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Undeclared work notification

According to the Undeclared Work Prevention Act of 23.07.2004, undeclared work is performed by anyone who provides services or has them carried out and thereby

  1. withholds social security contributions as an employer, entrepreneur or self-employed person subject to compulsory insurance by breaching his reporting, contribution or recording obligations,
  2. evades or reduces taxes as a taxpayer,
  3. as a recipient of social benefits (e.g. unemployment benefit, unemployment benefit 2, social assistance) does not fulfil its statutory notification obligations towards the social security provider, in particular does not indicate the start of work,
  4. as a trader has not fulfilled his obligation to notify the trade (§ 14 Gewerbeordnung) or has not acquired the required itinerant trade card (§ 55 Gewerbeordnung),
  5. operates a craft subject to authorisation as a self-employed person without being entered in the Register of Craftsmen (§ 1 Handwerksordnung).

Undeclared work offences listed in No. 1-3 are examined by the Customs Administration. If you have any questions, please contact your local main customs office. Further information can be obtained from the Financial Control Department of Undeclared Work at the Oberfinanzdirektion Köln or on the Internet on the websites listed below.

Infringements of craft and trade law (No. 4 and 5) are prosecuted by the municipal anti-undeclared employment authorities. These are usually the districts, independent cities and large independent cities. The employees of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport in the government representations are responsible for coordinating the fight against undeclared work in the area of crafts and trade law, which you can also contact via the e-mail address Feedback on your information is not possible for data protection reasons.

Assistance by relatives or life partners, out of courtesy, by way of neighborhood help or self-help remains permissible if it is not sustainably aimed at profit.


Anyone who commissions or performs undeclared work and evades taxes, fails to pay social security contributions or fraudulently obtains social benefits commits a criminal offence punishable by a fine or, in serious cases, imprisonment of up to 10 years. Undeclared work, which is prosecuted as an administrative offence, can be subject to fines of up to 300,000 euros.

In addition, in many cases there is a risk of exclusion from public contracts.

What can I do?

Undeclared work causes great damage. Therefore

  • do not work black,
  • do not employ undeclared workers,
  • be attentive and inform the competent anti-work authorities.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the municipality, the joint municipality, the city and the district, as well as the competent main customs office.

Which documents are required?

Documents may be required. Please contact the competent authority.

What are the fees?

Fees may apply. Please contact the relevant authority.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Deadlines may have to be observed. Please contact the competent authority.

What else should I know?

Information as to whether a business registration or a itinerant trade card is required for a business activity is provided by the municipalities in whose area the company is to be founded.

The Chambers of Crafts advise on the requirement of a register of craftsmen in the exercise of craft activities and their requirements. The addresses of the Chambers of Crafts in Lower Saxony can be found on the Internet at:

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

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