Expats living and working in Germany will come into contact with a range of different organisations and agencies, who are all responsible for different aspects of daily life. The ones you are most likely to encounter as an expat include:
Citizens’ offices (Bürgerämter)
The citizens’ office is an arm of local government responsible for all different kinds of administrative processes. This is the place you will visit when you first register in Germany, if you buy a car, start up your own business, exchange your driving licence, renew your German passport, or get a pet.
There are two organisations responsible for taxation in Germany that expats will come into contact with: local tax offices and the Federal Central Tax Office. While the local tax office takes care of most of your day-to-day tax matters, including income tax returns, the Federal Central Tax Office is responsible for issuing tax IDs to every resident in Germany.
Most major German cities (and a lot of federal states) have authorities that provide a wide range of services for newcomers in Germany. The staff at Welcome Centers can guide you through the range of administrative steps you have to go through when you first arrive in the country. Many also have advice tailored towards entrepreneurs and freelancers. We have put together a directory of Welcome Centers in Germany.