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I need to apply for a German Schengen visa for tourism. I am staying in a small hotel, booked through booking.com. When filing out the visa form the following fields have to be filled out:

  1. Reference type: hotel
  2. Name of register in which the hotel is registered: Register of Crafts and Trades, Commercial Register, Register of Partnerships, Register of Associations, Register of Cooperatives or Other register?
  3. Location of register?
  4. Registration number?
  5. Name of the contact person?

When I requested the hotel to provide the information for 2-5 the reply was:

Our Hotel has no registration number. Hotels owned by a single person do not need to register in any register of crafts and trades

Questions:

  1. Does it sound legit? Are single-person run hotels in Germany in fact exempt from registration? Does the fact that the hotel exempt from registration says something bad about a hotel? The reviews and pictures look OK to me. The hotel in question is the Hotel im Rheintal
  2. What do I put for questions 2, 3, 4 in the Schengen Visa application form? The hotel lists value added tax ID# and the name of the responsible local authority.

After inquiring specifically

What is your number in Gewerberegister

The hotel answer was:

as singleowner of a Hotel are we not registered in the Gewerberegister.

I believe this is a reason for me to cancel the booking and look elsewhere. It's a pity as the hotel is in just the place I wanted to stay. :(

UPD. Official update from German mission in the U.S.A:

You only need to enter the address of your hotel + phone no.

  • Ad 1), definitely possible, and not necessarily negative. As for the other questions, no idea. – chirlu Jun 14 '17 at 17:46
  • I understand that the answer may seem trivial: "say it is not registered, and provide single owner name", but the automated form they insist on using does not leave me any such choice. And having heard about German usual special attention to detail in all thing bureaucratic, I really want my application to be fully conformant to their expectations – mzu Jun 14 '17 at 17:57
  • This seems like too many questions that are not all related. Some of the questions may even be opinion-based. However, question 2 seems entirely within the scope of this site and question 1 is sufficiently related that I would suggest you narrow this down to those two questions. You can ask the other questions separately. – Jan Jun 14 '17 at 18:01
  • You should contact the consulate you are going to apply through. As far as I remember, I left the registration number blank using booking.com printouts when I applied for a German visa. – greatone Jun 14 '17 at 18:45
  • There's no such question on the standard Schengen visa application form (reproduced as Annex I to the visa code).There's only field 31 which asks for names, address and contact details of your host. Are you sure you're dealing with a legitimate form and not something strange that some private intermediary has dreamed up? – Henning Makholm Jun 19 '17 at 13:16
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Does it sound legit? Are single-person run hotels in Germany in fact exempt from registration?

Not a lawyer, but: No.
This would be against the basic ideas of all relevant laws, and a quick search turned up no single hint of any (hotel-relevant) exception (but it turned up many confirmations that I'm right).

Basically, all things with the purpose to continously earn money are "Gewerbe" and need to be registered as such. There are some exceptions, but running a Hotel is lightyears away from them. It doesn't matter if the person has employees or not, it doesn't matter if the person has another job, it doesn't matter (much) how much profit this person makes, etc.etc. ... Depending on the type of Gewerbe, there may be additional requirements (Hotel? IT consultant? Gun merchant? All different), and the structure matters too (employees, stocks, ...), but nothing overrides the obligation to register the Gewerbe.

If the hotel really isn't registered:

A likely explanation is tax evasion. (Nonetheless, it could very well be a great place to stay. For tourists, it doesn't imply a high risk of being scammed, robbed or something like that, and it says nothing about room quality etc.).

About your visa, without a register number, this "hotel" obviously won't be usable for an electronic form "leaving you no choice", as you said.

But since we now know that the hotel (apparently) has a (valid?) tax number...

Like chirlu suggested in the comments: Ask again, specifically about the Gewerberegister (ie. the German word). It's possible they misunderstood your first mail, especially because there are other company registers too (where a small/medium hotel doesn't need to register).

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    This source strongly suggests otherwise. Just for confirmation, my search terms were ‘Muss ein Hotel im Handelsregister eingetragen sein?’ – Jan Jun 14 '17 at 18:33
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    @Jan The Gewerberegister and the Handelsregister are very different things. – deviantfan Jun 14 '17 at 18:36
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    That answer is incorrect. If the hotel isn't registered, you leave those details blank. Booking.com is recognized and acceptable. If there is anything fishy about the hotel, it's not the traveller's fault. – greatone Jun 14 '17 at 18:51
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    Trying to search for Gewerberegisternummer gives me a lot of answers from Austria. Adding -österreich to the search term gives me practically nothing. Considering the form asks for a registration number I am quite unsure if the Gewerberegister actually uses registration numbers. – Jan Jun 14 '17 at 18:58
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    @greatone I didn't say it was the travellers fault. But like OP wrote, he/she has no choice on ths eletronic form – deviantfan Jun 14 '17 at 19:06

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