How to register for multiple low-earning self-employed jobs

5 posts in this topic

Hi, I'm going to be in a weird position of earning lots of small sums of money from different jobs and am not sure exactly how to organise it all. My previous experience with a Steuerberater was a little unhelpful and also expensive, hence I'm hoping for some initial advice here. 

 

I'm a British national married to a German and living in Germany for nearly 3 years.

 

I earn around €500 / month in a part-time job which also pays for my health insurance (IT support in a local school). This is my main job. 

 

I also am registered as an Einzelunternehmer (& Kleinunternehmer) to earn money and offset the costs for a podcast which I run and get monthly donations for via Patreon. I will have earned approximately €1,000 this year through the podcast, though my profits will be nearly zero. Before you judge, it's a hobby where the modest income allows any costs to be offset.

 

Through various contacts in the industry I podcast about (tabletop roleplaying), I have landed some small odd jobs. For example, in one job I have created some MS Word templates for a publisher (earning €500 net). I will also be working the booth at a convention for the same publisher next week, selling their books (earning €300 net). Finally, the same publisher has asked me to write for them and that work will land between €1,000 and €1,500 (net), depending on word count.

 

In addition, I am looking to self-publish my own roleplaying games, for which I plan to register a second business (alongside my podcast). I won't start earning through this until next year and I don't expect to make much profit initially (revenue will pay for art, editing, and layout). 

 

So really what I am wondering about is whether I need to register somehow (Freiberufler / Gewerbe) to earn money from these small jobs (the templates, booth, and freelance writing), or whether it's legal for me to simply declare this extra income on my annual tax form and have it eligible to be taxed alongside my school income and registered business (podcast).

 

There is potential to do more small jobs of all 3 varieties (of which writing is the most lucrative), so perhaps registering somehow is the best option.

 

Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated! 

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3 hours ago, mattisokay said:

I earn around €500 / month in a part-time job which also pays for my health insurance (IT support in a local school). This is my main job. 

 

Beware: Your "main job" is only your "main job" as long as you earn the most income there. If you earn more as a self-employed person, you must also insure yourself as a self-employed person.

 

3 hours ago, mattisokay said:

 

I also am registered as an Einzelunternehmer (& Kleinunternehmer) to earn money

 

Gewerbe or Freiberuf?

 

3 hours ago, mattisokay said:

 

and offset the costs for a podcast which I run and get monthly donations for via Patreon. I will have earned approximately €1,000 this year through the podcast, though my profits will be nearly zero. Before you judge, it's a hobby where the modest income allows any costs to be offset.

 

Do you just not make any profits or even losses? If you permanently make losses, the tax office can also declare your activities as a hobby, then all possibilities to deduct operating expenses are ended (and the losses are also not retroactively recognized).

 

3 hours ago, mattisokay said:

 

So really what I am wondering about is whether I need to register somehow (Freiberufler / Gewerbe) to earn money from these small jobs (the templates, booth, and freelance writing), or whether it's legal for me to simply declare this extra income on my annual tax form and have it eligible to be taxed alongside my school income and registered business (podcast).

 

If you have registered a trade, simply extend your trade licence (Gewerbeschein) so that it covers all activities. The small business regulation applies to all activities together, not individually. Since, for example, selling books at a trade fair is not a freelance activity (freiberuflich), the trade here would be the easiest option anyway (you don't pay trade tax under 24500€ profit anyway).

 

Otherwise you have to register commercial and freelance activities and strictly separate both, i.e. separate accounting etc. 

 

 

 

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On 20/10/2019, 18:19:10, someonesdaughter said:

Beware: Your "main job" is only your "main job" as long as you earn the most income there. If you earn more as a self-employed person, you must also insure yourself as a self-employed person.

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I'm aware my main job regains that way only when it earns the most money. But I understand that other self-employed sources compare profit and not revenue, right?

 

On 20/10/2019, 18:19:10, someonesdaughter said:

Gewerbe or Freiberuf?

 

Do you just not make any profits or even losses? If you permanently make losses, the tax office can also declare your activities as a hobby, then all possibilities to deduct operating expenses are ended (and the losses are also not retroactively recognized).

 

My main self-employed activity (the podcast) is registered as a Gewerbe, though I wanted to include the self-publishing in it, too, since that is where I hope to earn a little more steady income. However, when I registered with some trade union, I could only select 1 category, and so I went with podcasting, since that is where I am currently earning.

 

And no, I'm not earning any profit yet, but my revenue increases every month, so I hope to start slowly making profit from next year, though it will be a little while before it is more than just a small amount.

 

On 20/10/2019, 18:19:10, someonesdaughter said:

If you have registered a trade, simply extend your trade licence (Gewerbeschein) so that it covers all activities. The small business regulation applies to all activities together, not individually. Since, for example, selling books at a trade fair is not a freelance activity (freiberuflich), the trade here would be the easiest option anyway (you don't pay trade tax under 24500€ profit anyway).

 

I don't recall anything about having a licence for my Gewerbe. I registered it as both a Einzelunternehmer and Kleinunternehmer, maybe that's why I didn't get a licence? Or maybe because it's in an odd industry, where perhaps no license is required? 

 

On 20/10/2019, 18:19:10, someonesdaughter said:

Otherwise you have to register commercial and freelance activities and strictly separate both, i.e. separate accounting etc. 

 

OK, so I suppose my freelance writing income would be a freiberuflich activity, for which I'll have to register as a Freiberufler.

 

For everything else, it sounds like the best thing to do is to extend my Gewerbe to include these other activities. Any tip on how I go about doing that? This is the first time I've heard about it... 

 

Thanks again, that was very helpful!

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4 hours ago, mattisokay said:

But I understand that other self-employed sources compare profit and not revenue, right?

 

Yes.

 

4 hours ago, mattisokay said:

However, when I registered with some trade union, I could only select 1 category, and so I went with podcasting, since that is where I am currently earning.

 

I don't recall anything about having a licence for my Gewerbe.

 

Have you registered your business with the Gewerbeamt? Then you have received a copy of your registration, this is the so-called "Gewerbeschein".

 

4 hours ago, mattisokay said:

 

I registered it as both a Einzelunternehmer and Kleinunternehmer, maybe that's why I didn't get a licence? Or maybe because it's in an odd industry, where perhaps no license is required? 

 

2 x no. Being an Einzelunternehmer and Kleinunternehmer has nothing to do with registration with the Gewerbeamt. Only the Finanzamt is interested. 

 

4 hours ago, mattisokay said:

OK, so I suppose my freelance writing income would be a freiberuflich activity, for which I'll have to register as a Freiberufler.

 

It's your call. I already described the (much less complex) alternative in my first answer. 

 

4 hours ago, mattisokay said:

 

For everything else, it sounds like the best thing to do is to extend my Gewerbe to include these other activities. Any tip on how I go about doing that? This is the first time I've heard about it... 

 

Normally you go to the trade office, say 'I want to extend my trade licence', enter everything you want to do, pay the fee and that's it. 

 

If you haven't registered your business at all, you should do it urgently. Otherwise high fines may be imposed. 

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OK, thanks. I am registered with the Gewerbeamt, with my "trade" being online broadcasting. I'll go back and extend my licence to cover everything else. Thanks for your help.

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