Freelance activity; notification of the opening of a business

The commencement of a freelance activity must be reported directly to the competent tax office without any formalities. The responsible tax office is informed by the respective municipality about the registration of a business. In addition, you must provide the competent tax office with further information on the legal and factual circumstances relevant for taxation.

Description

If you take up a freelance activity, you must notify the competent tax office directly within one month (§ 138 of the German Fiscal Code (AO). In principle, an informal registration is sufficient. In principle, the tax office in whose district you have your residence or in whose district you carry out your commercial or freelance activity is locally responsible.

If, on the other hand, you open a commercial business or a permanent establishment, you must notify the local authority (for further information, see "Related Topics" - "Trade Notification; Trade Registration"). The tax office will then be informed of your commercial activity directly by the municipality.

In addition, you must provide the tax office with further information on the legal and factual circumstances relevant to taxation within one month; there are various "tax registration questionnaires" for this purpose.

The following questionnaires are distinguished:

  • Taking up a commercial, self-employed (freelance) or agricultural and forestry activity (sole proprietorship);
  • Formation of a partnership/association;
  • Formation of a corporation or cooperative;
  • Formation of a corporation under foreign law;
  • Formation of an association or other private-law corporation within the meaning of § 1 (1) numbers 4 and 5 KStG or commencement of an economic/entrepreneurial activity.

Based on the information you provide in the questionnaire, the tax office will assign a tax number and possibly set advance payments.

Procedure

For the following questionnaires for tax recording, there is an obligation to transmit information electronically to the tax office (in accordance with Section 138 (1b) sentence 2 AO); unless the tax office has permitted the provision of information on the basis of an officially prescribed form upon application due to a case of hardship (Section 138 (1b) sentence 3 AO):

Questionnaires to be submitted electronicallyas of 1 January 2021:

  • Commencement of a commercial, self-employed (freelance) or agricultural and forestry activity (sole proprietorship);
  • Formation of a partnership/association;
  • Formation of a corporation or cooperative.

Questionnaires to be submitted electronicallyfrom 1 January 2022:

  • Establishment of a corporation under foreign law.

The questionnaires can be completed in the service portal of the tax administration "My ELSTER" and sent electronically to the tax office (see under tab "Online procedure").

In the following case, the information must be provided in accordance with the officially prescribed formuntil further notice:

  • Establishment of an association or other private law entity within the meaning of Section 1(1)(4) and (5) KStG or commencement of an economic/entrepreneurial activity.

The officially prescribed form for this questionnaire is available at www.formulare-bfinv.de.

Deadlines

You must notify the competent tax office of the commencement of freelance work within one month.

In addition, you must provide the tax office with further information on the legal and factual circumstances relevant for taxation within one month (see: questionnaires for tax registration).

Forms

  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide: Formloser Antrag (mit Unterschrift)
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

    Dieser Assistent unterstützt Sie bei der Erstellung eines formlosen Schreibens, wenn die zuständige Stelle kein Antragsformular zur Verfügung stellt.

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.

Links to more information

Status: 02.12.2021

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Finanzen und für Heimat

Contains machine translated content. Show the original content

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