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The legal form of the new company

Business can be grouped according to their legal form as follows:

Before you register your trade at the municipal offices (Gemeindeverwaltung) or city council (Stadtverwaltung), you have to decide on a legal form. The legal form depends on whether you would like to run the business on your own or jointly with business partners. It also depends on your individual business objectives. Your decision should be based on financial, fiscal and legal considerations. Consult a tax consultant or lawyer for your decision-making process and afterwards for the execution.

Note: Even if you have decided on the legal form, it does not have to apply for ever. You can change it subsequently if another legal form suits you better. Therefore, get your legal form checked at regular intervals.

Generally speaking, you should make a distinction between freelance work and carrying out a commercial activity.

Detailed information

  • Detail information on the classification and on legal forms for freelancers can be found in the aspects of daily life "Freelancers"
  • Further information on the choice of legal form (Wahl der Rechtsform) can be found on the website of the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie or in the GründerZeiten edition "Legal Forms" (GründerZeiten-Ausgabe "Rechtsformen").

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 23.09.2019. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.