Chamber Membership and Obligation to Pay Fees

In Germany all registered companies in industry, commerce or service are required by law (1) to be a member of a Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI / German abbr.: IHK). The IHK's are public corporations with compulsory membership.
The representatives of the "parliament of the business community (2)", elected by the business members, define each year, what direction and focus the IHK should take and approve the amount of the membership fee. All companies pay mandatory fee to their chamber according to their economic success. One advantage of statutory membership is that the IHK's represent all branches of business and companies equally, regardless of size, whether it is a small shop or a multinational corporation. All companies have one vote and equal rights. Their fees keep the chambers financially independent towards singular interests or government influence.
Membership begins for natural persons and partnerships with the start of the business activity; in case of joint-stock companies and cooperatives with the registration in the Trade or Cooperative Register. The fee is levied independently of the actual use of IHK services by the respective member. The obligation to pay fees begins at the start of the financial year.
The assessments of contributions apply to all businesses with a branch or subsidiary in the district of IHK für Rheinhessen which carry out an activity subjected to trade tax (3). Small companies with annual business earnings < €5,200 are exempted from payment. The decisive factor is the assessment of trade tax by the competent financial authority. IHK membership and the obligation to pay fees ends with the termination of the tax trade obligation.
IHK für Rheinhessen - Membership Fee 2018 (4):

Business earnings (5)
Basic fee
Contribution % (6)
1. Small companies
≥ 5,200.00 €
< 7,700.00 €
47.00 €
2. Small companies
≥ 7,700.00 €
< 24,500.00 €
47.00 €
3. Small companies and
Registered companies (7)
≥ 24,500.00 €
< 49,000.00 € 
47.00 €
4. Registered companies
≥ 49,000.00 €
< 98,000.00 € 
47.00 €
5. Registered companies
≥ 98,000.00 €
< 196,000.00 € 
47.00 €
6. Registered companies
≥ 196,000.00 € 
47.00 €
Here is the explanation of the italic numbers in the text obove:
(1) German: IHK-Gesetz (IHK-G)
(2) German: Vollversammlung
(3) German: Gewerbesteuer
(4) German: According to the published "Wirtschaftssatzung", "Beitragsordnung"
(5) Operating profits according to the Trade Tax Act, German: Gewerbeertrag / Gewinn aus Gewerbebetrieb
(6) For natural persons and partnerships, business earnings will be reduced once by an allowance of 15,340.00 €
(7) Companies (Nr. 3.-6.) entered in the trade or cooperative register (German: Handelsregister), as well as business operators whose businesses are not registered, but whose manner and extent of operations require a commercial organization.