Setting up a Business in Germany

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

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
 
 
25 000 EUR minimum with at least half fully paid up at the creation of the company.
Minimum 2 partners
nb : 1 partner for a one person GmbH.
 
 
Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Minimum EUR 400 (+ possibly lawyer fees from EUR 600 to 800).
Aktiengesellschaft (AG) is a public limited company .
 
 
50 000 EUR minimum with a quarter fully paid up at the creation of the company.
Minimum 2 partners.
nb : 1 sole shareholder for a one person AG .
 
 
Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Minimum EUR 500 (+ possibly lawyer fees from EUR 600 to 800).
Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG) is a general partnership.
 
 
No minimum capital.
The partners can be natural persons or legal entities.
 
 
Their liability is joint and indefinite on the obligations and debts of the company.
Fees over 1,000 EUR.
Kommanditgesellschat (KG) is a limited joint-stock partnership.
 
 
No minimum capital.
There are two types of partners, the active partners and the silent partners.
 
 
The liability of the active partners is personal and indefinite.
The liability of the silent partners is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Fees over 1,000 EUR.
 
 

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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