To write your business plan is the next important step towards self-employment. At this point it is important to keep a good overview. A project plan can help you break down your big goal “starting my own business” into smaller subgoals as well as adding timelines. There are numerous websites online with project management tools. For example the BMWi (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie) created a Businessplan App and included a „milestone tool“ (available in German only).
Your start-up consultant can help you navigate this step as well.
You need to take care of the paperwork before you can really get started. Formalities vary depending on the legal structure of your professional self-employment. Generally speaking, there are one-person start-ups, non-incorporated and incorporated enterprises. The decision for or against a specific legal structure of your business has financial, fiscal and legal consequences. That is why this step requires careful consideration prior to registrating your business. The Tax & Revenue Office (Finanzamt) assists with fiscal queries. However, in many cases it is advisable to engage a tax consultant and for legal matters a lawyer.
Liberal professions (Freie Berufe) can launch their business relatively easy. They need to apply to the Tax & Revenue Office (Finanzamt) for a tax number and fill out the appropriate questionnaire for tax registration (Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung). Architects, doctors, lawyers as well as artists are listed as liberal professions.
Commercial activities have to be registered with the Trade Supervisory Office (Gewerbeamt). All other authorities will be notified automatically (e.g. Tax & Revenue Office, Employer’s Liability Insurance, Chamber of Industry & Commerce).
Here you can find the essential contacts for setting up a business in Jena, including their address, opening hours and contact information. Depending on your business activities you might need additional permits. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce as well as the Chamber of Trades can supply you with additional information. The Employment Agency is your first contact for the registration of your new employees.
Please note: most links with further information are available in German only.
Central commercial register in Thuringia - Zentrales Handelsregister in Thüringen
Further links for employers:
Further contacts for specific authorities can be found through the Serviceportal Thüringen.
Locating of responsible authorities for business owners (German only):
Zuständigkeitsfinder für Unternehmen
To discuss the financial, fiscal and legal implications of a specific legal structure of your business, you may want to consider seeking advice from a tax consultant and lawyer. In the future your requirements might chance (for example through growth); it is possible to change the legal form of your organization at a later date.
Please note: links with further information are available in German only.
Lawyers (Trade & Corporate Law):
Anwälte für Handels- & Gesellschaftsrecht in Jena