Public and Private Health Insurance

Tax Return

December 8, 2015

Bürgeramt Registration Checklist

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What's the Anmeldung?

Anmeldung’ means ‘to register’ in German. It's basically the fact of registering your residence in Germany.

If you plan on working or attending a College/University, you are required by law to register your residence in Germany. This is achieved by submitting in person an Anmeldung form to your local registration office called ‘Bürgeramt’, ‘Bürgerbüro’ or even ‘Kundenzentrum’. This is required for any change of address and needs to be done within 14 days of relocating to your new German address. 

If you don't register in Germany, you'll not be able to get a residence permit, apply for a tax ID, open a bank account or take out German health insurance.

Here below is a checklist on what to bring to the Bürgeramt when registering your residence in Germany.

Last Update: February 2018

Need more details about the Anmeldung process? 
Read our Anmeldung Guide in here.



German Insurance

August 19, 2015

Freelancing in Germany

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How to become a freelancer in Germany

Last update: February 2016
This Guide is not for self-employed owning a business, but for freelancers 
with "non-commercial" activities!

Can I be a freelancer in Germany (Freiberufler)?

As per the Income Tax Act (§ 18 I Nr.1 EstG) a freelancer work includes the following activities: Independent scientific, artistic, literary, teaching or educational activities, and the independent professional activities of physicians, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, notaries,...

Here is a non-exhaustive list of freelancing professions: 

Choreographer, designer, photographer, cameraman, artist (visual and performing), musician, director, singer, actor, writer, dancer, copywriter, interpreter, translator, journalist, reporter, photo-journalist, video-journalist, historian, architect, urban planner, interior designer, landscape architect, pilot, biologist, chemist, geographer, computer scientist, engineer, surveyor, restaurateur (with university degree), notary, patent attorney, lawyer, business consultant, economist, tax consultant, tax agent, doctor, psychotherapist, veterinarian, dentist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, masseur, dietitian, teacher, lecturer, educator, kids nanny, programmer (freelance work for another company), customer services agent (freelance work for another company),...

Important: Please be aware that the field of activity is what counts and not the qualification. An architect running a construction firm will normally not be considered as a freelancer. Ultimately, the tax office decides whether the activity is "commercial" or categorized as a "liberal profession". It is often a case by case situation!

Advantages of being a freelancer? 

* No business tax to pay

* No trading tax to pay

* Registering with the Chamber of Commerce (Gewerbeamt - IHK) is usually NOT necessary. However, some freelancers are compulsory members of their local chamber. 
Please check out whether your profession requires a membership or not. 

January 27, 2015

Parenting and Paperwork in Germany

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The old woman and the sea (of paperwork) or, advanced parenting in Germany

[by Nicolette Stewart]
Parenting in Germany
Every since Baby Pickles arrived I have felt like I’m being buried alive. Letters, forms, papers, confirmations, more forms, more forms, and more fucking forms. Welcome to parenthood in Germany. Not so pleased to meet you, but thanks for the mad cash that you keep telling us we will someday get for working on your shrinking population problem. (“Problem.”)

I suck at paperwork. Though I vaguely enjoy filling out forms in a sort of obsessive compulsive way, I have trouble filling them out and getting them to the post office on time because at the end of the day I just don’t care. Taxes, registering my address, getting visas—how do people manage to give enough fucks to get this shit done before the very last second? At least some of Pickles’ paperwork will result in money in the bank, but still, paperwork is paperwork is hell, and I always procrastinate getting to the post office for as long as possible, and I am very, very good at forgetting things.

The paperstorm began immediately after Pickles’ was born. Her birth certificates could be picked up at the Standesamt, we had been told. We were supposed to pick them up right away, but I could barely walk because I’d just had fucking abdominal surgery you assholes, and duh, we were pretty fucking busy just trying to stay alive those first weeks. When I finally made it there, they told me that I needed to “order” the birth certificates, and I could pick them up later. Futile trip to the ugliest building in town! Thanks Standesamt!