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Declaring a business or self-employed activity for tax purposes

Companies and the self-employed must also take care of the tax in the start-up phase.

In order for the tax office to be able to classify you correctly in the tax, it needs certain information about your company or self-employment. This information must be provided in the "Tax Registration Questionnaire".

You must complete and submit this questionnaire within one month without individual request from your local tax office online via Mein ELSTER ( or via commercial tax software.

For companies/self-employed persons, partnerships and corporations (also under foreign law) there is a legal obligation to submit the questionnaire electronically for tax registration.

With the help of this questionnaire, the tax office determines, among other things,

  • what kind of taxes you have to pay,
  • when you have to pay,
  • how much you are expected to have to pay.

Your information in the tax registration questionnaire forms the basis for all correspondence relating to your company or self-employment with the tax office.

Even if you want to work part-time, you must complete the tax registration questionnaire.

Process flow

If possible, you should register your company or self-employed activity for tax purposes online – at My ELSTER ( or using commercial tax software. For the following questionnaires for tax registration, there is an obligation to submit them electronically:

  • Taking up a commercial, self-employed (freelance) or agricultural and forestry activity (sole proprietorship)
  • Establishment of a partnership/community
  • Establishment of a corporation or cooperative
  • Establishment of a corporation under foreign law

Make tax registration with Mein ELSTER ( online:

  • Log in to with your ELSTER user account.
    1. Note: If you do not yet have an ELSTER user account, you must first register.
      Registration with an e-mail address is sufficient for the submission of the questionnaires for tax registration. After issuing your tax number, you can then upgrade the user account to a full user account.
      Information about registration can be found in the help of My ELSTER. This is already on the start page ( in the header. You can also watch the video "Registration at My ELSTER" here .
  • Then select the options "All forms" and "Questionnaire for tax entry" under the tab "Forms & Services". Then click on the tax registration questionnaire relevant to your business or self-employment.
  • Navigate through the menu of the form and fill in all the necessary information. If necessary, upload the required documents. Once everything has been entered, you can use the "Check" tab to check the information for discrepancies. If everything is correct, submit the questionnaire. You will then receive a shipping confirmation.
    Note: If you need help filling it out, please contact the tax office responsible for the operation.
  • The tax office will check your information. If necessary, you will be asked by your tax office to submit documents later.
  • You will then be informed of your tax number in writing.
  • Make a tax declaration in writing:
  • Download the respective questionnaire for tax registration on the website of the Federal Tax Administration.
  • Complete the questionnaire completely. Use the questionnaire to check whether the tax office requires further documents from you.
  • Send the questionnaire and any documents to your tax office. The tax office will check your information. If necessary, you will be asked by your tax office to submit documents later.
  • You will then be informed of your tax number in writing.

Who should I contact?

Your local tax office. You can find the tax office responsible for your municipality using the search of the Federal Central Tax Office.


You take a

  • Commercial
  • self-employed (freelance) or
  • agricultural and forestry activities,

or you can set up a

  • Corporation
  • Corporation
  • Partnership/community or a



  • You participate in a partnership/community
  • You do not pursue your activity only as a hobby (no intention to make a profit).

Which documents are required?

  • in case of representation: power of attorney and, if applicable, power of attorney to receive
  • for tax payments by direct debit: Completed SEPA mandate
  • in individual cases, further documents mentioned in the respective questionnaire for tax registration
  • if necessary upon request by the tax office: additional questionnaire for tax registration

What are the fees?

Fee: free of charge

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • Tax declaration: Usually within one month after you have started the activity.

Note: In some cases, there are other deadlines, for example for start-ups abroad.

Processing duration

The processing time varies depending on the responsible tax office.

Legal basis

Applications / forms

Forms: yes

Online procedure possible: partially

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

Make tax registration online via "ELSTER"


If a new tax number is issued (after checking the submitted tax registration questionnaire and related documents), you will receive a notification of your new tax number. This communication is not an administrative act. Therefore, no appeal can be lodged against the communication of the tax number.

Technically approved by

State Tax Office of Lower Saxony


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)