Germany scaring off clients?

Hello everybody!

I had found a client in London through an agency (I am an IT consultant). The agency said everything was ok and created a British LLC for me.

I am traveling these days, and don’t really have a fixed place, but right now I am in Germany.

A few days before the start of the project, the customer said that they could not work with me through the British LLC and I have to absolutely set up a German LLC or sole proprietorship, otherwise they cannot work with me. I tried to explain that I am staying at an Airbnb and I will go to another country in a month, but they said that I absolutely have to set up a German LLC (or sole proprietorship, provided it’s in Germany).

This caught everybody by surprise, especially the agency, since up to now the British LLC had worked for everybody.

The agency told me that the customer is scared the German tax authorities might sue them or something like that.

Is it this specific client that is being difficult or is it something that commonly happens with Germany? Are there specific countries that scare off clients?

I really don’t care about staying in Germany, I am leaving anyway, but I would not want to go to another country and have the same thing happen to me again.


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up to now the British LLC had worked for everybody.

As a basic rule, you are subject to the legislation of the country where you actually work as an employed or a self-employed person. It doesn’t matter where you live or where your employer is based. Therefore, under German law, you need to register your activity in Germany. If you are no longer live in Germany, the German contractor should have no problem in accepting the British LLC invoices.

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Thanks Luminita,

I pointed this out to the agency, but they totally freaked out, eventually discarding even the German sole proprietorship option and wanting me to actually go back to the country of my passport and working from there .

I am under the impression that the client wants nothing to do with Germany whatsoever, so I ask myself if it’s just a single unfortunate case or somebody else had the same problem.

I think you need tro read my answer twice. The point is that, in my opinion (no legal advice) you cannot use the UK LLP to invoice if you worked or the service rendered was done while you were in Germany. Your client is right.

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No doesn’t work this way the other replied.
Worldwide, you are only taxable in the country you register your residence for 183 days in the solar year of taxation.
If you are from the US, you are taxable on wodwide income anyway, unless you give up your citizenship.
But if you are staying in Germany for under 3 months and you never registered, you can tell tax authority to) #(-# up.
Inform your client and the agency, as business is not based on feelings but on law.
You’re not breaking any for now.
And the EU legislation (note that EU legislation is stronger that national ones in court) says that you can open a business in the EU wherever you want.

I have plenty of lawyers in my contact list if you need them.

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Thanks Manyluv,

I actually know about the 183 rule, and I made sure not to register in Germany, but the agency became somehow fixated with “service rendered in country X”.

Actually they went beyond that, and told me I had to go back to my country of birth and work from there.

I think what actually happened is that the client got wind of the agency’s bad reputation or some other problem, and short of saying “we don’t want to work with you anymore” they said “we cannot be sure you will be able to safely (legally wise) contract the person”, so the agency went crazy on me, and instead of saying “they don’t want to work with us anymore” they started requiring impossible things from me.