This is how you apply for a tax number (Steuernummer)

Up to now, you’ve always worked as an employee and you always paid your taxes; however, now you’re yearning for change and you start playing with the idea of becoming self-employed. Is this the case?

The dream of your own chippie, your own cafe or even your own software company - at some point the foundation needs to be laid. But keep in mind, there are still hurdles that you will have to get over to make this dream real.

But don’t worry, if everything is taken into account, then these hurdles aren’t that high. Therefore, this is how future freelancers and those self-employed apply for their tax number.


Freelancers and those self-employed must apply for a tax number at their respective tax office. You will have to fill out a questionnaire and then, in a couple of weeks, you are the proud owner of your very own, brand-new tax number.

In order for your respective tax office to register those that are self-employed, a form must be filled out. The easiest way to do this is to go to your respective tax office and fill out the documentation there. Alternatively, you can request a form per telephone.

Those who run a commercial business do not have to apply for a tax number. The trade office automatically sends the tax office the respective tax number.


In order to be able to apply for a tax number, a form must be filled out. This asks the applicant things like private conditions. Additionally, supporting documentation should be attached that proves your self-employment. Furthermore, information about your expected profit as well as information about planned sales for the next two years needs to be provided. This information is used to determine income taxes and trade taxes.


It is extremely important to submit all supporting documentation, ie. copies of contracts etc., in addition to filling out the form to your respective tax office. Sometimes, even a Certificate of Registration is attached as well.

Note: You must sign the questionnaire yourself. Besides, copies of various documentation should be custom-made and filed away. After about 2 to 4 weeks, you will be assigned a tax number, which is always to be stated in any correspondence with your respective tax office.


For those who’ve never received a tax number, you will receive one when you do your first tax declaration. At least, you will have your tax number in hand with your first tax declaration. Married couples who filed a joint tax declaration will receive a mutual tax number.

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