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  1. Hi, I’m just trying to set up a small sock making business. I have all the ideas to make it unique and different. I’m just in major need of somehow turning my ideas into reality. So here I am reaching out to the community to see if anyone can advise me on a Fairtrade, ethically correct company which will help turn my ideas into a reality and a physical final product.   Many Thanks,
  2. Hi All,    I have a question about tax implications.   If a person (on Blue Card) is employed full time and wants to start a business on the side,  what are the main tax implications.    The business is not expected to generate much income in the first few years.  The first year will have setup costs (for creation of product) --> read as business loss.  It will be a one person company.    What is the recommended business registration for this setup.    Will having a business impact the taxation on employment income . I understand if the overall income is higher, the employment income tax rate will change.  However, I am trying to determine if there will be other tax implications.    Can the business startup expenses be deducted,  against the employment income.    Example: Year 1 employment salary: 30k euros Year 1 business net loss: 10k euros    Year 2 employment salary: 30k euros year 1 business net profit: 5k euros   all help on this topic is greatly appreciated.  Regards,  Ghazi     
  3.   Hi everyone,   I’ve got quite a specific situation here, but please feel free to merge topics if it’s been covered before.   I’m located in Berlin, married and have the Tax category 5 (husband is 3). I also have permanent residency (he’s German) and unrestricted work activity/permit. We’re both privately insured. Currently I’m not employed but starting with a couple of projects/places soon and hence the questions, as I’d like to figure out what would be the best course of action for me.   I’m looking at doing marketing & /writing for Company A, who is willing to engage me for 20 hours a week. They are quite flexible and have said they can look into employing me OR working with me as a freelancer. As this is part time and I’m privately insured, I’m under the impression that if I were an employee, my net earnings would be complete pittance - after everything is subtracted.    Would it make more sense to register as a freelancer? (and yes, I’d have to figure out whether it’s freiberuflich or selbststandig too). Or would these earnings be about on par, whether employed or freelance?   If I register freelance, my understanding is I’d have to show projects from more than one client, which I could, as I’m also planning on contributing to a friend’s communication’s agency back in London. This is also quite a small possible income, so I need to figure out how to best proceed.    I could also just start as a part-time employee with Company A and treat any other side project as freelance work.    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
  4. Starting a company (in Munich)

    Below is a battery of questions, some of which extremely broad, but I want to get an aerial view of how a software company is founded in Germany (in Bayern, Munich):   1. What is the difference between a GmbH (that requires an amount of 25000 EUR of shared capital to open) and a "mini" GmbH that requires a substantially smaller capital? After some research:   the best options, in my case, seem to be "UG formation" and "Sole proprietorship". My company will be mostly focusing on apps (mainly for android) and perhaps a web portal that will allow for cryptocurrency exchange. Are these the right options, for an investment capital of ~30000 EUR? I'm currently the only employee and am using my own capital for investment. In the second link above, there was a mention about lawsuits being filed in the event of bankruptcy by investors. To what extent am I liable if I don't have any investors/business partners?    2. Where can I find a tax lawyer (Steuerberater) (might be wrong on the term) that is able to comprehensively answer questions related to taxation plans, penalties, how taxes vary depending on income (generally the higher the income, the higher the taxes), etc.? 3. What are some common hourly rates a tax lawyer might charge? 4. Is there a difference, in terms of taxation, between a freelancer and someone who works at their own company (and is, incidentally, is the only employee)?   5. Can my current residence (home) be used as the company's headquarters?  6. What exactly are the extra costs in taxation incurred by having a company?  7. How and where do you file for bankruptcy?  8. If all's well, how will taxes vary if the company takes of (and is making millions per month)? 9. What are the costs of lawyering up? There is a practice or rather, a "business model" in the states, of entities to drag businesses into trials and get them to pay penalties as well as the costs of the trials themselves. For example, a cryptocurrency exchange platform does not patent the algorithms used to, say, predict currency values. A malicious entity ("company") could then create a (fictional) patent and then, sue the company for not paying them loyalties.  How can this be avoided? 10. How are taxes being applied to apps on google play in Germany? 11. How do they change if the app is to be downloaded internationally? 12. Can the same bank account my employer is currently paying my salary into, be used for payments from google play, or the currency exchange platform?  13. I know that there are certain limits of the amount a bank account can hold as well as transaction upper bounds (20000 EUR on a "normal" account at Deutsche Bank). I have very little expertise, but are there accounts at db that can be opened by a person or commercial entity and allow for transactions with higher bounds (e.g. in the order of millions)?    14. Is it better (in terms of cost effectiveness, ease) to delegate accountancy and legal issues to a third party in the early stages of the company? 15. What documents should I have ready for tax audits? How frequent are these audits and what is the process of an actual audit? 16. When the company expands and needs new hires, how will their taxes be deducted? If they make more than 52200 EUR ("") will they be in position of doing their own taxes or will still rely on their employer to handle taxes?  17. When the annual income exceeds 52200 EUR ("") do private taxes automatically become mandatory? or an employee can still use their public health insurance scheme?  18. How does German citizenship affect, if at all, taxation? 19. How does taxation apply to new hires within the E.U. as well as outside of Europe? (I'm planning to outsource some of the work to Eastern Europe/Southeast Asia). 20. What is the process of selling or acquiring a company?  21. How are shares sold? and what taxation applies to them? 22. If there is one or more investor that, cumulatively, have less than half of the company in what way(s) are they able to influnence investments plan, and the general progress of the company? 23. What are some meetups that are pertinent to business, startups and taxes?  23. What are some other venues of getting to know more on business, in person, in Munich?    24. What is the process of meeting up with a tax lawyer? Do they answer particular questions or provide a set of common steps one should take in paying taxes? 25. Are there any "hidden" taxes that one should be aware of (currently I have experience only as an employee and not an employer)?  
  5. Hello, in 2017 I found an UG company (as kleinunternehmer) for a possible freelancing opportunities but then I found a full time job before I do any activities on this UG. I learned at that time that I must hire a tax advisor to fill the yearly tax declaration and I'm not allowed to do it by myself. And since then I'm with FreeFibu and paying around 78EUR per month (there is zero activities on this UG company). However, I learned recently, that if I the UG was registered as a (kleinunternehmer) then I am allowed to fill tax declaration by myself (Through Elster) since there is no activities. So, I would like to know if I'm allowed to do it myself or it shall be done only through a tax advisor. Thanks in advance.
  6. Bear with me, my situation is a bit complicated (or perhaps it isn't and I am just making it more confusing than it is!)   Some basic background information that is explained in more depth below: • I am a US citizen, and have been living in Germany since December 31 of 2017 • I was a freelance opera singer in the USA, and now am working since September of 2018 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart Fest in the opera house. • In 2016 I started an online business side-job where I produce and sell PDFs of Classical music ( The business isn't registered in the USA because it was just running as a sole proprietorship, as in, simply operating under my name.  • Since living in Germany, I have started working freelance also with a very well known classical music publishing house, performing the same work as I do with my online business (music arranging/editing)   Now the situation explained with more detail: Not sure how to address this predicament here in Germany... I am a US citizen, living in Germany since the end of 2017.  It's always been a side job to my main job, a freelance musician (opera singer). At the very end of 2017, I moved to Europe and have been living in Germany since then, now working at the Staatsoper Stuttgart where I am Fest in the opera house there (have been working there since September of 2018.) Through this time, I have continued to produce music and sell PDFs on my website, but as my domicile had been in Germany for all of 2018, "technically" this was income earned in Germany as it is under my name (even though the money is very international, coming from dozens of different countries from the online sales). I never earned an outrageous amount of money from this side job, each year less than $10.000, and I don't anticipate ever really breaking that threshold as my customer base is quite niche (and it is more of a hobby-job). On top of this, since I have lived in Germany, I have started doing freelance work for a very well known classical publishing house. This work is absolutely identical to the work I do with my online business, music editing/arranging. In 2018 I did very little with them, but so far in 2019 I have done a great deal more. With my invoices with this company, they have inquired about VAT, and in my research it appears that I am exempt from charging VAT as my "business" qualifies as a Kleinunternehmer, as even between my online business and my freelance work with this publishing company, I do not anticipate crossing the €17.500 threshold.   These are the questions I have regarding this situation:  1. Do I need to register my "online business" here in Germany, even though it is a business that started in the USA and has no store front (no physical presence) and simply runs on digital sales and services? 2. Does my work with the German classical publishing house function by operating under my name for the services I am providing, or is it better to also invoice them under the name of my online business? 3. Does the VAT €17.500 threshold refer to the money elusively made from the small business, or does this monetary amount refer to the amount that I am making personally, that is, does the income I am earning through the Staatsoper here in Stuttgart also count? 4. As in 2018 I made less than €17.500, and in 2019 I will make less than €50.000, do I still count as a Kleinunternehmer in 2020, or do I without question at that point need to be collecting and paying VAT regardless?   Thanks in advance for all your assistance... Just want to make sure that I am doing everything right moving forward, because I am not confident I have been doing things exactly right so far with this move to Germany!