Skip navigation

Who has to pay business tax?

Every trade falls under the Trade Tax Act if you operate it in Germany. You operate a trade if you are

  • independently
  • sustainably and
  • with the intention of making a profit.
  • Your activity does not constitute the exercise
    • agriculture and forestry,
    • a liberal profession,
    • another self-employed activity or
    • the management of private assets and
  • You participate in economic life in an advertising capacity.


Corporations (e.g. GmbH, AG) are already to be regarded as commercial enterprises due to their legal form. The nature of their activity is irrelevant. The same applies to commercial partnerships (e.g. GmbH & Co. KG).
Partnerships maintain only one commercial enterprise. If a partnership carries on another activity in addition to the commercial one, this is also deemed to be a commercial activity.

In the case of sole proprietorships and partnerships, your trade tax liability begins with the commencement of the commercial activity and ends with the discontinuation of the business. In the case of corporations, your trade tax liability regularly begins with the entry in the commercial register and ends only with the termination of any activity.

This page uses cookies. You can find out more information about the General Data Protection Regulation under Data protection.