Germany Company Formation

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Company Formation and Related Services



Buying a European shelf company with VAT number

Whenever you need to start doing business immediately in a European country and you need a company with a VAT number, you don’t have to wait for the bureaucratic procedures.

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Partner Law Firms

We encourage you to contact our partner law firms in Bucharest: Rolegal and E&C, both part of our legal network.

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Tax Minimization Structures

BridgeWest is specialized in special corporate structures designed for tax minimization. No matter where you want to incorporate your company, you will need to consider how you can legally minimize costs.

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Set up a German company

July 28, 2010, 4:50 pm

Germany’s economy is recognized as the largest in Europe, creating an ideal place to develop a business, due to the high standards, competition and export marked that generates a substantial value in the German GDP.

Most investors that decide to set up a German company choose to establish a German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) or a German joint stock company (Aktiengesellschaft), these two kinds of legal entities being the most common in Germany.


Preliminary activities before registering limited liability and joint stock companies in Germany

Prior to registration it is important to check the uniqueness of the company's name at the local chamber of industry and commerce. This is not a mandatory procedure, but it is strongly recommended to be followed as new incorporated company stands the risk of a lawsuit by a legal entity with the same or similar name or other derived legal problems.

The uniqueness of the company name can be performed in one day and it is free of charge.

The articles of association (the documents which sits at the base of every company) or the foundation act in both limited liability and joint stock companies must be notarized. The entrepreneur must pay a fee for the notarized documents and the amount is imposed in accordance to a calculation scheme.

The company must open a bank account in which the minimum deposit or the collection of funds must be held. The bank institution issues a deposit certificate, needed in several further phases.

The minimum share capital that must be deposited for a limited liability company cannot be less than 25,000 EUR, while for a joint stock company an entrepreneur must provide a minimum of 50,000 EUR.


Registering the German limited liability and German joint stock companies at the Commercial Register

The most important phase in order to set up a German company consists in obtaining the registration with the Commercial Register.

In this sense, the company's representative must submit an application at the Commercial Register which must contain the notarized articles of association, the deed that states the managing board, the shareholders and the deposit certificate issued by the bank institution, proving that the minimum capital has been deposited in the bank account. The entire procedure can be accomplished by an electronic form.

After analyzing the documentation, the Commercial Register publishes the registration of the German company on a central electronic platform.

The Commercial Register also notifies the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Tax Office about the new set up company in Germany.


Notifying local Office of Business and Standards (Gewerbeamt) of the German company's registration

The Office of Business and Standards (Gewerbeamt) must be informed about a new incorporated company in order to obtain a trading license (Gewerbeschein). This permit is required for certain business, for example restaurants and brokers.

This procedure includes registration with the statistical office and the chamber of industry and commerce, the labor office, the social security and federal health insurance office. After the Labor Office is informed, it is issued an ID composed of eight-digit operating number needed to report social security.

After notifying the local statistical office, the company's founders receive a form that must be filled with certain details, for example information about the company's business data. By this action it is completed the registration for tax purpose and the procedure of setting up a German company.

The entrepreneurs must be aware that the registration must be completed within a month from the company incorporation and not later than a month from the procedure of notarization of the Articles of Association.


Setting up a German company from abroad

There are no discriminations against foreign companies compared with local ones and both foreign and German entrepreneurs follow the same laws, have the same rights and obligations. In this sense, any foreign investor who wants to set up a German company finds the propitious business environment.

In Germany there are no currency controls or restrictions for foreign investors and it is not necessary that the headquarters be set on the territory of Germany.

Due to a new implemented online platform, foreign investors can accomplish the process of setting up a company in Germany via internet.

The registration of branches is also possible, but these business forms are not considered legal entities, since the full responsibility for its actions is taken by the parent company. In this sense, no independent decision can be taken by a branch.


How long does it take to set up a German company?

The entire procedure required to set up a German company (available for limited liability or a joint stock company) takes about 11 working days: the registering process takes 7 days and notifying the local Office of Business and Standards is completed in 3 days. Each of the remaining procedures can be accomplished simultaneous.


BridgeWest offers company formation in Germany, including virtual office services, opening of bank accounts and accounting services.

Open Business in Germany
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Company Formation in Germany


Bridgewest provides the following services for company formation in Germany:

- drawing up the articles of association that can be signed through power of attorney (German laws require powers of attorney for any public notary proceedin ... [More]

Lawyers in Germany


BridgeWest provides a wide range of legal services in Germany through our affiliated German lawyers and Law Firms in Berlin, Munchen and other major cities in Germany. We are mainly specialized in the main aspects of German Commercial Law, includi ... [More]