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From January 1, 2024, companies must provide the company number (Unternehmensnummer) assigned to the company by the employers’ liability insurance association as part of the application process for an employer identification number (Betriebsnummer). This is likely to lead to a longer registration process, as the company number must be applied for first.
Why has the procedure been changed?
Employment companies are identified on the one hand by the employer identification numbers issued by the German Employment Agency. On the other hand, companies receive a company number for this purpose from the relevant employer’s liability insurance association. Currently, only the employer or the payroll service provider have information on which employer identification number is assigned to which company number.
The Basic Business Data Register Act (Art. 3 (3) No. 7) now requires that these two classification features be linked. In future, the accident insurance organizations will be legally obliged to transmit the linked company numbers and employer identification numbers to the Federal Statistical Office for the basic business data register. For this purpose, the Federal Employment Agency will in turn request the company number in connection with each application for an employer identification number from January 1, 2024 and transmit such number to the accident insurance organizations from June 1, 2024.
How does the change affect me as a company?
If, for example, you establish a company, hire personnel and start payroll accounting, please note that the application procedure for an employer identification number will take more time than before January 1, 2024, as you have to apply for the company number with the competent employer’s liability insurance first. The law provides for the company number to be issued by the accident insurance without delay (Art. 136a SGB VII (German Social Code)). It remains to be seen how fast these numbers will be actually issued in practice.
If your business or employment company has already received a company number and employer identification number and if you prepare payroll accounting, an initial report must be submitted through the payroll accounting program by May 31, 2024. Such report is generally generated automatically by your payroll accounting program. If you only use a form manager, such as sv-net or the SV reporting portal, you have to actively submit the initial report.
Where can I apply for a company number?
You can apply for the company number with your competent employer’s liability insurance association. An overview of employers’ liability insurance associations including contact persons for the company number is available on the website of DGUV (German statutory accident insurance).