How to open IE in Germany, if you are a programmer, and do not fill cones

    In recent weeks, Berlin is a popular topic on Habré. Not by chance - in Germany there are many opportunities to work in IT with a comfortable move. But the bureaucracy is also a bureaucracy in Africa, and if there are questions about individual entrepreneurship abroad, a headache cannot be avoided.

    Alina Anufrieva ( allinne ) worked as a front-end for Yandex, but her husband received an offer from Germany, and she and her child moved to Berlin. The work allowed her husband to get a Blue Card - a work visa valid throughout Europe - and a residence permit for the family. But if she was obliged to work exactly in the company that called him, then Alina got more opportunities: to work anywhere and even open her own business.

    But at first she was engaged in household chores, such as arranging a child in the garden. “It is necessary to fill out 100,500 forms, bring them to the Jugendamt (youth affairs department). Russian citizenship will not cause any difficulties if there is a visa, ”she says.

    Alina looked at part-time vacancies in Berlin to attend to a child, but she could not find work even for 30 hours a week. Finally, she found a remote offer from Finland, but faced bureaucratic difficulties - Finnish and German laws are designed so that it was possible to organize work only through an IE.

    It is more difficult to open it than in Russia, there are many pitfalls. We phoned and Alina described the whole process in detail, and I recorded her story.

    How to get a profitable tax status

    I got an offer from a company that works in Finland - It was founded by Seryozha Andryukhin, with whom we worked together in Yandex. Due to the fact that they are in Finland, I am in Germany, and I have Russian citizenship - they could not hire me by the rules of the European Union as a full-time employee. Therefore, they offered to work as a legal entity, and I took up the opening of the IP.

    Entrepreneurs in Finanzamt (German tax) are treated as people who already know everything and know how to go, what documents to draw up, how to communicate with the state. Therefore, work with tax is often built through special consulting firms that represent your interests.
    Every month they have to pay about 50 euros, plus about 400 euros (depending on the number of documents) separately for the annual report.

    But these firms help not only with processes. They can achieve favorable legal status for you in order to pay less tax than programmers-freelancers or remote workers usually have to.

    In Germany, entrepreneurs are divided into two types by professions - Selbstständig and Freiberuflich.

    Freiberuflich are the so-called free workers who have a certain profession, confirmed by a diploma - designers, writers, journalists, teachers, lawyers, dentists, therapists and many others. They are exempt from additional business tax.

    Selbstständig are individual entrepreneurs who do not provide services through their profession. These are more those who organize their business. They pay a full 45% plus additional interest if income exceeds 50,000 euros per year.

    There are many discussions about where to put programmers. In Germany, for some reason, it is believed that programmers are Selbstständig.

    To get into Freiberuflich, you have to hire a good tax agent - he can help you get into another category. Therefore, the first thing I began to look for a consultant to legally formalize my status. In the tax form you indicate your profession, and the consultant protects and defends your rights.

    Unfortunately, I met a not very good company that did not talk about critical moments. And I had to stuff the bumps.

    How to return some taxes

    I can recover money for the needs of my business from taxes already paid. For example on office equipment, office and so on. This can be done every year - the main thing is to keep all checks and extracts.

    Many of the costs associated with the move we managed to return in this way.

    How not to miss the tax number

    When you arrive in Germany, you are immediately given a personal identification number. But it does not match the tax number. The tax number of the entrepreneur should receive during the registration of IP. It is issued in about three weeks and they say how often you need to report to the tax authority.

    I was not warned about this. I received my tax number a few months after the start of work, and all this time I could not write out invoices and get paid.

    It turned out that my tax number came to the address of the consulting firm. When I filled out the form, I agreed that this company would represent my interests in tax.

    After that, the company threw me - did not answer any calls or letters. I wrote a waiver, but they didn’t inform the tax agency that I no longer have business with them. Accordingly, the letters went to the address of the company, and they did not send them to me, although they were required by law.

    I started to sound the alarm, call the tax. And instead of getting the number back in March, I was able to get it only in May.

    A year later, my husband and I received a common tax number by submitting an annual declaration of family income. Now I only need IP for work, and we pay taxes together, as a family - from general income.

    In Germany, everything is bad with electronic infrastructure

    Probably, many IT professionals will be surprised, but there is no single window where you can register as we have on government services.

    If you chose, for example, three kindergartens, then you need to personally look for them on the map and bypass. When I asked to write down the child as quickly as possible, because I have to work, they put me on a waiting list. Every month I had to call there myself and remind myself.

    Similarly, with the tax and with the pension fund. Meeting must be booked by phone or online, and then wait for her month. Unfortunately there it is. And it was a shock to me.

    The banking infrastructure of Germany at the level of the 90s in Russia. The money transfer within the country lasts 3 business days. For a quarterly statement of payment of 15 euros from Postbank. For each appeal to the consultant of the bank is also charged. Internet bank N26 has recently appeared with a free MasterCard card. I chose it, because they have a convenient good mobile application, you can withdraw money at any ATM up to 5 times a month for free.

    How to choose a pension fund

    Nobody told me that I should go to the pension fund either. I found out about this by chance in the Facebook community. Then I had a bad German, and I had to look for an English-speaking consultant. He said that there are two options - to make contributions either to the state fund or to a private one.

    The state is divided into two programs - mandatory (Pflichtversicherung) and free (Freiwilligversicherung).

    Mandatory - this is 18.6% of the income that you will pay in any case, even if you stay out of work. The fact is that when filling out the form, you indicate your average estimated income, and the amount is calculated from it. At the end of the fiscal year, everything is recalculated, and you can either return a portion of the money, or vice versa - demand additional payment.

    To be safe, it is better to specify the income less than expected and to save money for a surcharge during the year. Otherwise - if there is no work - you still have to pay in full each month.

    With free insurance, you can choose how much to pay each month (at least 450 euros). With this option, it is possible to freeze payments for several months, but you cannot leave for a premature pension for health reasons and disability. Compulsory insurance gives this opportunity in five years.

    The important point is that if during the first five years you decide to return to Russia, you can return the pension contributions back. But only 50%.

    The pension payments themselves in Germany are rather average. Even if you have been making huge contributions all your life, it will not be much different from the average. This is played by private pension funds, and consultants are actively going there. They offer to invest money at interest - as in a bank account.

    Of all these options, I chose another one - to hang.

    For the first three years, an individual entrepreneur may not quite legally pay contributions to the pension fund. For this you need to fill in the next special form and wait for approval. True, it can not give.

    One of the conditions is the presence of at least three clients. I have only one client, so there is about half a year or a year to find more. The state is making concessions in this regard.

    What other insurance may be needed

    Without an employer, you will have to make medical insurance yourself - 14% + 0.9% additional contribution + 2.55% - care insurance (in case of incapacity)

    Law insurance - covers the costs of the courts due to non-payment or violation of intellectual property. She is expensive - if you are confident in the client, you can not spend money.

    Insurance against damage to third parties (Haftpflichtversicherung) - it is, of course, not mandatory, but it is generally accepted in Germany, and basically everyone has it. If, for example, your child has torn another briefcase, you simply exchange your insurance numbers with his parents.


    • Programmers in Germany have controversial tax status. Therefore, working with tax through consultants can be more profitable. But bad people are everywhere.
    • It is necessary to keep all receipts for business expenses - they can be compensated by taxes paid.
    • State pension program should be chosen for income and job stability. There will be more pension in the private fund, but there are risks that are standard for all private banks.
    • If you are a beginner entrepreneur, then the first three years you can not pay pension contributions if the state allows.

    Also popular now: