How do you register your self-employment?

How and where you register your self-employment depends on your choice of legal structure and whether your activity is classified as a liberal profession or a business.

Unincorporated firm

Unincorporated firm

As a sole proprietor you register your self-employment:

The tax office will then give you a tax number, which you will need in order to write invoices.

To register a civil-law partnership (GbR) involving two or more people, each founder first of all registers as a sole proprietor by completing and submitting the “Gewerbeanmeldung” (“Business Registration”) form to the Department of Public Order (KVR or the local government office).  Have a look at our fill-in help for registering a business in Munich. Step 2: complete and submit one additional form, the “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung Gründung einer Personengesellschaft/-gemeinschaft” (“Tax Assessment Questionnaire Founding of a Civil-Law Partnership”) to the tax office in order to register the GbR. The GbR will operate under its own tax number.


  • Limited liability company (GmbH) (1 or more persons)
  • Provisional company with limited liability (Unternehmergesellschaft haftungsbeschränkt, UG) (1 or more persons)

Registering an incorporated firm involves, for example, stating the planned company name and purpose (“Unternehmensgegenstand”), notarial certification of the formation record (“Musterprotokoll”) and partnership agreement, the paying in of capital stock, entry at the commercial register by the notary, and only then registration of the business and registration at the tax office.

Plan sufficient time for this entire process and calculate the costs, which can vary significantly, depending on whether you set up the company using the simplified “Musterprotokoll” procedure or individual contracts.

More information:

Registering a GmbH or a UG
Registering with the tax office: online using ELSTER

Registering with the tax office: online using ELSTER

You must register online with the tax office, as all tax assessment questionnaires are now only available online via the ELSTER portal. Register at There you can access the “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung” (“Tax Assessment Questionnaire”) and submit the completed form online to the tax office using ELSTER. Only after the tax office has received the completed questionnaire and the necessary documents can the tax number be issued and a value-added tax assessment be made. You need the tax number in order to write invoices.

More information:

Munich Tax Office: English language leaflet on tax registration


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]

Register your business with the city where your future business will be headquartered. In Munich, turn to the Department of Public Order [Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR)]. Submit the business registration form [Gewerbeanmeldung] which is available in German language only. Use our guidance sheet to to help you complete the form correctly. Depending on the legal structure of your business, the registration costs between EUR 50 to 60. The Trade Office will issue a confirmation [Gewerbeschein] of your business registration

Business registration form in German [Gewerbeanmeldung] (pdf, 145 KB)

Fill-in help in English (pdf, 142 KB)

You must present your ID card or passport to the Trade Office. Nationals from a non-EU country who are already living in Munich are advised to verify if their residence permit includes a permit for self-employment. Depending on the type of your business you may need further permits as listed on the website of the Munich Trade Office.

Tel.: 089 233-96030


Schedule an appointment with the Trade Office to submit your business registration in person :
Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Hauptabteilung III, Gewerbeangelegenheiten und Verbraucherschutz, Gewerbemeldungen
Implerstraße 11, 81371 München
online booking tool

Submit your business registration by post or by email:
Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Hauptabteilung III, Gewerbeangelegenheiten und Verbraucherschutz, Gewerbemeldungen
Ruppertstr. 19, 80466 München


Step 2: Register your business with the Tax Office [Finanzamt]

Regardless of the legal form of your newly commenced entrepreneurial activity, you are obliged to inform the tax office responsible for you within one month of opening the business or commencing the activity. In general, the tax office responsible for you is determined by where the activity is expected to be carried out predominantly. In Munich turn to the Munich Tax Office [ Finanzamt München]. They require all information on the legal and factual circumstances relevant for taxation. Depending on the legal form of your business, this information is to be provided on the relevant “tax registration questionnaire” [Fragebogen für die steuerliche Erfassung]. The questionnaire is available in German language only via “Mein ELSTER”,  the financial administration portal. A one-time registration for “Mein ELSTER” is required before you can access the questionnaire. Please be careful when completing this form,  mistakes may have important consequences. If you have questions, consult your tax advisor. Please understand that for legal reasons we are not allowed to provide individual tax advice. Once you have submitted the questionnaire to the tax office you will be assigned a tax number which you will need in order to write invoices.

Munich Tax Office: information on tax registration in English language (PDF, 153 KB)

ELSTER Portal: information in easy German language

Munich Tax Office: tax registration questionnaires (German language)

Munich Tax Office: contact persons for new businesses (German language)

Munich Tax Office: information on taxes for new businesses (German language)

ELSTER Portal: guidance for the tax registration questionnaire (German language)



Further steps

Please check if you are required to inform other authorities such as the social insurance system, if you need any permits and which laws and regulations apply to your future business.