Company formation and legal forms
Forming a company in Germany is easy. Foreign investors have the opportunity to set up a non-independent branch in Germany and thus to begin company operations in Germany right away. They can found subsidiaries and, in doing so, choose between all company forms, just like German business people. Crucial criteria in this decision often include the desired role of the shareholders, possible limitations of liability and tax-related aspects. There are two fundamental types of company under German law – joint-stock companies and partnerships. Each has multiple sub-forms with specific advantages.
10 steps for setting up a branch or company
We are here to provide information to investors that are important for their planning and support them in implementing investments in an uncomplicated and expedient manner. One call and we will be with you every step of the way in founding your branch or company.
A business plan is the short profile of your planned business activities. This profile serves us in arranging an optimal support for you. In Bavaria, it is the key to many advantages, such as contacts to experts or funding programmes.
There are a variety of different legal forms available for your newly founded branch or company from which you can choose depending on your business objective.
Branches and companies must have their own bank account in Germany. Opening a bank account is done in accordance with current international practices.
Which documents and evidence are necessary depends on the company’s legal form. Our employees will be happy to send you detailed checklists for the legal form of your choice and a list of lawyers who can provide legal counsel.
When founding a branch or company in Germany, it is advisable to include various experts in the process. We are happy to provide contacts to suitable lawyers, tax consultants, solicitors and other experts for your investment project.
The basic information on registered companies (name and location of the company, authorised representatives, legal form as well as stock or share capital) in Germany is held in the German trade registry. The trade registry is a reliable instrument for creating legal security and transparency for companies.
Invest in Bavaria provides the Site Information System Bavaria (SISBY), one of Europe’s most innovative instruments for location research, for your search for commercial sites in Bavaria. Invest in Bavaria will be happy to assist you in searching for a site.
In many cases, non-EU citizens require a visa for longer stays. The German embassy or consulate in your home country will provide the necessary documents (application and company profile).
In some cases, you may be able to start your business activities even while you are still founding your branch or company in Bavaria and thus create the foundation for a successful start. You can be sure of Invest in Bavaria’s support in all practical matters of founding a branch or company.
Germany Trade & Invest is the Federal Republic of Germany’s society for foreign trade and location marketing.
Gründerland.Bayern is an information portal for company foundations in Bavaria.
The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology operates a range of different foundation portals with extensive information, including the business set-up portal and the female entrepreneurs’ portal.
Entrepreneurs can also find more information at Work in Bavaria.