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We ❤ Berlin: Why there’s never been a better time to move to Europe’s startup capital

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We love having our Clue headquarters based in Berlin. From the overall quality of life to the diversity of Berlin’s many expatriate communities, there are many reasons why our team members (who make up 19 different nationalities) have chosen to live here in Germany’s capital.

Curious about making the move yourself, whether for politics, work, life, love or simply a change of pace? We’ve put together everything you need to know, and we hope to say “Willkommen” to you soon.

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DIRTY BUREAUCRATIC DETAILS

Now time for the not-so-fun stuff.

How to get registered in Berlin:

First things first. Before you can get a bank account or anything really, you’ll need to get your ANMELDUNG. This is your key to Berlin and the first piece of paperwork.

Go to your nearest Bürgeramt. You can make an appointment or show up early in the morning for same day service. Bring your passport, proof of stay (landlord contract or hotel receipt) and fill out the registration form.

How to get a residence permit:

Go to the Landeseinwohneramt (LEA). They use a queuing system similar to the DMV, so get there early to be served the same day or make an appointment. Bring your passport, two biometric photos, documentation of purpose of stay (work contract, evidence of earnings, university enrollment or proof of self employment) and evidence of health insurance. The fee can range from 50–110 euros.

How to register as a freelancer (“Freiberufler”):

After getting your anmeldung, fill out the form “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung” at your nearest Finanzamt.

How to register as a small business owner (“Gewerbetreibender”):

First check if your business falls under a “regulated craft.” There are specific professions (“Handwerke”) that require a Master license (“Meisterbrief”) or formal training.

Unlike most German bureaucratic processes, you can actually register your business online. Apply here.

How to get your EU Blue Card (similar to the US Green Card):

The EU Blue Card is issued for four years if the employment contract is permanent or if a temporary employment contract lasts for at least four years. Annual gross income must be at least 49,600 euros per year (or gross income of 4,133 euros per month) to qualify. Talk with your employer to help you fill out all the forms. You’ll need proof of the following: a concrete job (or offer), health insurance, residency and a college education.

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