Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Some questions come up again and again. We have sorted these into four topical areas and provide you with answers.

Can’t you find an answer to your question? Or do you require more information? In that case we would be only too pleased to help you on the phone or via email!

Questions relating to the Point of Single Contact Berlin

  • What processes can I actually handle online via the Point of Single Contact?

    Here you can find a list of all the procedures that you can take care of online using the Point of Single Contact Berlin:

  • How much will it cost to use the Point of Single Contact Berlin?

    The service provided by the Point of Single Contact Berlin is free of charge.

    Regular administrative fees are charged for certain administrative services. A business registration, for instance costs EUR 26.

    In some cases, costs can be reduced when the request is handled online. For example, a business registration requested online costs only EUR 15.

  • Will the Point of Single Contact Berlin help me to find the competent authority / authorities?

    Yes, the Point of Single Contact will inform you of the competent authority(ies) for your request and will forward your documents directly on request.

  • Can the Point of Single Contact Berlin act as an intermediary when several competent authorities decide on a request?

    The Point of Single Contact coordinates procedures with the competent authorities in the request submitted by you (for instance, in the case of a business registration for a craft with the Public Order Office and the Berlin Chamber of Skilled Trades).

    However, the Point of Single Contact has no influence on the content of the decision.

Questions relating to business / trade / freelance occupation

START - All about registering a new business in Berlin

MANAGE - Requests relating to an existing company

CLOSE - All about deregistering a company

  • When do I have to deregister a business?

    You are obliged to deregister your business if you:

    • fully discontinue operation of the business in Berlin or
    • relocate the business to another location outside Berlin, or
    • change the legal form of your company. In this case, the trade is deregistered under the old legal form and then registered under the new one.
  • How can I deregister a business in Berlin?

    You can deregister your business online via our portal.

  • How much does it cost to deregister a business?

    Business deregistration is always free of charge.

  • I am requested to state the date on which my commercial activity ended or will end, respectively. Is it possible to deregister with retroactive effect?

    Yes. Please always state the date when you actually ceased business operations. If the date was a long time ago, you must report this, truthfully stating the date when the business ceased. This may be a number of years ago. The online procedure allows you to submit your deregistration retroactively up to 60 months later.

    Please note: Failure to deregister your business when you cease business operations (usually no later than approx. 4 weeks after closing shop) is an offence and can be punished by the respective Public Order Office with a fine of up to EUR 1,000.

  • One of the owners of our civil-law partnership (GbR) would like to resign. How do I deregister this owner from the partnership?

    Start the “Business deregistration” process in our online portal.

    Submit the business deregistration as a sole proprietorship stating in the form or by e-mail that the partnership (GbR) will continue to exist or that the partnership will continue as a sole proprietorship (with only one remaining owner). The shareholders who will continue to operate the business do not have to submit any notification.

Questions relating to the online portal

  • What should I use the online portal for?

    You can use our online portal for certain administrative services online. You no longer have to go to different administrations in person in order to settle formalities relating to your profession or company.

    You can immediately find out online which forms and documents have to be submitted in your case. In addition, you can fill out forms directly online on the platform and submit them to the administration with one click.

  • How can I use the online portal? Do I have to register?

    Simple business registration:

    If you have a credit card or Giropay AND you wish to make a simple1 business registration, you do not have to register and can get started right away.

    All other cases:

    You must first create a user account with your name, e-mail address, password and security question in order to use the online portal. You will then receive an e-mail with a link to activate your account. Click the link, select the appropriate service and click “Start here”.

    1 “Simple” means that the business is not to be registered together with another service (e.g. entry in the Register of Crafts or registration for statutory accident insurance).

  • How long is the processing time when I use the online portal?

    The processing times for the two online processing options offered differ.

    • If you have chosen the procedure with the immediate transfer of the administrative fee, processing will be carried out by the respective Public Order Office as soon as possible after your documents have been received.
    • In all other cases, the respective Public Order Office will first provide you with information on how you can pay the administrative fee.

    If you have any questions about the procedure, you can contact the Point of Single Contact by e-mail at or contact your local Public Order Office directly.

  • What payment options are available?

    Simple business registration:

    In the case of a simple business registration or business re-registration, you can pay online. At the moment, you can pay by credit card or with Giropay. Work is underway to provide other online payment options.

    All other cases (with a user account):

    You will receive a document with the necessary information for a bank transfer (bank details, fee amount, etc.) from your local Public Order Office.

    1 “Simple” means that the business is not to be registered together with another service (e.g. entry in the Register of Crafts or registration for statutory accident insurance).

  • What is the purpose of 3D Secure with online credit card payments?

    We secure our payment transactions for our online procedures with 3D Secure. This is a procedure that makes payment transactions on the Internet safer and protects your credit card from unauthorised use by third parties.

    You must first sign up to use the procedure with your card-issuing bank.

    In the case of Mastercard, this solution was previously called “Mastercard Secure Code” and since 2019 is now called “Mastercard Identity Check”.

    Visa calls this solution “Verified by Visa”.

    During the payment process, your card-issuing bank checks the payment. In some cases, the bank will ask for further information on the payment process via a separate input page. You will then be asked to check it and (if it matches) confirm the credit card payment with your agreed security feature (PIN; SMS TAN, fingerprint…). After that, please complete your business registration process.

    Please note:
    Due to changes at Mastercard in April 2019, there may be problems with authentication. In this case, please contact your card-issuing bank.

  • I have received a PIN to retrieve my documents, but the link to retrieve the data is missing. What should I do now?

    Two e-mails are sent for each completed process.

    The first e-mail contains a download link to a secure system where you will find your trade licence.

    The second e-mail contains an 8-digit PIN which must be entered on the download page.

    If you only receive one e-mail, first check your spam folder where e-mails often “hide”.

    If the e-mail is not there, you can send us a message, stating your date of birth, and we will send you the confirmation. For data protection reasons, we will send this confirmation by post. If you would like to receive the document immediately by e-mail, please state so separately in your e-mail.

  • Will I receive a separate invoice for the administration fee paid online?

    No, a separate invoice will not be issued.

    You will find a “payment receipt” at the end of the business registration documents sent in the download procedure.

    In addition, the confirmation of business registration also contains a note stating:
    “Certificate issued in the EA procedure pursuant to sec. 15 (1) GewO. Fee EUR 15.00 [. ..]”.

  • I cannot find the request that I am interested in. What can I do?

    Is the request you are interested in not listed here?

    Then please use our contact form and let us know your request.

  • How do I get confirmation of my request? / Where can I find the official decision after my case has been closed?

    Simple business registration (without a user account):

    After processing has been completed, you will receive two e-mails from the Public Order Office. The first e-mail contains a download link to a secure system where you will find your trade licence. The second e-mail contains an 8-digit PIN which must be entered on the download page. As soon as the correct PIN has been entered, you will be able to download your confirmation.

    The download link remains valid for 168 days.

    All other cases (with a user account):

    The authorities in charge will upload the notices intended for you to the online portal once the procedures have been completed. You will also be informed by e-mail.

    Log into the online portal via the “Login” menu item (top right of the website to the left of the language selection button), open the case you have created and then download your notice under the menu item “How to proceed, who is responsible?” by clicking the documents.

    The notice can be downloaded within 180 days.

    Please do not forget to print it out or save it in your personal files, as closed cases are completely deleted from the system after 180 days.

  • Is my online confirmation valid even without a seal and signature?

    The certificate that you receive via our online portal is generated automatically and is valid even without a signature and official seal.

    This is a so-called certificate of receipt. The certificate of receipt pursuant to sec. 15 (1) of the Trade Regulation Act [GewO] has no substantive or legal effect.

    If you need to prove to third parties that you are currently operating a business, please use the eAuskunft service (free of charge for simple information).

    You can get a copy from the Public Order Office where your business is registered (subject to a fee).

  • The data transmitted to me by the office in charge (e.g. confirmation of business registration) is incorrect? What do I do now?

    In this case, please contact the Public Order Office directly responsible for you.

  • Where can I view or change my personal data?

    Only relevant if a user account has been created:

    You can view or change your personal data in the service account under the “My account” menu item.

    If you have a security-level 2 service account, changes can at present only be made at Bürgeramt Mitte and by personal appointment.

  • I have received an e-mail with the subject “New message in your case-related mailbox”. Where can I read this e-mail?

    Please log into the Berlin service account with your user data.

    Click the “Services” menu item and select from the “Single Point of Contact Berlin” list.

    Now start the application with the button “Start here” on the right side of the screen.

    The case list then opens up that contains the case you created. Click the case to open it.

    Under the “Your mailbox for the process” menu item you will then find the message from the administrative office in charge.

  • The case that I created recently no longer exists (or has been deleted). Why is that?

    Only relevant if a user account has been created:

    Cases that have not been submitted and for which the retention period (180 days) has expired are automatically removed from the system. You will receive an e-mail in good time informing you that your case is to be deleted. Please start a new case!

Technical questions

  • The online portal displays an error or fails to reply. What now?

    If you encounter technical problems, you can help us to remedy this situation. Please report any problems in as much detail as possible (for instance, using screenshots) to our technical support service.

  • I did not receive the activation link via email. Why not?

    In some exceptional cases, the registration link can end up in the spam or junk mail folder. Please check there first.

    If you can’t find the registration link there either, please send an email to our technical support service indicating the e-mail address that is to be registered.

  • My activation link is not valid anymore. What now?

    The activation link becomes invalid as soon as you have successfully activated your account. Either your account has already been activated (please check again) or something has unfortunately gone wrong in the registration process.

    Please refer to our technical support service:
  • I forgot my password. / My password does not work. What can I do?

    Please click “Forgot password” under the login mask in the service account. Then enter your user name and click “Next”. You must then answer the security question that you submitted. If your answer is correct, you will receive a link to create a new password. Click the link or copy it into the address bar of your browser. Enter a new password using the mask that opens.

  • Why is the digital signature in a PDF document signed by the administrative body displayed as invalid by Adobe Reader?

    Adobe Reader verification mechanisms are sometimes not sufficient for verifying qualified electronic signatures. The signature of the administrative office employee is however valid and can be verified using the online verification tools of the respective trust centre.

  • Why is the data of the first company transferred when submitting declarations from several companies?

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