Setting up a Business in Germany
Legal Forms of Companies
|Types of Companies and Capital (Max/Min)||Number of Partners/Shareholders and Liability||Registration Fees|
| Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung (GmbH) is a limited liability company
|| Minimum 2 partners
nb : 1 partner for a one person GmbH.
|Minimum EUR 400 (+ possibly lawyer fees from EUR 600 to 800).|
| Aktiengesellschaft (AG) is a public limited company .
|| Minimum 2 partners.
nb : 1 sole shareholder for a one person AG .
|Minimum EUR 500 (+ possibly lawyer fees from EUR 600 to 800).|
| Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG) is a general partnership.
|| The partners can be natural persons or legal entities.
||Fees over 1,000 EUR.|
| Kommanditgesellschat (KG) is a limited joint-stock partnership.
|| There are two types of partners, the active partners and the silent partners.
The liability of the silent partners is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
|Fees over 1,000 EUR.|
- Enterprises Federation
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V., BDI - Federation of German Industries
- Search a Company or a Financial Report
Handelsregister, Common register portal of the German federal states
Ebundesanzeiger, in German
Business Setup Procedures
- Administrative Formalities
- Called "Satzung" for an AG, and "Gesellschaftvertrag" for a GmbH, the Articles of Association must be drawn up in a deed authenticated by a lawyer.
Company registration takes place at the Register of Commerce, held by the Clerk's Office of the Magistrate's Court where the company has its headquarters.
Branch offices must also be registered at the Register of Commerce in the place where they are to be set up.
The registration must be published in the " Bundesanzeiger" as well as in a journal of legal notices.Various declarations must be made after registration and especially to the fiscal administration ( Finanzamt) and social security organizations.
- The Competent Organization
- The Common register portal of the German federal states.
- Time Necessary for Registration
- According to the 2009 World Bank Report (French only), the formation of a company takes on average 18 days.
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