How do I register my business?
Before you launch your new business, you are required to register it with the Trade Office [Gewerbeamt] and the Tax Office [Finanzamt].
Step 1: Register your business with the Trade Office [Gewerbeamt]
There are different options how to submit your business registration in Munich:
1. Register your business online
You can register your business online via the München-Portal. You are able to upload additional documents if required. For the online registration process you will need to create a personal BayernID first.
2. Register your business by mail or e-mail
Complete the business registration form [Gewerbeanmeldung”] (PDF, 144 KB) and submit it to the Trade Office at the Department of Public Order [Kreisverwaltungsreferat – KVR] by mail or e-mail together with all required documents. Use our English language fill-in help to guide you through the business registration form.
3. Register in person at the Trade Office after setting up an appointment
Check the online appointment tool for available appointments and book yourself an available time slot for your business registration. If there are no time slots available we recommend to check again later to see if new time slots have been activated.
Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Hauptabteilung III, Gewerbemeldungen,
Implerstraße 11, 81371 München
Which documents do I need to register my business?
In Germany, everyone is essentially free to register a business.
But: Some trades or businesses require special permits or monitoring [erlaubnispflichtige und überwachungsbedürftige Gewerbe]. Many skilled craft trades [zulassungspflichtige Gewerbe im Handwerk] require a permit or license or from the local Chamber of Skilled Crafts [Handwerkskammer – HWK]. An exception applies to those activities that either qualify as “zulassungsfreie und handwerksähnliche Tätigkeiten” or are not regarded as part of the skilled craft trade at all.
Moreover, check if you have a valid residence permit that allows you to go self-employed.
The Trade Office lists the documents required for a business registration, such as:
- Completed business registration form [Gewerbeanmeldung]
- a copy of your identity document such as an identity card [Personalausweis] or passport [Reisepass]
- if you are not a national of an EU country: valid residence permit including a permit entitling them to go self-employed
- Supplement for authorised representatives: letter of attorney, competent proof of identification of the principal and the authorized representative
- Supplement for minors: agreement of the parent or legal guardian (for sideline businesses) or permission of the guardianship court [Vormundschaftsgericht] (for main businesses)
- entities listed in the registers of companies, cooperatives and partnerships or of associations [Handelsgister, Genossenschaftsregister, Vereinsregister] are required to submit a copy of an up-to-date and complete excerpt from their register
- trades requiring a special permit [erlaubnispflichtige und überwachungsbedürftige Gewerbe]: submit a copy of the permit
- skilled craft trades requiring a license [zulassungspflichtige Gewerbe im Handwerk]: submit a copy of the license [Handwerkskarte]
After submitting your business registration form and documents, the Trade Office will issue an acknowledgement of receipt [Gewerbeschein]. Please note that the “Gewerbeschein” does not replace any legally required permits or licenses.
When do I register my business?
- You are obliged to register your self-emplyoment either before you start operating it or at the same time as starting it.
- Registration in Munich costs about EUR 50 to 60 depending on the legal structure of your business.
- Additional fees apply when permits and licenses are required.
Business registration form [Gewerbeanmeldung] (PDF, 145 KB), available in German language only
Fill-in help with explanations in English language
Learn more about business registration from the Munich Trade Office:
Telefon: 089 233-96030
Step 2: Register your business with the Tax Office [Finanzamt]
You have to inform the tax office no later than one month after starting your self-employment.
Registering at the tax office is done digitally. All forms relating to tax registration are free or charge and available via ELSTER, the online portal used by the government’s financial administrative authorities. You may also use the forms provided by a commercial accounting software that is able to integrate with ELSTER. Please note, that in any case you are required to register once with ELSTER. The certificate file required for electronic authentication is created free of charge during registration. A domestic classification criterion (tax number) is essential for registration on the ELSTER portal.
Learn how to register with the tax office in two steps.
Are you considering to start self-employed work as a member of the liberal professions? Find out first if you qualify.