Business registration in Berlin
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These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Could I be a business? What things should I think about when I am a business?
It depends on the nature of your activity whether you are a business.
The rules and regulations on business are contained in the German Federal Trade Commerce and Industry Act (Gewerbeordnung). Hosts will have a business (requiring registration within the meaning of this act) when their activity is systematic for a certain duration, and aimed at making profits. The legal definition of business can be difficult to interpret. We therefore recommend you contact the local authorities (you can find a list of local authorities here) for clarification as necessary.
If your activity falls within the definition of what is a business activity, you will need to enroll in the commercial register (Gewerberegister) with the competent local authority in order to obtain a general business registration (Gewerbeschein). The Berlin trade registration portal provides information, forms, and links to city jurisdictions here (see next section for additional details).
Examples of where a person would likely be seen to be conducting business activities:
- I make my living as a professional chef, and want to provide special thematic weekly pop-up dinners as my Experiences and I intend to make profits with the Experiences.
- I’m a competitive professional cyclist and fitness enthusiast. I want to regularly provide experiences in order to make profit which involve me giving neighborhood tours on bicycle and introducing guests to some of the wonderful parts of town I frequent.
Examples of where a person may not be seen to be conducting business activities:
- I provide Experiences on an occasional basis, maybe a handful of times a year, mainly centred around local neighborhood music concerts and club events that I love going to. I just charge money to cover my own expenses.
- I’m a professional yoga instructor and I want to provide Experiences on an ad-hoc or irregular basis centering around a tour of the local healthy vegetarian and vegan organic food markets culminating in supper club evening where everyone shares the cost of the food and drinks and I don’t intend to make a profit.
What do I need to get started?
Berlin has resources online which can help guide the process of entering a business operation into the commercial register on their website here.
Please note this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, there may be additional forms and requirements. You should contact your local competent authority or a legal professional for the full set of requirements.
If I am a business is there anything I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers?
Yes. Businesses should not mislead consumers and should always be clear, transparent and accurate in their dealings with consumers including how they represent their services and pricing.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes. Depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. The Berlin website portal can help you find out if you need a specific licence to carry out a specific service or activity.
This page is not comprehensive; you should always check with the City of Berlin, or your local legal professional if you have any questions. You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure the correct insurance coverage is in place for all activities being provided.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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