Key question: would transitioning to a company or trade form mean I have to register in the commercial register?
Only companies that are entered in the commercial register can therefore run a company. The register is kept at the local courts, is open information for public access and additionally provides information on all facts that may be legally relevant for a business partner of the registered businessman. In addition to the company, this includes the name of the owner or the share capital. Traders must register in the commercial register if the company requires "a type or scope of business operations set up in a commercial manner. This wording is based on the size and complexity of the company - mostly considered:
- Annual turnover or profit,
- Type and number of business transactions (e.g. typical commercial transactions, number of customers),
- Size and nature of the business premises,
- the number of employees,
- Type of bookkeeping (commercial?) Or also
- the amount of capital invested.
The annual turnover from a company has to be entered in the commercial register and cannot be said in general. Firstly, because the other factors mentioned are also included in the decision. Second, the sales limit is also case-by-case. Some orientation values: The IHK Frankfurt speaks of a limit of 250,000 EUR in annual turnover, the IHK for Munich and Upper Bavaria of 400,000 EUR. For service companies, the IHK Berlin sees an obligation to register from 175,000 EUR turnover.
Small business owners whose companies do not yet require a set up business operations in a commercial way, and professionals must register voluntarily in the commercial register and become a merchant. A GbR becomes an OHG or KG with the entry in the commercial register. There are advantages from the entry:
First, the company is protected against imitators, because each "new company must be clearly different from all companies that already exist in the same place or in the same municipality and are registered in the commercial register or in the cooperative register". Competitive, trademark or commercial law claims can arise if an entrepreneur chooses a company or company name that already exists in the same or another location with the same or a similar name.
Key Question: Who is a ‘’trader’’?
In principle, any self-employed person who does not have a catalog or similar profession is considered a trader . Various obligations apply to traders:
- Business registration
- Business tax
- IHK membership
- Entry commercial register
- double-entry bookkeeping
This includes everyone who 1) Trade operates - completely indifferent whether they trade in used goods on Ebay or whether he opens a ceramics store, 2) Anyone whose business model relies on ‘’Goods produced’’, 3) Advisory activities that do not require a university degree (for example, doctors and lawyers are not included) 4) acts as an intermediary (for example in our own brokerage office, as operator of a carpool or artist agency ...) or 5) or works as a user (for example as a publisher or organizer)