, city and PO number of your tax advisor's post office box, if applicable. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  47. The phone number of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  48. The email address of your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, leave this line blank.
  49. Check this box if the tax advisor in subsection 1.6 has power of attorney and can take care of tax matters for you. If you do not have a tax advisor, do not check this box.
  50. If another company has power of attorney for your taxes, write the company's name here.
  51. The last name and first name of the person with power of attorney for your taxes. If you do not have a person with power of attorney, or if you already filled line 49 or 50, leave this line blank.
  52. The street name of the address of the person with power of attorney for your taxes. If you do not have a person with power of attorney, or if you already filled line 49 or 50, leave this line blank.
  53. The house number of the address of the person with power of attorney for your taxes. If you do not have a person with power of attorney, or if you already filled line 49 or 50, leave this line blank.
  54. The postal code, city and region of the person with power of attorney for your taxes. If you do not have a person with power of attorney, or if you already filled line 49 or 50, leave this line blank.
  55. The postal code, city and PO number of the post office box of the person with power of attorney for your taxes. If you do not have a person with power of attorney, or if you already filled line 49 or 50, leave this line blank.
  56. The phone number of the person or company with power of attorney. If you do not have a person or company with power of attorney, leave this line blank.
  57. The email address of the person or company with power of attorney. If you do not have a person or company with power of attorney, leave this line blank.
  58. Check this box to confirm that you have included an power of attorney authorization for the person or company mentioned in subsection 1.7 (lines 49 to 57). You can get that document from your tax advisor.
  59. If you moved to Berlin (or the city you are declaring filling this form in) in the last 12 months, write the move-in date.
  60. The street name of your previous address, if you moved here in the last 12 months.
  61. The house number of your previous address, if you moved here in the last 12 months.
  62. The postal code, city and region of your previous address, if you moved here in the last 12 months. If you moved from abroad, also include the country you moved from.
  63. The postal code, city and PO number of the post office box for your previous address, if you moved here in the last 12 months. If you moved from abroad, also include the country of the post office box. If you did not have a post office box, leave this line blank.
  64. Check "Ja" if you (or your spouse/civil partner) paid income tax or freelanced in Germany in the last 3 years. Write the name of the Finanzamt where you registered. For example "Finanzamt Berlin-Mitte". If you have not declared or paid any income tax in Germany in the last 3 years, check "Nein".
  65. If you checked "Ja" on line 64, write the Steuernummer you used to declare your income tax.
  66. The name of your company. If you are a Freiberufler, you will need to include your name in the company title1,2 Here are official examples:
    • Otto Müller – Gerüstbau
    • Imbiss „Balkangrill“, Inhaber Horst Spieß
    • Friedrich Spanisch – Übersetzungen 
    • Hofgut „Jotwede“, Inhaber Harald Schauinsland
  67. The street name for the address of your company. If you work from home, use your home.
  68. The house number for the address of your company. If you work from home, leave this line blank.
  69. The postal code, city and region for the address of your company. If you work from home, leave this line blank.
  70. The postal code, city, region and PO number for the post office box of your company. If your company does not have a post office box, leave this line blank.
  71. The street name for the address of your company's headquarters. If it's the same as your company's main address, leave this line blank. If you work from home, leave this line blank.
  72. The house number for the address of your company's headquarters. If it's the same as your company's main address, leave this line blank. If you work from home, leave this line blank.
  73. The postal code, city and region for the address of your company's headquarters. If it's the same as your company's main address, leave this line blank. If you work from home, leave this line blank.
  74. The telephone number of your company. If it's the same as the phone number on line 21 (your personal phone number), leave this line blank.
  75. The email address of your company. If it's the same as the phone number on line 23 (your personal email), leave this line blank.
  76. The website address of your company, if applicable. If it's the same as the website on line 24, leave this line blank.
  77. The date at which you officially started working on your business, including opening bank accounts, reserving domain names, contracting other people etc. If you already started, you can use a past date.
  78. Check "Nein" if you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities.
  79. Check "Ja" if you will have other branch locations in other municipalities. Write the business name of the second branch location.
  80. The street name for the address of the second branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  81. The house number for the address of the second branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  82. The postal code, city and region for the address of the second branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  83. The phone number of the second branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  84. The business name of the third branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  85. The street name for the address of the third branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  86. The house number for the address of the third branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  87. The postal code, city and region for the address of the third branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  88. The phone number of the third branch location. If you will not have other branch locations in other municipalities, leave this line blank.
  89. Check this box if there are more than 3 branch locations to declare. Attach the name, address and contact information of the other locations to the form when you submit it.
  90. Check "Ja" if you are registered in the German Trade Register (Handelsregister), and the date of your registration. Check "Nein" if you are not registered. Check the "Eine Eintragung is beabsichtigt" box if you want to be registered.
    • Freelancers (Freiberufler) don't need to be in the Handelsregister1.
    • Small businesses (Kleinunternehmer) don't need to be in the Handelsregister1, but they can ask to be listed.
    • Being in the Handelsregister forces you to use double entry bookkeeping1. This can make things really complicated for a small business or freelancer.
    • If you are a Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts, a company constituted under civil law, you don't need to be listed in the Handelsregister12.
  91. Check "Antrag beim Handelsregister gestellt" if you are not yet registered in the Handelsregister, but already filed applied for it.
  92. If you checked the box on line 91, write the date on which you requested an entry in the Handelsregister.
  93. If you are registered in the Handelsregister, write the name of the district court (Amtsgericht) where it was registered. You can have a look at the list of Amtsgerichte.
  94. If you are registered in the Handelsregister, write your Handelsregisternummer.
  95. Establishment of a new business (first checkbox), transfer/relocation of a business (second checkbox).
    • If you are establishing a new business, check the Neugründung zum box, and in the field next to it, write the start date of your business. This is the same date as on line 77.
    • If you are relocating or transferring your business, check the Verlegung zum box, and in the field next to it, write the transfer date.
  96. Acquisition of an existing business (first checkbox), change of legal form (second checkbox).
    • If you are taking over a business (for example buying, inheriting or being given a business), check the Übernahme box, and in the field next to it, write the date of the takeover.
    • If you are changing the legal form of your business, incorporating a business or merging two businesses, check the Umwandlung/Einbringung/Verschmelzung box, and in the field next to it, write the date of the change.
  97. The name of the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  98. The name of the previous owner of the company, if applicable. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  99. The street name for the address of the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  100. The house number for the address of the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  101. The postal code, city and region for the address of the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  102. The name of the Finanzamt where the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company is registered, and the Steuernummer of that company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  103. The Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer (sales tax ID) of the company you are buying, inheriting, transferring or merging into your company. If you are declaring a new company or registering as a freelancer (Freiberufler), leave this line blank.
  104. Check "Ja" if:
    • You have been a freelancer (Freiberufler) in Germany in the last 5 years
    • ...or you have owned a business (Gewerbe) in Germany in the last 5 years
    • ...or you have owned an agricultural or silvicultural operation in Germany in the last 5 years
    • ...or you have owned more than 1% of a corporation (Kapitalgesellschaft)
    Check "Nein" if none of this applies to you.
    If you checked "Ja", enter a description of your previous activities in the Art der Tätigkeit/Beteiligung field. For example, you can write that you were the "owner of Jim's Widget Company", or that you were a "freelance photographer". Remember that you must fill this form in German. If necessary, find a translator to help you.
  105. The city and region where you performed the activity described in Art der Tätigkeit/Beteiligung on line 104. If you checked "Nein" on line 104, leave this line blank.
  106. The dates between which you performed the activity described in Art der Tätigkeit/Beteiligung on line 104 (start date, then end date). If you checked "Nein" on line 104, leave this line blank.
  107. The name of the Finanzamt where you performed the activity described in Art der Tätigkeit/Beteiligung on line 104, and the tax number you used for that activity. If you checked "Nein" on line 104, leave this line blank.
  108. The sales tax ID (Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer) you used for the activity you described on line 104. If you checked "Nein" on line 104, leave this line blank. If you did not have an Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer for that activity, leave this line blank.
  109. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from agriculture and silviculture.
    1. Your expected income agricultural and silvicultural income, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected income agricultural and silvicultural income, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected agricultural and silvicultural income, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected agricultural and silvicultural income, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  110. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from commercial operations. In other words, the profit you make from operating your business or businesses.
    1. Your expected commercial income, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected commercial income, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected commercial income, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected commercial income, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  111. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from working as a freelancer (Freiberufler).
    1. Your expected income from freelance work, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected income from freelance work, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from freelance work, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from freelance work, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  112. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from non-freelance work. For example, your salary from a regular full time job or from a mini-job.
    1. Your expected income from non-freelance work, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected income from non-freelance work, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from non-freelance work, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from non-freelance work, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  113. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from investments. For example, stock market income, bonds and interests. Do not include your property income here.
    1. Your expected investment income, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected investment income, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected investment income, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected investment income, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  114. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from rental or leasing. For example, income from renting an apartment.
    1. Your expected rental or leasing income, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected rental or leasing income, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected rental or leasing income, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected rental or leasing income, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  115. Expected income (profit, not revenue)12 from other sources. For example, receiving a pension.
    1. Your expected income from other sources, during your first year in business.
    2. Your expected income from other sources, during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from other sources, during your first year in business. Under German tax law, your incomes are considered as one income. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected income from other sources, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  116. Expected amount of special expenses. This is for expenses like tax write-offs, not regular business expenses like office supplies or advertising.
    1. The expected amount of special expenses during your first year in business.
    2. The expected amount of special expenses during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected amount of special expenses, during your first year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected amount of special expenses, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  117. Expected amount of income tax payments. If you are not sure, leave this line blank.
    1. The expected amount of tax deductions during your first year in business.
    2. The expected amount of tax deductions during your second year in business.
    3. Your spouse or civil partner's expected amount of tax deductions, during your first year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
    4. Your spouse or civil partner's expected amount of tax deductions, during your second year in business. If you are not married or in a civil union, leave this field blank.
  118. Check this box if you want to report your income using single entry bookkeeping (also called net income bookkeeping). Single entry bookkeeping is simpler and easier to use, but it's not suitable for larger businesses. See this guide or this guide for a comparison of single and double entry bookkeeping.
    • If you are a freelancer (Freiberufler), you should probably check this box. Single entry bookkeeping is easier for freelancers.
    • If you are declaring a small business (Kleinunternehmer) that will not be registered the Handelsregister (see line 90), you should probably check this box. Single entry bookkeeping is easier for small businesses.
    • If you are not sure, ask a tax advisor.
  119. Check this box if you want to report your income using double entry bookkeeping (also called balance sheet bookkeeping). Double entry bookkeeping is more complex, but it's mandatory for larger businesses1. See this guide or this guide for a comparison of single and double entry bookkeeping.
    • If you are registered in the Handelsregister (see line 90), you must check this box1.
    • If you are registered as a Gewerbe (see line 25) and you make more than 60 000€/year in profit or 600 000€/year in revenue, you must check this box1.
    • If you are a freelancer (Freiberufler), you do not need to use double entry bookkeeping1. Single entry bookkeeping can be easier for you. You should not check this box.
    • If you are a small business (Kleinunternehmer), you do not need to use double entry bookkeeping1. Single entry bookkeeping can be easier for you. You should not check this box.
    • If you are not sure, ask a tax advisor.
  120. Check this box if you want to report your profit based on average rates. This only applies to agricultural and silvicultural businesses.
  121. Check this box if you want to report your profit using another method. This probably does not apply to you.
  122. Check "Nein" if your business year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31. If your business uses a different fiscal calendar, check "Ja" and write the first day of your business year. In most cases, you should check "Nein".
  123. Check this box if you want to apply for tax deductions on construction work. If you have significant construction or renovation expenses, ask a tax advisor about this section. If you don't have construction or renovation expenses, do not check this box.
  124. If you have employees, write the number of employees you are hiring, including temporary workers. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank.
    1. Insgesamt: total number of employees
    2. davon Familienangehörig: total number of employees that are relatives
    3. davon geringfügig: total number of marginally employed workers (employees with minijobs)1.
  125. The date of your first wage payments, when you write your first paycheques. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank.
  126. If you have employees, select the registration period for payroll taxes. This depends on the amount of payroll tax you expect to pay. Use this website to calculate payroll tax you must pay. If you do not have employees, you do not need to pay payroll tax, so you can leave this line blank.
    1. monatlich: monthly, if you plan to pay more than 4 000€ in payroll tax this year.
    2. vierteljährlich: quarterly, if you plan to pay more than 1 080€ in payroll tax this year, but less than 4 000€.
    3. monatlich: monthly, if you plan to pay less than 1 080€ in payroll tax this year.
  127. This section only applies if you have employees. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  128. This section only applies if you have employees. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  129. This section only applies if you have employees. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  130. This section only applies if you have employees. If you do not have employees, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  131. The estimated revenue for your first and second year in business. Write the revenue, not the profit. Your revenue determines if you must charge your customers VAT (Umsatzsteuer). See line 133 for more details.
  132. Check "Ja" if you are acquiring an entire business. Otherwise, check "Nein". If you are registering as a freelancer or declaring a new business, you must check "Nein".
  133. Check this box if you are a small business (Kleinunternehmer), and you don't want to charge VAT (also known as Umsatzsteuer or sales tax) on your invoices.
    • See this guide to understand what a Kleinunternehmer is.
    • You can only declare yourself as a small business if you make less than 17 500€ in revenue during your first year in business and you make less than 50 000€ in revenue during your second year1.
    • Both freelancers and businesses (Gewerbe) can declare themselves as a small business1.
    • If you don't charge VAT, your prices are lower for your customer. This can be a business advantage.
    • If you don't charge VAT, you don't need to make monthly VAT declaration.
    • If you don't charge VAT, you can't get VAT refunds for your business expenses.
    • If your revenue goes above 50 000€, you will need to start paying VAT tax.
    • See this guide to understand the pros and cons of not charging VAT as a Kleinunternehmer.
  134. Check this box if you are a small business (Kleinunternehmer), but you want to charge a VAT on your invoices.
    • See this guide to understand what a Kleinunternehmer is.
    • If you check this box, you cannot change your decision for the next 5 years1.
    • If you charge VAT, you can get VAT refunds for your business expenses.
    • If you charge VAT, you must make monthly VAT declarations. This can be a lot of work.
    • See this guide to understand the pros and cons of charging VAT as a Kleinunternehmer.
  135. Check this box if you want to group this company with a subsidiary for tax purposes. If you are a freelancer or if you only have one business, you can ignore this subsection. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  136. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  137. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  138. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  139. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  140. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  141. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  142. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  143. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  144. If you did not check the box on line 135, leave this line blank. If you are a freelancer or only own one business, leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  145. You can apply for partial or total VAT exemptions under § 4 UStGHere is a list of activities that can have tax exemptions1. If you are a freelancer or a small business, this probably does not apply to you.
    1. If you want to apply for a tax exemption, check "Ja". If you don't want to apply for a tax exemption, check "Nein". Freelancers and small businesses should normally check "Nein".
    2. Art des Umsatzes/der Tätigkeit: the activity for which you want a tax exemption. For example: "medizinische Dienste" (medical services)1This list can help you. If you checked "Nein", leave this field blank.
    3. (§4Nr. _____ UStG):  write the number of the paragraph from § 4 UStG that qualifies this activity for a tax exemption. For example, "15a" (tax exemption for medical services). This list can help you. If you checked "Nein", leave this field blank.
  146. Check this box if you want to charge a lower VAT according to § 12 UStGFor some products and services, you can charge a 7% VAT instead of 19%. You must list these products separately on your invoices, and you must specify why the lower tax rate applies. If you are a freelancer or a small business, it's easier to check "Nein".
  147. Check this box if you want to charge taxes according to § 24 UStG. This only applies to agricultural and silvicultural businesses.
  148. Check this box if you want to charge VAT based on the amount you should have collected. You make VAT payments based on the amounts you have invoiced, even if you haven't received the money yet.
  149. Check this box if you want to charge VAT based on the amount you actually have collected. You only make VAT payments once you receive money from your customers. If you are a freelancer or a small business, this is the best option for you12,3. You can check more than one box for lines 150 to 152.
  150. Check this box if you expect your revenue to be under 500 000€ during your first year in business.
  151. Check this box if you want to be exempted from using double entry bookkeeping according to §148 AOen, de. Essentially, check this box if you think double entry bookkeeping would be too hard for your business. For example, you can check this box if your profit is below 50 000€ per year. If you already checked line 152, you do not need to check this box.
  152. Check this box if you want to be exempted from using double entry bookkeeping because you are a freelancer. You can check more than one box.
  153. Check this box if you need a VAT number. If you want to do business with customers in the European Union, you need a VAT number. If you already have a VAT number, leave this line blank.
  154. Check this box if you already have a VAT number.
  155. If you already have a VAT number, write it here, and write the date it was issued on.
  156. This only applies if you are offering building cleaning services. If this does not apply to you, leave this line blank. If this apply to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  157. This only applies if you are offering building cleaning services. If this does not apply to you, leave this line blank. If this apply to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  158. This only applies if you are offering building cleaning services. If this does not apply to you, leave this line blank. If this apply to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  159. Check this box if you want to establish a Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS). The Mini One Stop Shop makes it easier to sell digital products and services in other EU countries. Instead of register for VAT in every country where you have customers, you only need to register for VAT in Germany. This guide and this guide explain how a Mini One Stop Shop works.
    • If you sell digital content (software, ebooks, apps) or digital services (web hosting, referrals, software as a service)1 to customers in other European Union countries, you should probably check this box. Online hotel bookings, restaurant reservations or other offline services sold through a website do not count as digital services1.
    • If you only sell to other businesses (B2B), this does not apply to you, and you should not check this box. The Mini One Stop Shop scheme is only for B2C sales.
    • If you do not sell digital content and services, this does not apply to you, and you should not check this box.
    • If you are selling software on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, you don't need to check this box. You are doing business with the app store, not with the customer, so it's a B2B transaction1, 2. You don't need to check this box.
    • If you are not sure, ask a tax advisor.
  160. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  161. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  162. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  163. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  164. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  165. If you are not declaring a business association or a business partnership (see line 4), leave this line blank. If you think this section applies to you, ask a tax advisor about it.
  166. The date and place where this form was signed, and your signature.
    1. Ort, Datum: for example, "Berlin, 23.10.2018"
    2. Unterschrift: Your signature, and the signature of spouse or civil partner (if applicable).
  167. If you checked the box on line 39, include a SEPA-Lastschriftmandat for each bank you mentioned in subsection 1.5.
  168. If you filled subsection 1.7, include a power of attorney authorization for the tax advisor who will handle your taxes. You can get this document from your tax advisor.
  169. If you want to declare more than two branches in subsection 2.3, attach a list of them to this form.
  170. If you are acquiring a business or changing the legal form of a business (see subsection 2.5), attach the corresponding contracts to this form.
  171. If you have checked the box on line 135 and need to declare additional fiscal connection, attach the list to this form.
  172. Partnership agreement. If you checked the box on line 4 and filled section 8, attach the partnership agreement to this form.
  173. If you want to attach additional documents, mention them here.

That's all! You are now ready to submit the form!

How to submit this form

In person

You can deliver this form in person to the Finanzamt you put on line 1. Bring the form and all the attached documents and go to the Finanzamt. You do not need an appointment for that.

By mail

You can send this form to the Finanzamt you put on line 1. Send the form and all attachments by registered mail (per Einschreiben).

What happens next?

In 4 to 6 weeks1, 2, you should receive your Steuernummer and VAT number (Umsatzsteuernummer) by mail. Don't forget to add these numbers to your website's Impressum, as required by law.

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