How to fill out the Gewerbeanmeldung (trade registration) form

updated on 17. January 2023 8 minutes reading time
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This is your guide on how to fill in the Gewerbeanmeldung (trade registration) form correctly. Find out what you need to pay attention to register your business successfully. German bureaucrats are merciless when it comes to paperwork so make sure it’s flawless!

Under § 14 of the Gewerbeordnung (GewO) (trade, commerce and industry regulation act), anyone engaging in “gewerbliche Tätigkeit” (commercial activity) must notify the authorities. This is is what the Gewerbeanmeldung is all about. If you have no idea what this is, read our guide so you’re not flying blind.

Contents

 

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Andreas Munck

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Got questions about setting up a business in Germany?

  • Startup expert
  • 10+ years experience

Hi, I’m Andreas and I’ve been advising businesses in Germany for over a decade. I’d be happy to call you and answer any questions you have in a one-on-one consultation.

 

Get familiar with the Gewerbeanmeldung form

Before you start inputting any information, read through the trade registration form. Download a fillable pdf form from the Wiesbaden IHK website here. 

Make sure you understand what the fields are asking before filling them out. Some fields are relatively self-explanatory, others have different answer options depending on the business legal form you choose. If in doubt get advice – paperwork is serious business in Germany.

Run your business without the paperwork

Handling your paperwork yourself or getting a lawyer will cost you a lot of time or money or both. firma.de can free up days of your life by supporting you at a fixed price.

 

How to fill in the Gewerbeanmeldung form

The following trade registration instructions refer to the document linked above (form GewA 1 for setting up or taking over a trade).

No. Description
1 If your business has been entered into the commercial register (Handelsregister), ie is a legal entity (juristische Person) such as an incorporated company; registered sole trader (Einzelkaufmann); or registered partnership (eingetragene Personengesellschaft) – enter the official name with the legal form.

 

If you also use a trading name, this can also be entered in brackets.

2 If entered in the commercial register (Handelsregister) or register of cooperatives (Genossenschaftsregistereintrag) enter the place & number of the register.
3-9 The business operator (aka the trader or Gewerbetreibende) must identify him/herself for any necessary background check, eg for trade specific licences.
4a Your gender must be entered here. This is for statistical purposes. As of yet, there are no other options besides male & female.
10 For both partnerships and legal entities, the number of managing shareholders or legal representatives must be entered here. You can leave this field blank if you wish to register a trade with a sole proprietorship or as a registered trader.
11 Indicate the person authorised to represent the company. In the case of public limited companies (AG), this information is waived. If the business is a branches or dependent branch, an authorised person must also be inputted.
12 Enter the permanent establishment here; this can be the main establishment (Hauptniederlassung), branch establishment (Zweigniederlassung) or also a dependent branch establishment (unselbständige Zweigstelle).
13 If you have entered a dependent branch (unselbständige Zweigstelle) or a branch office (Zweigniederlassung) in field 12, you must enter the main office here.

 

Otherwise, leave this field blank.

14 In this field, enter the former place of business of the trade, if any.
15 The business objective (Gegenstand) needs to be comprehensive & in German. Avoid generalities like “Handel mit Waren aller Art” (trade in goods of all kinds). Be more specific: “Elektroinstallationen” (electrical installations), “Großhandel mit Tiernahrung” (wholesale trade in pet food), “Herstellung von Möbeln” (manufacture of furniture) etc.
16 Indicating whether or not you’ll be operating on a full-time or part-time basis is for statistical purposes only.
17 Input the start date of operations (commercial activities).
18 Indicating whether your business is an industrial or commercial one will determine if its assigned to IHK or HWK.
19 If you don’t intend to employ any staff or uncertain enter 0. This information is important for the Arbeitsverwaltung (labour administration). The number of employees at the start of the business must be entered here.
20-26 These fields supplement the information you entered in fields 12-16. Here you enter the type of business (eg Reisegewerbe) and whether it is a new business, a takeover, a re-opening etc.
28-1 If your trade to be registered requires licences or permit such as a Handwerkskarte (craftsman’s card) or Gewerbeerlaubnis (trade permit) enter the status of them here. You must also enter whether you have a residence permit.

Re-registering or de-registering a trade

To re-register (ummelden) or de-register (abmelden) your trade, you will need a different form to the one above. The Wiesbaden Chamber of Industry and Commerce has also published these on its website:

Please also note the footnotes in the PDFs.

Both forms have approximately the same fields as the Gewerbeanmeldung form, which is why it should not be too difficult to fill out these forms with our help.

Note: Filling in the trade registration from is one of many bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through to start a company in Germany. Find out how many times you have to jump here.

 

[BEGIN: Insert an Image between this tag]

Andreas Munck

[END insert Image]

Got more questions about setting up a business in Germany?

  • Startup expert
  • 10+ years experience

Hi, I’m Andreas and I’ve been advising businesses in Germany for over a decade. I’d be happy to call you and answer any questions you have in a one-on-one consultation.

 

The Master list of all Company Formation articles can be found here.

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