Questions relating to business or trade

Questions relating to register, re-register or deregister a business or trade.
Image: AnatolyM/Depositphotos

Registering a business

How do I register a business or trade undertaking in Berlin?

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:

How much does it cost to register a business undertaking?

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.

I am requested to state the date on which I began commercial activity. Is is possible to register with retroactive effect?

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.

I want to register a small business. What do I have to do?

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.

I want to operate a food truck/mobile café at different sites and at different times. What kind of business permit do I need?

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).

I am not the trader of the business being registered. Can I register the trade undertaking online on someone else’s behalf?

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.

I would like to register a dependent subsidiary in Berlin. What steps should I take?

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”).

I would like to offer caravan sites on my private property. What steps should I take?

For this, a trade undertaking must be reported by means of a simple trade registration. You can do this here online in the portal with an existing account or after registration. In the online assistant, first select the option ”trade” (“Gewerbe”), second “register a trade” (“Gewerbe anmelden”) and third “trade registration (general)” (“Gewerbeanmeldung (allgemein)”).

Who is responsible for tax registration?

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:

Re-registering a business

How much does it cost to re-register a business or trade undertaking?

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.

I would like to change my commercial activity, but my place of business remains unchanged. Should I do anything?

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.

I would like to exercise my usual activity at another place of business in Berlin. What steps should I take?

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.

Do I need to re-register my trade undertaking if I am no longer performing my trade as a main line of business but rather as a secondary line of business (or vice versa)?

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).

Deregistering a business

How do I deregister business or trade in Berlin?

You can deregister your business via our online portal.

How much does it cost to deregister a business?

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

I am requested to state the date on which my commercial activity ended or will end, respectively. Is is possible to de-register with retroactive effect?

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.

One of the owners of our GbR (partnership organised under the German Civil Code) would like to leave. How do I deregister this owner from the partnership?

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.

Other

My business undertaking has shifted from another city/from another federal state to Berlin. What steps should I take?

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

I require an excerpt from the trade register. How do I acquire this?

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.

I require a duplicate of my commercial licence. What steps should I take?

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).

Amazon or Ebay requires a restamped (updated) commercial licence from me. What now?

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.

Where can I get my tax number?

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”).

Change in name: The name of my company has changed. How can I notify the trade office in charge of this change in name?

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”).

Change in name: I am now married and have a different name. Do I have to report this to the trade office?

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.

I have moved. Do I have to notify the trade office of my new registered address?

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.

I want to register an insurance business. Do I need a license for this?

I would like to apply for a clearance certificate or for an excerpt from the Central Trade and Industry Register for official use. What do I have to do?

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.

I would like to work freelance. What do I have to bear in mind?

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: