Doing business in: Germany
Produced in partnership with Regina Glaser, Torsten Groß, Dominik Eickemeier, Dr Vinzenz Bödeker, Fabian Gaffron, Dr André Szesny, Rainer Dr Velte and Dr Bodo Dehne
Doing business in: Germany

The following Commercial guidance note Produced in partnership with Regina Glaser, Torsten Groß, Dominik Eickemeier, Dr Vinzenz Bödeker, Fabian Gaffron, Dr André Szesny, Rainer Dr Velte and Dr Bodo Dehne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Doing business in: Germany
  • Introduction
  • The business environment
  • Forming a company
  • Financing a company
  • Opening a branch office
  • Opening a bank account
  • Utilising office space
  • Immigration controls
  • Key employment laws
  • more

Updated in December 2019

Introduction

Germany is the strongest economy in Europe and one of the largest worldwide. Its central location in the middle of Europe brings with it a closely-tied infrastructure network. Germany offers outstanding economic conditions and enjoys a good reputation among foreign investors. Consequential structural reforms and a moderate development of unit labour costs have significantly improved the competitiveness of German businesses. The excellent infrastructure and highly-qualified workforce are further factors that contribute to sustainable business success.

There are a variety of ways of structuring an operation in Germany. The aim of this guide is to highlight some of the key areas that a new business will need to address before it begins to operate in Germany. This guide should not be considered to be an all-inclusive guide and specific German legal advice should always be sought before setting up and running a business in Germany.

It should be noted that Germany is a federal republic and does not consist of one single jurisdiction but of 16 federal states (Länder). These federal states have part-sovereignty and can enact their own laws in certain areas of legislation. In particular, there are differences between these 16 jurisdictions in relation to public law and the judicial structures. It may, therefore, be necessary to obtain additional local advice before starting your business.