Employers paying social security contributions on workers’ wages in Germany are required to have a Betriebsnummer. The obligation in question is incumbent on both German and foreign employers. Therefore, Polish employers wishing to engage workers for whom social security contributions will be paid in Germany are also obliged to have a Betriebsnummer.

1. What is Betriebsnummer?

Betriebsnummer, i.e. the so-called company number, is needed to register employees with the German social security system. Betriebsnummer allows the social security institutions to identify the employer. It is also used when preparing employment statistics.

The German company number consists of eight digits. It is assigned automatically. Therefore, it’s impossible to apply for a specific number.

Polish companies planning to pay social security contributions on the salaries of employees in Germany should apply for a Betriebsnummer before the planned engagement of the first worker for whom contributions will be paid in Germany.

2. Who assigns Betriebsnummer?

The Federal Employment Agency constitutes the institution responsible for assigning Betriebsnummer. In certain cases, the application shall be submitted to another institution:

  • private households engaging workers on a mini-job basis should present an application to the Mini-Work Centre of the German Pension Insurance Company Knappschaft-Bahn-See;
  • employers involved in mining activities should submit an application to the German Pension Society Knappschaft-Bahn-See;
  • shipping and fishing companies should apply to the German Pension Insurance Company Knappschaft-Bahn-See.

3. How to obtain Betriebsnummer?

Betriebsnummer is assigned at the request of the interested entrepreneur. The application shall include, among others, information concerning the applicant (legal form, contact details of the company) and his/her economic activity, as well as specify the type of activity under which the business one is conducted.

It’s unacceptable to send an application for Betriebsnummer by traditional mail or fax. The request shall be submitted electronically, via a dedicated online form. However, confirmation of the assignment of the number is sent by post.

The application for a Betriebsnummer should be submitted by the employer or an authorised person, for example a tax advisor.

4. Changes concerning the economic activity carried out and Betriebsnummer

The employer is obliged to report to the appropriate institution information concerning a change in the company’s data and the termination of the economic activity. Failure to fulfill the responsibility in question may result in errors in statistics and irregularities in tax calculations. Lack of notification of changes in data or termination of economic activity may also result in the imposition of fines.

5. Legal notice

The study is a work within the meaning of the Act of 4 February 1994 on Copyright and Related Rights (OJ 2006, No. 90, item 631, consolidated text, as amended). Publishing or reproducing this study or its part, quoting opinions, as well as disseminating in any other way the information contained therein without the written consent of Crede sp. z o.o. is prohibited.

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