Register business

Would you like to run a permanent business? You must register this in advance.

Important notes


You want to run a business.

You are required to report:
- if you run a sole proprietorship,
- as managing partner of a partnership (e.g. OHG, GbR),
- as a personally liable partner of a KG,
- as a limited partner of a KG, if you have management authority and
- as the legal representative of a corporation (e.g. GmbH, AG)

You are not required to report, among other things:
- as primary producer (livestock breeding, agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing),
- as freelancers (including lawyers, notaries, tax consultants, auditors, doctors, scientific, artistic and literary activities),
- if you look after or raise children,
- as a teaching person.

Documents required

- Completed business registration form
- Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
- With electronic business registration, other identification options are also possible (e.g. electronic ID card, De-Mail, PIN/TAN procedure).
- For legal entities, partnerships: notarized partnership agreement or extract from the commercial register, consent of the shareholders
- Declaration of consent shareholders
- Supplementary sheet entitled to represent

If you as a tradesperson do not register the business yourself, but rather as a managing partner or as a legal representative, you will need a written power of attorney. The power of attorney is only required if the person making the report is not an authorized representative of the business.

Please note

What is a trade:
Business is any activity that is not socially unworthy, geared towards making a profit and is designed to last, independently carried out in one's own name and on one's own account. It does not matter whether a profit is actually made.
In particular, socially unworthy activities (e.g. clairvoyance), freelance professions (such as doctors, lawyers or tax consultants) or other activities that require a university degree are not considered trades. Primary production (e.g. agriculture and forestry), scientific management consulting or the management of one's own assets (e.g. an apartment building) and generally prohibited or socially unworthy activities (e.g. illegal gambling) are also not considered trades.
If you change your legal form, you must submit both a business de-registration (for discontinuing operations under the old legal form) and a business registration (for starting operations under the new legal form).
In the case of partnerships (e.g. BGB companies, OHG, KG), the managing partners are to be regarded as tradespeople.
In the case of legal entities (e.g. GmbH, AG), the obligation to report is incumbent on the legal representative(s) (e.g. managing director of a GmbH).

A personal registration of the trade is recommended in order to be able to clarify doubts quickly and conclusively
When registering a business using a form in written or electronic form, enclose a copy of all required documents.
Before registering a business of a minor, the legal representatives must authorize the minor to operate a business independently and the competent district court (department for family matters) must approve this authorization.

Among other things, you will receive a notification from the business registration:

  • the responsible tax office
  • the Chamber of Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts
  • the trade association
  • the State Office for Occupational Safety and Health

This notification does not replace a special reporting obligation; In the case of craft businesses in particular, registration with the Chamber of Crafts is required.
The entry in the commercial register does not replace/include the notification according to § 14 GewO (duty to notify). The trade must therefore be registered separately with the responsible district office on, off and on.

Business registrations are also accepted at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts.

Some commercial activities require a permit. Others are subject to monitoring. They have additional requirements. Find out early on what personal, financial and professional requirements you have to meet in order to be able to work in these commercial sectors. If an additional license is required for your trade (e.g. security services, operation of a restaurant) and this is not available, the competent authority can prohibit the continuation of the operation.

Tax Obligations
As part of the registration of a trade, you are obliged under § 138 AO to provide the responsible tax office with further information about the circumstances relevant to taxation. You must submit the “Questionnaire for tax registration” provided for this purpose within one month of opening the business or permanent establishment electronically using the officially prescribed data record. To fill out and submit the questionnaire, please use the ELSTER tax administration service portal - your online tax office at buerger or from your responsible tax office on the official telephone number 115


You must register your business immediately when you set up your business. A fine may be imposed for late reporting.

Procedure & Fees


You can register your business in person, in writing or electronically. To do this, use the “Business Registration” form.

The responsible office will check your documents and, if necessary, request further documents or information from you.

The responsible authority will ask you to pay the fees.
You pay the fees.

If you register your business in writing or electronically, you will receive confirmation of your business registration (the so-called “trade license”) within 3 days, provided you have filled out the registration form completely and correctly. If you speak in person, you will receive the confirmation directly when you register.

The responsible body forwards the business registration to other bodies such as the tax office, the Chamber of Crafts or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the professional association.

If additional permission is required for your business (e.g. security business, restaurant operation) and this is not available, the responsible authority can prohibit the continuation of the business.

Processing time

If you have filled out the form correctly and have the required documents, the business registration will generally be completed within two weeks. The processing time varies depending on the district office and the current situation. Significant delays can occur, particularly in districts with a high volume of business.


20 EUR

For partnerships (GbR, KG, OHG, GmbH & Co. KG or others) the fee per partner is EUR 20. The cost of a duplicate business registration is EUR 10.

Service description

You always need a business registration when you start a permanent business. This is the case with

  • Establishing a new business,
  • Establishment of a new branch,
  • Establishment of a dependent branch,
  • Takeover of an existing business, e.g. B. through purchase or lease,
  • Conversion of a sole proprietorship into another legal form,
  • Relocation of a business from the area of one authority to the area of another authority (considered an abandonment by one authority and a new establishment by another authority).
If you carry out a commercial activity, you are required to report.

By registering a business, you enable the responsible authority to monitor the conduct of the business and collect statistical data.

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