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Accounting and Auditing

Legal obligation to keep Records

According to commercial law, every merchant must keep books and make an annual financial statement according to operating assets comparison. Sole traders are not required to keep accounts if their turnover is below 600.000,00 € and the profit below 60.000,00 €. The same limits apply under tax law (turnover 600.000,00 €, income from business enterprise below 60.000,00 €). The German  business year is from 01 January to 31 December (=calendar year). There is the option to specify a deviating business year.


Capital companies and certain partnerships (GmbH & Co. KG) must publish their annual financial statement in the Federal Gazette within 12 months after the balance sheet date. The publications must be submitted electronically. Publications can be viewed at Federal-Gazette.


Auditing generally means the review of the financial conduct of companies in the scope of annual financial statement auditing. In this area, accounting, balancing and the internal control system are audited. In Germany, only certified public or general accountants are authorised for such audits. Auditing is to ensure formal and factual correctness of a company’s statements. Medium-sized, large capital companies and companies subject to limited liability are obliged to undergo auditing.

If at least 2 of the following characteristics apply, to two subsequent balance sheet dates 

very small small Medium Sized large
Balance sheet sum in Mio € up to 0,35 up to 6,0 up to 20,0 over 20,0
Turnover in Mio € up to 0,70 up to 12,0 up to 40,0 over 40,0
Employees up to 10 up to 50 up to 250 over 50
As of 01/2023