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Gewerbe: IT, Web, Software & similar activities - All About

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Since I have questions (and there will be more) on this topic, I thought it would make sense to start a single topic which would revolve around general idea of performing IT and similar activities under a Gewerbe, with additional answers to questions applicable to any other type of Gewerbe.

 

So here are a couple of questions to start with:

 

-- In a form to be submitted to the Finanzamt (after the initial Gewerberegistrierung), there is a field: 2.4 Handelsregistereintragung which is about (as I understood it) the submission to the Chamber of Commerce.

 

The question: Do all Gewerbe have to register with Chamber of Commerce? What are the regulations?

 

 

-- My colleague told me one does not need to open any special bank accounts for a Gewerbe, a private account is enough and can be freely used. Btw, he works as a IT freelancer, maybe that is how he got this impression.

 

The question: Is this true? As a matter of fact, I have visited my bank (Sparda Bank) this morning and: a) They told me the person running a Gewerbe would need a Geschäftliches Bankkonto, b-) They don't provide these types of accounts (only private)

 

 

Subquestion: If one MUST open a Geschäftliches Bankkonto, which bank do you recommend? Is this online bank (N26) good for this purpose (a credit card would also be needed, for eg. overseas Internet payments)?

 

 

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4 hours ago, java10 said:

The question: Do all Gewerbe have to register with Chamber of Commerce?

 

 

No, not all.

 

4 hours ago, java10 said:

 

What are the regulations?

 

 

For some traders the entry is obligatory, for others voluntary. All this is well explained here.

 

Attention: The commercial register entry costs, you pay for the entry and the notary and leads to the obligation of double-entry bookkeeping.

 

4 hours ago, java10 said:

 

The question: Is this true?

 

 

No. How an account may be used is stated in the bank's general terms and conditions. 

 

 

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The same bank account is possible for freelancers for sure, according to T&Cs as per previous post.  Just another business negotiation.   They say: "You need a separate account",  You reply for example: "Do I really...hmmm...?"  and see what happens.

 

Having said that, I recently stopped freelancing and I now think that was the wrong choice.  I think I should have kept it away from personal affairs.   If I start again, I will use a separate one, even if it costs a little more.   I think it is definitely advisable to keep your personal affairs away from a more formalised business.

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15 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

No. How an account may be used is stated in the bank's general terms and conditions. 

 

 

With Sparda Bank, there's an option to apply for an Appointment with them. As mentioned, I paid them a visit this morning to ask about opening a new account (for my spouse) to be used by Gewerbe. The lady said as mentioned above (a business acc must be used + they don't offer such accounts) but then I checked the purposed in the provided list when one wants to set up an appointment. So there are, among others:

- Girokonto, Eröffnung

- Girokonto, Eröffnung Selbstständige/Freiberufler

 

So it seems to me they do have a type of account that would suit her - does Gewerbe fall into the latter option (Selbstständige/Freiberufler)?

 

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13 minutes ago, swimmer said:

You reply for example: "Do I really...hmmm...?"  and see what happens.

 

That can be risky, though. If the business use violates T&C, the bank can terminate the account. And standing there completely without an account is not much fun. 

 

6 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

 

So it seems to me they do have a type of account that would suit her - does Gewerbe fall into the latter option (Selbstständige/Freiberufler)?

 

 

It seems so ("Selbstständige")  – but ask the bank. 

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No, I think that is the problem.   Freelancing is actually pretty simple.  We just set up by notifying Finanzamt of freelance income using a form that is for various  sundry not-employed incomes like also pensions and nobody would suggest one needed a separate bank account for our pension.   A business structure is something else and I personally would keep it away from my personal family affairs.

 

You end up wading through your personal bank account to mark up the freelance ones, and so on.    I would not be doing that with a more formal business.

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9 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

That can be risky, though. If the business use violates T&C, the bank can terminate the account. And standing there completely without an account is not much fun. 

 

True, but of course even T&Cs that allow it when we enter might be changed overnight, and banks can exit certain sectors, and so that is an inherent risk anyway.  What you might therefore do is choose your bank carefully.   If it is your branch advisor who has arranged it etc, there would be a solution probably in the event that happened, and you could diplomatically remind them that they approved it :D.    You would not set up a bank account with unclear terms in total isolation, that would indeed be risky.

 

Again, I just saw that as part of my business administration, with risks to be managed. 

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55 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

With Sparda Bank, there's an option to apply for an Appointment with them. As mentioned, I paid them a visit this morning to ask about opening a new account (for my spouse) to be used by Gewerbe. The lady said as mentioned above (a business acc must be used + they don't offer such accounts) but then I checked the purposed in the provided list when one wants to set up an appointment. So there are, among others:

- Girokonto, Eröffnung

- Girokonto, Eröffnung Selbstständige/Freiberufler

 

So it seems to me they do have a type of account that would suit her - does Gewerbe fall into the latter option (Selbstständige/Freiberufler)?

 

 

Sparda Munich does not allow you to use your Sparda account for business.

The appointment is just so that they know that when you open a private account if you're a freelancer, that they don't give you an overdraft.

 

Source: https://www.sparda-m.de/konten-girokonto-fragen/#/

5c618e64255fc_2019-02-1116_00_49-HufigeF

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1 hour ago, PandaMunich said:

 

Sparda Munich does not allow you to use your Sparda account for business.

The appointment is just so that they know that when you open a private account if you're a freelancer, that they don't give you an overdraft.

 

Source: https://www.sparda-m.de/konten-girokonto-fragen/#/

5c618e64255fc_2019-02-1116_00_49-HufigeF

 

Well then, not sorry anymore I set up an online account with N26 which comes with a MasterCard credit card before I saw that option at Sparda website.

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2 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

For some traders the entry is obligatory, for others voluntary. All this is well explained here.

Attention: The commercial register entry costs, you pay for the entry and the notary and leads to the obligation of double-entry bookkeeping.

 

 

 

I visited the link you provided but did not quite understand everything. If a Gewerbe sells stuff, it may be under obligation to enter?

My spouse's Gewerbe is registered for the following activities:

- Fitness trainer

- Web design & development

- Software development

- Web hosting

- Running an Internet platform (eg. web portal)

running a web shop (only one kind of goods stated)

 

Since they mentioned selling as an activity, could it be that the last item in the above list might require the entry?

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39 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

I visited the link you provided but did not quite understand everything.

 

Have you tried to translate the texts yourself with a website like Google or Deepl?

 

39 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

If a Gewerbe sells stuff, it may be under obligation to enter?

 

It can be, it can't be - it just depends on the circumstances. 

 

39 minutes ago, java10 said:

My spouse's Gewerbe is registered for the following activities:

- Fitness trainer

- Web design & development

- Software development

- Web hosting

- Running an Internet platform (eg. web portal)

running a web shop (only one kind of goods stated)

 

Since they mentioned selling as an activity, could it be that the last item in the above list might require the entry?

 

It can be, it can't be - it just depends on the circumstances. 

 

"Ein Geschäftsbetrieb, der kaufmännisch eingerichtet ist, braucht in der Regel Fachleute, die sich um die Buchhaltung kümmern. Das ist aber nur ein Indiz dafür, dass du einen Geschäftsbetrieb in kaufmännischer Weise führst. Die anderen Punkte, die dich zu Eintragungen ins Handelsregister verpflichten können zum Beispiel diese sein:"

 

"A business that is commercially established usually needs specialists to take care of its accounting. However, this is only an indication that you run a business in a commercial manner. The other points that can oblige you to make entries in the commercial register, for example, are these:"

 

And then there are a number of factors:

 

"- deine vielseitige Geschäftstätigkeit: Du bietest zum Beispiel verschiedene Produkte oder Erzeugnisse an, betreibst Lagerhaltung und machst Werbung.

- die umfangreiche Geschäftstätigkeit deines Unternehmens, z.B. hast du nennenswertes Anlagevermögen.

- Du erzielst einen entsprechend hohen Umsatz. Wie viel hier ein Richtwert ist, hängt von der Branche und der Art des Unternehmens ab.

Produktion 300.000,- €

Großhandel 300.000,- €

Einzelhandel 250.000,- €

Dienstleistungen 175.000,- €

Handelsvertreterprovision 120.000,- €

Speisegaststätten 300.000,- €

Hotels 250.000,- €

- für dein Unternehmen hast du Kredite aufgenommen, die 50.000 Euro übersteigen.

- das Betriebsvermögen ist höher als 100.000 Euro.

- Du hast 5 oder mehr Angestellte.

-zu deiner Firma gehören mehrere Filialen oder Standorte.

 

Das sind Richtwerte."

 

Please read them through, translate them.

 

And if you are unsure, please talk to someone who is allowed to make legally binding statements and who is liable for them. I am not a lawyer and this is no legal advice.

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

...

Please read them through, translate them.

And if you are unsure, please talk to someone who is allowed to make legally binding statements and who is liable for them. I am not a lawyer and this is no legal advice.

 

 

 I will, thanks for the input and advice!

 

Next question for everyone:

 

Must a Gewerbe immediately start to declare VAT on the invoices? What needs to be done to stay out of the VAT system? Does some separate action/request have to be made, and if so, to whom?

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17 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

 I will, thanks for the input and advice!

 

Next question for everyone:

 

Sorry Java, but it doesn't work that way.

 

This isn't a free service for business start-ups where you can fire up absolute basics and someone will explain that basics to you.

 

The subject of VAT has been chewed through here soooo often, that it has even found its way into the FAQ. 

 

If you lack the basics, I advise you to do a business start-up seminar. Please inform yourself independently at IHK, Volkshochschule etc. who offers this in Munich and when. 

 

After answering the following questions, I'm out of here:

 

17 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

Must a Gewerbe immediately start to declare VAT on the invoices?

 

Of course, a trader who reports VAT - whether voluntarily or not - must do so immediately. Please use the forum search (top right) with the keyword 'Kleinunternehmerregeleung'. 

 

17 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

What needs to be done to stay out of the VAT system?

 

No one can stay completely out of the system. When you buy something, you always pay VAT. Otherwise: 'Kleinunternehmerregeleung'. 

 

17 minutes ago, java10 said:

 

Does some separate action/request have to be made, and if so, to whom?

 

Look for 'Kleinunternehmerregeleung' and 'Fragebogen zur steurlichen Erfassung'.

 

Good luck. 

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7 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

Sorry Java, but it doesn't work that way.

 

This isn't a free service for business start-ups where you can fire up absolute basics and someone will explain that basics to you.

....

 

Sorry, but I don't see a reason why we couldn't discuss anything on this topic - many could find this very helpful. That being said, I do agree that I should (have) search(ed) the forum first but it is also helpful to have the (short) answer here. And of course, if you feel tired/demotivated to answer the same question over and over again, that doesn't mean everyone else will also feel that way.

 

Now, regarding the answer you just provided (you said: " Of course, a trader who reports VAT - whether voluntarily or not - must do so immediately. "). I found this: 

https://www.junge-gruender.de/kleinunternehmerregelung/#Wo_kann_ich_die_Kleinunternehmerregelung_anmelden

 

It is said there that in the (large, 8-page) form to be sent to Finanzamt, one can declare that the turnover for the current year is not expected to hit the 17,500 EUR threshold and therefore accept the Kleinunternehmerregelung (which I intend to do).

 

My question was strictly about exactly that: How do I achieve not having to declare the VAT on my invoices / not having to return them to the Finanzamt, from the beginning (the form is yet to be sent to Finanzamt).

 

Thank you very much anyway, you've been helpful many times.

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1 minute ago, java10 said:

Sorry, but I don't see a reason why we couldn't discuss anything on this topic -

 

This is not a discussion here – this is a repetition of topics that have been chewed a hundred times and which you would like to have explained again exclusively. 

 

Quote

My question was strictly about exactly that: How do I achieve not having to declare the VAT on my invoices/ not having to return them to the Finanzamt, from the beginning (the form is yet to be sent to Finanzamt).

 

By keeping your turnover below 17,500€, for the whole year, 12 months. And by telling the tax office exactly that. Just have a look at the form, it's not that difficult!

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4 hours ago, java10 said:

I do agree that I should (have) search(ed) the forum first but it is also helpful to have the (short) answer here

 

aka Lazy.  Who do you get to do your job at work?

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16 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

aka Lazy.  Who do you get to do your job at work?

 

Can you repeat the question (aka if you don't have any input on the topic, then don't bother me with stupid rhetorical questions)..

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