The Ausländerbehörde in Berlin is a special place. Among other special nicknames, it has been described as “the most miserable place in Berlin”, “the place of shattered dreams” and “inefficient government bureaucracy at its finest”. Above all, though, getting acquainted with its tightly-closed-up windows, flashing neon boards and slightly-off key announcement bells is inevitable. So embrace it and do it right. Here’s how to save time, avoid stress and leave with a shiny new visa or permit.
It’s known as the “artists health insurance scheme”, the “artists social security fund”, the “Künstlersozialversicherung” and the “artists and publicists’ insurance”. In any case, it can be hard to find information online in English about the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK). We’ve put together the basics and the answers to some very frequently asked questions.
I coach English-speaking freelancers on setting themselves up as self-employed in Germany. A typical coaching will take you through the basics – how to get a freelance tax number, what information you need to have on your invoices, how the Finanzamt will treat you for tax purposes, information on the insurance system, dealing with clients in other countries, tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way.
Over the years, I’ve gathered a list of issues that really perplex expats. You might not think these things are a big deal right now, but they certainly would be if you get audited 5 years down the track. Here are some tips for starting out your German freelance adventure with great accounting habits.
You might have noticed things look a bit different around here. I am thrilled to finally have this beautiful new website and excited about our new services and expansion.
What’s Changed? + Get the voucher code
It’s not very often that my colleagues and I get together in one place … certainly at least once a year for Christmas drinks, but in general, we freelancers tend to go it alone. We run around town meeting clients and taking them to appointments, or we sit in our home offices in different parts of Germany clicking and clacking madly on keyboards. We’ve all gathered loads of experience and insights into life in public offices over the years, and we rarely get to share it with each other! In fact, we hardly even know each other.
I thought this needed to change.
You moved to Berlin, landed a job and just received your first pay cheque. You notice a deduction called “Kirchensteuer” in the small print and wonder what it could possibly be…
What is Kirchensteuer?
Kirchensteuer (church tax) is a tax imposed on members of some religious congregations in Germany.
Great news from the Bürgeramt! 2017 has brought with it a wave of days marked in blue on the online calendar – that means you can even get same-day appointments at registration offices across Berlin! Get clicking!
2016. Some mixed feelings, some strange twists and turns. Whether you loved it or hated it, it’s soon to be over and we wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a “good slide” into the New Year. (Mudslide, anyone?)
You might have noticed things have been quiet on the blog front lately as Kathleen has taken advantage of the flexibility of freelancer life to head to Singapore for a month in her other incarnation as a renowned opera singer. While the team in Berlin manages Red Tape Translation during local office hours and continues to support our clients at a variety of local authorities’ offices, Kathleen is still consulting with our clients all over the world from Singapore via Skype – we feel like we are operating a truly international business this month!
Kathleen took time out from her rehearsal schedule recently to talk to the crew at Solobeing on what she loves about the freelancer lifestyle.
Getting out of Unemployment with Self-Employment: The Gründungszuschuss
If you are facing unemployment in Germany or are right in the middle of it, you might be interested to know about a grant that the Agentur für Arbeit offers to job seekers on ALG1 unemployment benefits if they want to start a business in Germany. The idea of this “new business grant” (Gründungszuschuss) is to get people out of unemployment (ALG I) by encouraging them to become self-employed or to start a company. Naturally, this won’t suit everyone, so the Agentur für Arbeit is really interested in making sure that you’re the entrepreneurial type and that you have a viable idea before they approve your application.
It is difficult to find information about the Gründungszuschuss in English. Here are the basics.
A magical summer in Berlin has convinced you that you want to stay here forever. You’ve found the perfect apartment to buy at the right price and talked to your bank about financing. Here’s what you can expect when buying property in Berlin, from making an offer through to getting the keys.
Congratulations on getting through your pregnancy and birth in Berlin! Once you’ve registered the birth of your lovely new arrival and you have the birth certificate in your hot little hands, your next bureaucratic move will probably be determining her citizenship. Or if she’s extra lucky, citizenships.
Though your little bundle of joy will most likely inherit your and your partner’s citizenships by descent, he might not necessarily get German citizenship just because he was born in Germany. Then again, he might. Here are some situations where your baby could be eligible for German citizenship: