register a company or self-employed activity for tax

If you start a business, take an interest in a business or become self-employed, you must inform the tax office.



You take a

  • commercial,
  • self-employed (freelance), or
  • agricultural and forestry activity,

or you establish a

  • corporation,
  • corporation
  • partnership/association or an
  • association,


  • you participate in a partnership/association
  • You are not carrying on your business as a hobby (no intention to make a profit).


You should file your business or self-employment tax return online if possible.

Carry out tax registration online:

  • Log on to the website "ELSTER- Ihr Online-Finanzamt" of the German tax administration with your ELSTER user account.
    • Note: If you do not already have an ELSTER user account, you must first create one. Registration involves several steps and can take up to two weeks. You will also need the ELSTER user account to submit your tax return electronically.
  • Then select the option "All forms" under the tab "Forms & Services". Then click on the tax registration questionnaire relevant to your trade or self-employed activity.
  • Complete the online form in full and upload any required documentation. Submit the questionnaire.
  • The tax office will check your details and you may need to submit additional documents.
  • You will then be notified of your tax number in writing.

Note: There is currently no online procedure available for associations and corporations under foreign law.

Submit your tax registration in writing:

  • Download the relevant tax registration questionnaire from the Federal Tax Administration website.
  • Complete the questionnaire in full. Use the questionnaire to check whether the tax office requires any further documents from you.
  • Send the questionnaire and any documents to your tax office. The tax office will check your information and you may have to submit additional documents.
  • You will then receive a notice about your tax registration.


  • Tax registration: Usually within one month after you start the business.

Note: In some cases there are other deadlines, for example when setting up abroad.

Processing time

The processing time varies depending on the tax office responsible.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • for representation: power of attorney to receive
    • for tax payment by direct debit: Completed SEPA mandate
    • in individual cases, further documents specified in the respective questionnaire for tax registration


Online procedures

  • ELSTER - Ihr Online-Finanzamt

    ELSTER - Your Online Tax Office bundles the online services of the tax authorities. Here you can prepare and submit tax returns and tax registrations via the Internet.


  • none

Legal bases

Links to more information


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Finanzen und für Heimat

  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Form, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited
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Responsible for you

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