Deregistering a business
If you want to terminate a business, you have to deregister your business. The same applies if you want to relocate the business to another municipality or town. You then have to deregister your business at its existing location and if you want to continue the business, register at the new location.
Note: If you move the location of your business within the municipality or town, it is sufficient to register a change in address of the business.
In the case of retail trade, it is the duty of the sole traders to notify the deregistration of the business, in the case of partnership companies (e.g. OHG, KG, BGB-Gesellschaft) the duty of all partners with managing authority and in the case of corporations (e.g. GmbH, AG) the duty of the legal representative.
You must deregister your business in writing or electronically.
If you deregister your business in writing, please use the form "Gewerbe-Abmeldung" (Business Deregistration). It is available at your municipal offices or, depending on your municipality, is offered as a download.
If you deregister your business electronically, the competent authority may require you to undergo certain procedures in order to establish your identity.
If you or your legal representative do not deregister the business in person, the person assigned to deregister your business must be given written power of attorney.
If you deregister your business in writing or electronically, you will be sent confirmation of your business deregistration and a bill of charges within three days. If you deregister your business in person, the confirmation will be handed to you straight away.
The authority responsible for your business deregistration will forward it to other authorities such as the Inland Revenue (Finanzamt), the Chamber of Crafts and Trades (Handwerkskammer), the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammer), the register court (Registergericht) and the Employer's Liability Insurance Association (Berufsgenossenschaft).
Note: If it is absolutely certain that your business is to be terminated, and if you do not deregister it within a reasonable period, your business will be deregistered ex officio.
You must deregister your business at the time it is relocated or terminated.
The amount charged is based on the local regulations governing the fees.
If the deregistration of your business is carried out in writing or electronically, then you will immediately be sent the confirmation of your business deregistration together with the bill of costs.
Otherwise, the confirmation will be handed over to you directly when you deregister.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 19.05.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.