German Company Formation


Introduction to German company incorporation

If you’re a foreign investor considering company registration Germany, you have a broad spectrum of options. You could take a cautious view and start a German company with a one-person sales office, based within a serviced office (we can help you with this). If it doesn’t work out, you can easily withdraw without having invested very much capital. Or you could have the courage of your convictions, and enter the German market in a manner that makes clear you really mean business. Our German company formation service makes it easy for you to establish whatever kind of German company you want, from a sole trader through to a partnership or corporation. Please contact us for further details of our German company incorporation services today.

What are the main types of German company formation?

There are four main forms of German company incorporation, and they are as follows:

  • limited liability corporation (GmbH)
  • stock corporation (AG)
  • partnerships
  • sole proprietor

What are the main features of a GmbH company?

  • the minimum share capital for a GmbH is €25,000.
  • it is the most common form of business enterprise in Germany.
  • simple structure designed for private companies only.
  • the minimum number of shareholders is one.

A new law came into effect in November 2008 which provides for the GmbH UG Company. This allows a minimum share capital of only 1 euro! For a free guide on this type of company please contact us!

What are the main features of an AG company?

  • the minimum share capital for an AG is €50,000.
  • the standard corporate form for major public companies.
  • the minimum number of shareholders is one.
  • subject to heavy regulation as a listed company.

What are the main features of a partnership?

  • available either as a general (oHG) or limited (KG) partnership.
  • foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability KG partnerships.
  • minimum of two partners, one of which can be a GmbH company.
  • widely used in Germany for small and family-owned businesses.

What are the main features of a sole proprietor company?

  • the simplest and least-regulated form of business entity.
  • registration required in commercial register and local trade office.
  • sole trader has unlimited liability for all liabilities and debts.
  • profits are subject to German income tax at individual rates.

If I have a company in another country, can I set up a branch in Germany

You certainly can, and it’s a popular move for foreign companies considering German company formation, that aren’t quite certain about their long-term commitment to Germany. All you need to do if you want to establish a German branch office is to register with the commercial register and the local trade office. Bear in mind however – the parent company retains full responsibility for the branch on all legal and tax matters. Look at our tax planning section to see how our panel of German tax specialists can help you navigate your way through Germany’s complex fiscal laws.

How easy is it to recruit staff in Germany?

Germany is famed for the excellence of its technical training and apprenticeships are the norm in most industrial sectors. There is no shortage of qualified staff in most areas of Germany, particularly in the east of the country and in the Ruhr where unemployment is high. Most companies advertise jobs at the local government-run employment exchange but for specialist staff and senior management, you would be better advised to use an executive search agency. If you are considering company registration Germany, please contact us for information about our recruitment service.

What is the regulatory environment like for those considering German company incorporation?

Foreign investors should be aware that if you are considering company registration Germany, local businesses are heavily regulated. This is particularly true in the case of listed AG companies but all German companies, large and small, have to comply with detailed requirements laid out by the authorities. Government bodies oversee the activities of financial institutions such as banks and insurance offices, while most other industries are grouped around associations that regulate what their members can and cannot do. This is territory where it makes sense to tread carefully – contact us to see how our local advisers can help with any issues relating to company registration Germany.

Are there financial incentives available – and what about banking?

If you wish to start a German company, the federal government offers a wide range of incentive programs, including loans and grants, depending on the nature of the company and its intended location. Some areas of Germany offer capital investment grants of up to 50% to SMEs. It is also worth noting that local government incentives may be offered in the form of beneficial tax rates but these are not generally available in the major cities. Germany has world-class international banking facilities and the first step in opening a German company should be to open a local bank account – we can arrange this for you.

How can I get more information about company registration Germany?

Please contact us if you wish to start a German company and we will be pleased to discuss matters in greater detail. Please note in most cases, a visit to Germany will be required as part of the German company incorporation process.

Through our office in Frankfurt, we can assist you with all the German company formation services you may require, including incorporation, bank account, VAT Registration, virtual office/domicile and accountancy services. Please note we also have a selection of Readymade Companies available for immediate purchase. Please contact Mumtaz & Associates to start your German Company Today!

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