The size of the company is a descriptive characteristic that is often described using the terms small, medium and large. The number of employees or other economic characteristics such as turnover, profit, Total assets, Equity or value creation. Depending on the choice and combination of criteria, other classifications may arise. According to Section 267 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), corporations are divided into small, medium-sized and large companies.
In tax law there is a different division into size classes with the company audit statistics, which are differentiated according to industries and economic characteristics. In § 141 AO, the tax bookkeeping obligation for companies in agriculture and forestry as well as commercial companies is linked to size-dependent criteria.
In the individual tax laws, however, different differentiations are provided, z. B. Small business owners with an annual turnover of up to € 17,500 (§ 19 I UStG); small and medium-sized craft businesses with fewer than 250 employees (Section 2 II No. 2 InvZulG); Small and medium-sized wholesalers and retailers with fewer than 50 employees (Section 2 II No. 3 InvZulG); small and medium-sized commercial enterprises with business assets of up to € 204,517 (Section 7 g II EStG). The taxation of companies is not primarily based on the size of the company, but on the legal form.
However, tax law is not independent of company size. Small and medium-sized businesses benefit from national tax law and European law, depending on their legal form and industry. Large companies in the legal form of a corporation tend to orientate themselves across borders when choosing a location and use the international tax differential with direct investments or direct business. They are usually more mobile than small and medium-sized companies. The size of the company is particularly important in tax audits.