Freelancing in Berlin: step by step guide
The first step is actually having an employment visa (artist visa) but we assume that is no problem for you.
Register with the local Finance department and get a tax number
You need to register with your local Finanzamt (Finance department). It always depends on where your office is located. (can also be home office) https://service.berlin.de/standorte/finanzaemter/
You have fill the form “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung” download here and send or bring it to the Finance department. Check this article for some help on filling the form: http://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Freelancing_in_Germany
Get a health insurance
If you have an artistic occupation you can apply to join the state-funded Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) If you qualify it is a great idea to join it: http://www.kuenstlersozialkasse.de/
If you are registered with a German Health Insurance (a gesetzliche Krankenkasse) you can apply for a discounted rate. Inform them that you don’t earn too much so that they send you the form “Einkommensermittelung” Your premium will increase if your monthly income exceeds euro 927.
If you are privately insured your income doesnt matter. Compare prices to find your provide: https://krankenversicherung.check24.de
And have a look at this article for all insurance options: http://www.exberliner.com/features/people/how-to-get-health-insurance-in-germany
Latest update on international insurance (most are not accepted anymore) https://medium.com/silicon-allee/big-health-insurance-changes-for-international-freelancers-in-berlin-are-on-the-way-
Taxes are due in May, a year after you registered as self-employed. All income from self-employed sources must be declared but you don’t pay tax on the first 8,130 (yearly) you make. (This is income minus expenses) If you earn more than €17,500 a year you must start charging sales tax, put it aside and pay it to the authorities.
Dont forget to save all your receipts and invoices as you can deduct a lot from the taxes. Health insurance, phone bills, restaurants bills etc. can all be deducted.
Have a look at this article for more: http://www.exberliner.com/features/lifestyle/tax-time1/Need help on filling taxes? Think about joinin a Tax-help association http://www.berlin.de/special/finanzen-und-recht/adressen/lohnsteuerhilfe/
You can’t just work for one company, you need to have at least two clients. If in one calendar year, you make more than 83% from one client, you are considered to be scheinselbständig–and therefore are required to pay into the public pension scheme.