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

There are absolutely no costs or fees associated with using the Point of Single Contact (Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner) in the State of Berlin.
Only the statutory fees for administrative services from the relevant official bodies (e.g. 20 euros for trade re-registration) must be paid – as always.
In certain cases, the costs can however be reduced using the online process.

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Yes, the Point of Single Contact Berlin will inform you of the relevant official body/bodies for your specific case (e.g. if registering as an architect in Berlin).

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The Point of Single Contact Berlin coordinates the processes of the relevant bodies in your submitted case (e.g. in the case of a trade registration application).
The Point of Single Contact Berlin does not however have any influence over the substance of the decision.

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Questions relating to business / trade / freelance occupation

START - All about registering a new company

You can manage the registration of your business or trade undertaking via the EA Berlin online portal:

Alternatively you can apply to register a business or trade undertaking in person at the public order office of the district in which your business premises are located.

Please note! The tax office is responsible for tax registration. Here you can find the tax office relevant to your case:

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The cost for an individual to register a business undertaking in person is EUR 26. The cost via the EA Berlin online portal or in any other online form is EUR 15.

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You must state the date on which business operations began. If that was some time ago, you are required to enter the date in the past. This may also be some years earlier.

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There is no distinction between a so-called small business and a business. A business must always be registered, irrespective of size. You could use the online portal of EA Berlin for this purpose.

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Yes you can. The online portal differentiates between the applicant (possibly a representative) and the business being registered and its owners.

By filling out the identity declaration, you legally declare that you are authorised to fill out and submit the application for the registration of a trade on someone else’s behalf. You will find further instructions in the identity declaration which you can obtain via the online portal.

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You can register dependent subsidiaries via our online portal. Please use your existing account to do so or register for the online portal.

After successful registration, please “start a new case” (button “Neuen Fall starten”), select “trade” in the first step (button “Gewerbe”) and select ”register a trade” in the next step (button “Gewerbe anmelden”). Then answer the online assistant’s further questions step by step. At one point in the system, you will be asked whether you would like to register a main branch, a branch office or a dependent subsidiary. Please click on dependent subsidiary then (“unselbstständige Zweigstelle”).

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You can carry out tax registration in the course of the trade registration process (trade registration, trade re-registration, trade deregistration) via the EA Berlin online portal. Your documents are then forwarded to the relevant tax office. Here you can find the tax office relevant to your case:

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The relevant tax office allocates the tax number.

If you submit a “new case“ (“Neuen Fall”) via the online portal, you can also apply for the tax number at the same time. In this case, you can inform the tax office while running through the assistant under the section “messages” (“Meldungen”). Here you can answer the relevant question with “yes” (“Ja”).

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The link below provides the forms needed to register the commencement of business with your tax office:

You can find the right tax office for you matter here:

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You will need a travel trade card.
You will also have to obtain permission from the owner of the site.

If you wish to use public space, you will need to apply for a special use permit to use public space (office in charge: civil engineering authority in the respective district). It is not permitted to use a food truck/mobile café in parks (office in charge: Parks Departments).

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MANAGE - All about the existing company

The cost for an individual to re-register a business undertaking in person is EUR 20. The cost via the EA Berlin online portal or in any other online form is EUR 15.

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Yes. Any expansion or modification of your activity must be reported by re-registering your trade undertaking. You can re-register after registration via our online portal.

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No, this is not an element to be reported in relation to a trade undertaking according to § 14 (1) of the German Trade Regulation Act. In this case, informal notification of the relevant public order office should suffice.

In case you need verification, there is the possibility to notify the change in the context of a re-registering of the trade undertaking (with costs of 20 EUR in person and 15 EUR in the online process).

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A change in the place of business must be reported by re-registering your trade undertaking. You can re-register after registration via our online portal.

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If only your home address has changed, it is not necessary to formally re-register with the public order office responsible for the place of business. Notify the public order office of your new home address and enclose a copy of the certificate of registration. No fees are charged for this service. The public order office will then change the entry automatically.

If you need a trade license with your new home address for your documents or for other business transactions, you can apply for this together with re-registration which is subject to a fee. You can enter the related information in section No. 16a (“Other reasons”).

If your home address is also your business address, you will have to formally re-register with the public order office responsible for the place of business.

If your home address, which is also the business address, is located outside Berlin, the business must be de-registered in Berlin and registered where the new business is located.

You can use our online portal for re-registration.

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In this case, you must deregister the business in the other city/the other state before then registering the business in Berlin.

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If only the name of the company registered in the commercial register has changed (e.g. GmbH, AG, OHG), it is not necessary to formally re-register with the public order office responsible for the place of business.

All you need to do is to notify the public order office of the changed name and enclose a current excerpt from the commercial register. No fees are charged for this service. The public order office will change the entry automatically.

If you need a trade license with the new company name for your documents or for other business transactions, you can apply for this together with re-registration which is subject to a fee. You can enter the related information in section No. 16a (“Other reasons”).

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If only your name has changed, it is not necessary to formally re-register with the public order office responsible for the place of business.

Notify the public order office of your new name and enclose a copy of the marriage certificate or other proof of your new name. No fees are charged for this service. The public order office will then change the entry automatically.

If you need a trade license with your new name for your documents or for other business transactions, you can apply for this together with re-registration which is subject to a fee. You can enter the related information in section No. 16a (“Other reasons”).

You can use our online portal for re-registration.

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You can get the second copy from the public order office where your trade undertaking is currently registered (subject to cost) or you can access trade data electronically (free of charge for simple queries).

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The commercial licence is generally valid without signature and seal/stamp and has no expiry date. For that reason, renewed trade registration confirmation does not usually take place.

You can print out verification yourself from the State of Berlin’s e-information service for any current information. All current traders in the State of Berlin are registered in this e-information system.

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Berlin is the first major German city to offer comprehensive online information from the trade register (e-information). You may freely search the basic data held for Berlin companies (name, addresses and activity).

If you require an excerpt from the Central Federal Register – in order, for example, to apply for an (extended) good-conduct certificate for private use or for submission to an authority or for information from the commercial central register – then you can use the online portal of the Federal Department of Justice.

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Using the new German ID card (with its online ID function activated and a suitable reader), you can apply to the Federal Office of Justice for a clearance certificate and an excerpt from the Central Trade and Industry Register for official use.

Alternatively, you can go to one of Berlin’s registration offices during business hours. You can make an appointment online. However, you do not necessarily need an appointment for this matter and you will be given a queue number on arrival there.

The certificates must be sent to the public order office for the area where you wish to conduct your business. If you use the Point of Single Contact (“Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner”) for your matter, you can find the addresses in the “case file” menu on the bottom left in the step-by-step guide document for your case.

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CLOSE - All about deregistering a company

You can deregister your business via our online portal.

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Deregistering a business does not cost anything. This applies to both natural and legal persons.

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Please state when you ceased your commercial activity. If this was some time ago, you are also required to state the date in the past. This may also be some years earlier.

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Please log into our online portal. Launch a “new case” (“Neuen Fall starten”), select “trade“ (“Gewerbe”) in the first step and select “deregister a trade“ (“Gewerbe abmelden”) in the next step. Select “partnership organised under the German Civil Code“ (“GbR”) in the legal form section and answer the questions which follow step by step.

Submit the trade deregistration application as an individual enterprise, indicating on the form or via e-mail that the partnership will remain in existence or that the partnership will be continued in the form of an individual enterprise with just one remaining owner.

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Questions relating to the online portal

You need only provide a few items of information on your specific trade request and you can find out immediately which forms and documents you need to submit for this. You can also store the forms online on the platform at the same time. Once you have filled out and uploaded everything, you can submit your documents to the administrative body with one click. In your mailbox you will see when your request has been processed.

The online portal explained to you in five steps:

You can see a list of processes that you can transact via our online portal here:

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In order to be able to use the online portal you must create a user account using your name, your email address and your password. Then, after a brief moment, you will receive an email message with an activation link. You use this link to activate your account. You must click on this and, after successful activation, you can set up a ‘New case’ (e.g. trade registration) in the portal.

If you have already activated the user account previously, then you can log in next time via the “Login” menu item. This can be found on the top right corner of the web page next to the small language flags.

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The processing times vary from one Berlin district to another – these are dependent on staff workload, sick rates and incoming cases. You will typically receive written confirmation after 14 days (after receipt of payment).

If you need the confirmation immediately, you must visit the public order office for the area in which your business premises are based in person during consultation hours. When a trade is being re-registered, the new business address is definitive for the jurisdiction.

Only for corporations (KG), public limited companies (AG) and companies with a European legal form:
You can submit a status request at any time using the “case-related mailbox” in your electronic case. Select “New message” and “Trade … registration process” for the addressee, for instance, in order to contact the competent public order office. The message will then go directly to the staff member processing your case.

You can also find the general contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number) of the offices in charge of your case in the “Guide document” of your electronic case. You can also contact the public order office by phone or e-mail, or go there in person.

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If your request is not included in the online assistant’s list (see screenshot), please phone us – we would be only too happy to provide you with further assistance. Alternatively you can use our contact form.

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Once the processes have been completed, the relevant bodies will upload the decisions made in relation to your case into the online portal. You will also be informed of this via e-mail.

Log into the online portal via the “login” menu item (top right of the web page next to the language flags), open the case you set up and then download your decision from the system, by clicking on the documents that are marked with a left-pointing arrow (see screenshot).

Do not forget to save the decision to your personal files or to print it out, since concluded cases are completely deleted from the system after 180 days.

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The certificate in the Point of Single Contact procedure is computer-generated according to section 15 of the German Trade Regulation Act [GewO]. In this case, the certificate is valid without the seal of the issuing authority.
This is a so-called certificate of receipt. The certificate of receipt pursuant to section 15 (1) of the Trade Regulation Act has no substantive or legal effect.

You can, however, obtain confirmation with a signature and seal from your local public order office subject to a fee of €10.

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In this case, please refer to the relevant public order office directly.

If you open your case, you can use the link which can be found in the “relevant office“ (“zuständige Stellen”) column to view the contact details of your public order office or any other relevant involved office (e.g. Berlin Chamber of Craft Trades).

Alternatively, you can inform the relevant administrative office of the error by means of case-specific communication within the process (= via your mailbox in the left column).

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If you want to change your personal details, then please log into the online portal with your user details and click on the menu item “my account” (“Mein Konto”). In the “master data“ (“Stammdaten”) tab, you can enter or modify your contact details (e.g. phone number in +49 1234567890-11 format).

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Cases which have not been submitted, whereby the retention period (180 days) has expired, are automatically removed from the system. You will be informed of the deletion in good time via e-mail. Please start a new case.

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Technical questions

We endeavour to ensure constant availability of the online portal for you. In the odd case that a technical issue should arise, you can help us to resolve it. Send any problems to our technical support service with as detailed a description as possible (e.g. using screenshots).

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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.

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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:

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If the password you selected does not work, request a new password using the “Forgotten password“ (“Passwort vergessen”) function under the login form. This will be sent to you shortly via email.

You can log in using the temporary password in the e-mail whereupon you must change the password immediately. Then you are automatically logged out again (for security reasons). You can then log in using the new password.

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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.

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