How to Become a Successful Freelancer in Germany

By Guest Author | freelancer Germany | January 21, 2022

The freedom and flexibility of freelancing have made it a desirable option for many people worldwide. Rather than earning a fixed income through a business and having to work the hours that suit other people, you can make a living independently and only work the hours that suit you. 

Being a freelancer also means you can work from anywhere in the world. However, if you plan on laying down roots in Germany, there are a few things you may need to do to improve your chances of success. 

Apply for a Freelance Visa

If you’re learning how to succeed as a German freelancer, you won’t need to worry about obtaining a freelance visa. However, it may be a requirement if you’re a non-EU freelance-seeker trying to work in Germany, depending on where you’re from and who you are. 

If you’re a non-EU national from the United States, Japan, Canada, Korea, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand, you can apply for a work permit once you’re in Germany, which is valid for up to three months. After those three months, you must go back to your home country or look at your residence permit options. 

A residence permit allows you to stay in Germany for longer than three months to study, work, or engage in other activities. 

Obtain a German ID Number

Once you’ve received your visa, you can register with the Local Registration office, Bürgeramt, and participate in an online registration meeting. This meeting involves submitting an application form in German with information such as your visa and passport. 

When you receive your ID number, you can use this to register at the German Tax Office to receive a tax number and open a German bank account. 

Claim Your Tax Number

Your tax number is one of the most crucial components of becoming a successful freelancer in Germany. This is the number you use to pay taxes and is essentially a permit for your freelancing activity in German. Without it, you may find yourself combating serious tax issues

Open a Freelance Bank Account

You might take it for granted that you can just use the same bank account as you did in your home country, but that’s unlikely to be a possibility. Working in Germany may mean that your clients want to pay into a German bank account. 

Fortunately, you can now open a freelance bank account since you have your German ID number. A freelance bank account may differ from an everyday account. When you sign up with a bank, make sure you’re aware of your options so that you can choose the most suitable account for your needs. 

Start Work

With all the legal bases covered, you may now be ready to start work as an official freelancer. There are many freelancing platforms online for you to join, or you may decide to take on work locally. You can then send invoices from your chosen invoicing tools with all your newly obtained German information. 

Becoming a successful freelancer in Germany may involve more than simply being good at what you do. If you’ve recently moved to the country, you may need to take some of the steps above to ensure you’re following all your legal requirements.