How to Register your Company in Germany?

Register your Company in Germany

Germany is an ideal place to set up your company because it is located in the middle of Europe which offers a great opportunity for networking and business. Germany is not only one of the most successful countries in the world but it also has a highly advanced banking system. The process of company formation and registration is a bit complicated in Germany but we will provide each and every detail here in this blog, so that you can register your company without any hassle. The German government has a very clear view to the subject of establishment of all types of companies whether it involves a German resident or expats. First, you should understand the main types of companies in Germany.

Main Forms of Companies in Germany:

1. Limited Liability Corporation (GMBH)

It is the most common type of business venture in Germany. If you want to register your company in Germany under this form, you should know that a minimum of €25,000 share capital is required in establishing a GMBH company. Under this form, the shareholders are not responsible for the company’s debts and liabilities. The required minimum number of shareholders in a GMBH company is one and a registered office is required in this form of company in Germany.

2. Joint Stock Corporation (Aktiengesellschaft)

If you want to register your company in Germany under Aktiengesellschaft, there must be at least five members and a minimum of €50,000 share capital to begin with. A managing board (Vorstand) is necessary for a Joint Stock Corporation to empower decisions on all matters relating to the operation of the company. Minimum one shareholder is required in this type of company and it is subjected to heavy regulation as a listed company.

3. Partnerships (OHG)

Partnerships (OHG) refer to that form of business which involves more than one partner. This type of company has unlimited liabilities. It is usually used in Germany for small and family owned businesses. Moreover, foreign investors tend to prefer limited liability KG partnerships.

4. Mini GMBH (UG)

Mini GmbH is a small version of ‘Limited Liability Corporation’ and it also involves a minimum €500 share capital for establishing the UG Company. The minimum required number of shareholders and directors is one. In this type of company, a registered office is required.

5. Sole Proprietor

If you want to register your company in Germany, you should know that a sole proprietorship is the simplest and least-regulated form of company in Germany. Registration is required in the commercial register (Handelsregister) and local trade office. Sole trader has an unlimited liability for all liabilities and debts of the company. The profits in this form of company are subjected to German income tax at individual rates.

Method to Register your Company in Germany:

All rules and regulations concerning the formation of companies in Germany are regulated by the Company Act. To understand the complete process in case you want to register your company in Germany, follow the below given list of steps for company formation in Germany.

1. Select the Company Nature

If you want to open a Limited Liability Company, you can select either UG or GmbH form. UG types require very little capital, and you can register your company in Germany for only €1. However, it is essential to have a higher share capital of at least €1000. And if you want to open a GmbH form of company, then you need at least €25,000 in share capital. The requirement of share capital depends on the type of company.

2. Choose a Name for Your Company

Before selecting a unique company name as per your choice, you must have to look through the “Handelsregister” in Germany. This process is to check whether the chosen name has already been taken or not. If yes, you will have to find another name for your company. So you can’t skip this process before choosing your company name. It is an important step while proceeding to register your company in Germany.

3. Company Entity (Unternehmensgegenstand)

All companies in Germany must have an object of the company before establishment. This process is called “Unternehmensgegenstand” in German language. Under the German law, the object of your company needs to be specific before you can register your company in Germany. You can also check Handelsregister to know the companies which are similar to your company and have used what type of Unternehmensgegenstand.

4. Documentation Process

Now, you will have to apply to the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) for a check on company name and object. After selection and submission of a unique name of your company and the company’s object to the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), they will check all your documents in the process of registration of your company at no charge. Its advisable to translate all your English documents and even your business plan to German. It will be needed to submit at the IHK. You can contact any professional translation company. They will help you with the translation of your document.

5. Find a Notary to Form the Company

Making an appointment with a legal representative is an essential step in registering your company and forming your business in Germany. Your notary will provide guidelines on legal matters related to your business formation in Germany. Find the best one and make your appointment.

6. Complete your Musterprotokoll

This is a very simple and basic document that shows your legal statutes and registration statements. You can complete this process with the help of using standard template or customized version as per your needs.

7. Plan to Meet with the Notary

It is necessary to fix a meeting with a notary to make sure that all your legal documents are complete. Furthermore to make this documentary process easy you should put all documents together, like the article of association, list of your company shareholders and the others legal documents.

8. Open a Business Bank Account

All entrepreneurs in Germany are needed to open a bank account. Sometimes, it becomes a complicated process to open a business bank account if you are not having sufficient documents as per the bank needs. Therefore, you will need the perfect documents to start with a business bank account in Germany. You can apply in any bank with the documents given to you by your notary and wait for the approval from the bank. You can consult banks like Finom, Kontist, Holvi and Penta for business accounting. Bank accounts in other European countries also work, but they must support SEPA transfers.

9. Financing

The most important of all steps is arranging funds to start a business. In addition to the comprehensive range of financial services offered by banks and private-sector investors, start-ups and SMEs can use a wide variety of federal funding programmes for their projects. The KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – “Reconstruction Credit Institute”), the federal government’s development bank, has a number of financing options open to entrepreneurs, both German and foreign. The Entrepreneur Loan (Unternehmerkredit) finances up to 100% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of 25 million euros. Additionally, more than 7 start-up grants are ready to finance a technology-based startup in Germany. One example is the EXIST program, a well known initiative from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) that aims to help students or research associates make a scientific idea become reality.

10. Send the Share Capital Deposit Slip to the Notary

After depositing the share capital in your company’s bank account, you will need to send a deposit slip to the notary. Once this is done, clear the notary invoice as soon as possible to make a good relation for future legal matters of your company. You will also have to pay the Handelsregister invoice, if the notary hasn’t done it yet.

11. Wait for the Status of Notification on Registration

Your notary will inform you regarding the status of registration of your company in Germany. In case, if you haven’t got any notification from your notary, you can also check by yourself through this website.

12. Hire a Tax Advisor

The most essential part of a company is tax. For handling taxes of your company, you will have to hire a tax advisor who will help you in granting the power of attorney and guide you on the tax implications from initial to the end for your company. And you can’t skip this step because without tax registration, you will not be able to receive income.

13. Submit Trade registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Tax registration is not enough to register your company in Germany. The next step is trade registration, which you have to complete by submitting your trade registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) to the local trade office.

14. Get a Tax ID

After completing the tax registration and trade registration process, you will have to get a tax ID of your company and you can obtain this ID from the tax office

15. Get insurance for your Business if needed

Once you finally register your company in Germany, the last and most important process is to get the right insurance of your company and as an expatriate. You can get any insurance which suits your business nature and norms. Remember that you also need personal health insurance in Germany with company insurance.

That’s it!

Once you have completed all the above steps to register your company in Germany, you have finally made it. You can now operate your own business in Germany. Starting an own business and setting up a new company is the most exciting part of an entrepreneur’s life. All the above information can make your path easy to register your company in Germany and start an entrepreneurial life. Best of Luck!


  1. Handelsregister – A company register is a register of organizations in the jurisdiction they operate under.
  2. Gewerbeanmeldung – It is the process of registering your business at the trade office. After the registration, you’ll receive the trade licence.
  3. Unternehmensgegenstand – An object clause is a provision in a company’s constitution stating the purpose and range of activities for which the company is carried on.
  4. Musterprotokoll – A prebuilt agreement which combines the articles of association, the list of shareholders (Gesellschafterliste) and the appointment of the managing when establishing a GmbH or UG.


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Rishi Anand

Rishi is a Language enthusiast and Founder and CEO of Linguidoor Translation and Localization Services based in Berlin, Germany. He is passionate about the Localization Industry, and he has a keen interest in sharing Insights, News, and development to create awareness, educate, and inspire.


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