I am non-EU resident doing a paid internship (Praktikum) in software engineering in Germany. I have received an offer from an outside company to work on a project for some hours on my spare time. Thus, I am wondering if I am allowed to do so in Germany considering that I have a Residence Permit (+ health insurance and tax number etc.) due to my full-time internship (40 hours per week) at the company.

I was told to either ask at the Finanzamt or Gewerbeamt but I would really like to know if there is even a way to do this legally.

If anyone was in a similar situation (is in Germany for a reason + wants to do part time freelancing) I would really appreciate the input.

  • This is a very complicated matter, you should ask to an accountant in Germany to have a proper answer.
    – Mario
    May 26, 2015 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you'd be best served by establishing a corporate entity in your home country or elsewhere (i.e. British Virgin Islands), partnering with someone who already owns an LLC that would allow you to work independently, or simply using a freelance website online to receive payment even if the contacts are established locally. This would allow you to make sure you're not a local on-site employee, and continue those relationships after you leave Germany.


I am a EU citizen so I am not sure about you situation. For freelancing you need to go to Gewerbeampt and "sign in" (anmelden) as developer. Then go to finanzampt and ask for a steuernummer. If you want to freelance outside of Germany ask for a Umsatzsteuernummer also.

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