How to start a business in Germany within 2 weeks

- Information on Foundation -


Six steps to setup a GmbH in Germany:

Step 1: Drafting of Articles of Association

The articles of association shape the identity and constitution of the GmbH. Mandatory content includes business name, company object, registered office, share capital, shareholders and respective shares held. Due to the large scope for contractual design, the GmbH is a very flexible corporation.

Step 2: Certification by a notary public and appointment of the first managing director

The drafting and notarization of the articles of association must be performed in the presence of a German notary. The founding shareholder(s) adopt(s) its articles of association and appoint(s) one or more managing directors in a notarial deed. The articles of association must be signed by all founding shareholders and notarized. At the same time, the first managing director(s) will be appointed.

Step 3: Opening of a Bank Account

Once the articles of association have been notarized, a company account should be opened and the share capital deposited. A payment of € 12.500,00 in total is sufficient for registration with the commercial register of a € 25.000,00 GmbH.

Step 4: Payment of Share Capital

Once the articles of association have been notarized, a company account should be opened and the share capital deposited. A payment of € 12.500,00 in total is sufficient for registration with the commercial register of a € 25.000,00 GmbH.

Step 5: Registration in the Companies Register / Trade Register

Before taking up commercial activities the new business has to be registered with the public commercial register ("Handelsregister"), tax office (Finanzamt) and the local trade office ("Gewerbeamt"). Once the required share capital has been verifiable contributed to the GmbH, the managing director(s) apply for the registration of the GmbH in the commercial register. The application is electronically filed by a notary. It must be personally signed by all managing directors of the GmbH (power of attorney is not possible) and accompanied by documentation pertaining to the applying GmbH. In addition, the commercial register requires documentation verifying the existence of any parent company as well as the power of representation for persons acting on behalf of it. The commercial register checks if all formation requirements have been met. If that is the case, the GmbH is registered and comes into existence as a separate legal entity.

Step 6: Trade & Tax Office Registration

Before business operations can started, the trade office and tax office registration must be completed. More often than not, a business license or permit is not needed. The trade office generally forwards the registration to the tax authority.

Final Remaks:

Chamber membership with the chambers of industry and commerce ("Industrie- und Handelskammer - IHK") or the chambers of craft ("Handwerkskammer") is bvy law and mandatory.


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