February 11, 2024

Essential Steps for Registering Your Holiday Apartment

February 11, 2024
Company updates

Essential Steps for Registering Your Holiday Apartment

Raul Tomescu
CEO & Founder


Renting out a holiday home is an excellent opportunity in the hospitality industry, although not everyone is aware of how to properly register a holiday home. Registration can have additional fees and taxes and there are many aspects of holiday home registration that you, as the landlord, need to be aware of. In the article below, I have collected some of the most important information and aspects that you should definitely check before you start the process of registering your holiday home.

Registering a Vacation Home in Germany: What Steps to Take?

According to the opinions, if the registration of the holiday home is under consideration, it is recommended to register the property as a business, as it is most likely to be a commercial activity. Registration is definitely mandatory, but you should always check the municipal regulations.

Of course, in order to understand this better, you first need to clarify the following:

✅️ Are you planning to rent on a casual basis?

✅️ Or is your aim more profit-making?

Why is it important to make a difference between them? In the case of casual renting, it is not necessary to register the business.

If your objective is to rent out your holiday home on a regular basis, it is recommended that you register as a business.

Living room of a holiday home.

Registering your holiday home as a business

Let me explain in more detail what you need to know if you want to register your holiday home as a business. To be considered as a commercial activity, business tax must be over the limit of €24,500/year. If this is less please seek the help of a professional who can give you more detailed legal advice.

You will need the following to register your business and you should also be aware that other fees may be charged.

✅️ Completed form, it is important that you fill in the registration form correctly,

✅️ ID card,

✅️ Certificates and supporting documents,

✅️ Certificate of registration (if registered),

✅️ Processing fee.

What happens next? The documents you submit will be sent to the trade bureau, which will issue the license to you. Your data will be forwarded to the tax office, as you have to declare the income in a tax return at the end of each year and pay tax on it.

Taxation and Other Expenses During Vacation Home Registration

It is important to know that you have to pay tax on your income even if you do not have a registered business. When completing your tax declaration, you will also need to fill in the annex for rental and leasing income. You can offset the income against other expenses of letting your residential property to reduce your tax liability.

You do not have to pay tax if your annual income is less than €22,000. But you can only do this if you are registered as a small business. If your income exceeds this, you must also pay tax, whether you have a business or not.

As a self-employed person, you will also have to pay business tax and sales tax on income above €24500. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you must declare your income tax at the end of each year.

Vacation home registration - illustration.

Be Mindful of Hygiene Regulations!

If you want to register your holiday home, you need to take into account the extra services you offer, such as meals, breakfast or lunch, and the hygiene standards. You will need to comply with the law on infection control, which applies to meat and dairy products, cold meats and even cream cheese.

You can find the relevant regulations at the relevant organisation, but it's easier to set up a well-equipped kitchen and suggest to your guests that they visit the nearest shopping centre or supermarket.

Kitchen of a holiday home.

5 Key Factors for Smooth Vacation Home Registration

To conclude, I have listed the 5 most important factors to focus on when registering your holiday home.

✅ Overview of Legal Requirements

Start by familiarizing yourself with local legal requirements, especially regarding the distinctions between commercial and non-commercial leases. Decide whether you've registered the vacation home for commercial purposes and be mindful of potential legal obligations.

✅ Developing a Business Plan

Create a business plan for operating the vacation apartment, outlining expected revenues and expenses. This will help you understand the level of involvement in the commercial sphere and formulate long-term plans.

✅ Consideration of Financial Limits

If your earnings are less than €24,500 annually, there's no need to register as a business, and if it's under €22,000, you may be exempt from paying value-added tax. Clarify financial limits and obligations.

✅ Obtaining Tourist Permits

Inquire with the tourism office to confirm if the apartment is suitable for vacation rentals and whether specific permits or tourist taxes are required. Officially register the vacation apartment with the necessary permits.

✅ Preparing for Guests

Once registration details are sorted, prepare and furnish the apartment. Ensure essential supplies like linens, towels, kitchen utensils, and children's toys are available. Initiate marketing activities and begin preparations to welcome your first guests.


The registration of holiday homes may seem like a difficult task at first sight, which is why I have prepared the article above, but if you feel you have further questions on the subject, I recommend that you contact a legal adviser or other professional who can help you. Holiday home registration is one of the most important steps to a secure business in the hospitality industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ Do I need to register my vacation home, and where should I do it?

Yes, you must register your vacation home, typically at the local resident registration office or, in some cases, the municipal office.

❓ How does the GEZ apply to vacation rentals?

If you use your vacation home as a second residence, the regular broadcasting contribution applies, regardless of the number of occupants.

❓ Is it necessary to declare my vacation rental as a business, and what are the tax implications?

If your annual earnings from the rental are less than €24,500, you may not need to register as a business.

❓ What are the consequences if I do not register my holiday home as a business?

If you fail to register your vacation home as a business when required, you may face legal consequences, including fines and penalties.

❓ What happens if I exceed the business tax limit of €24,500/year?

If your business tax exceeds €24,500/year, it's recommended to seek professional advice. You may need to register your holiday home as a business, submit necessary documents, and pay additional fees.

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