Company registration Germany

Germany offers an attractive market for new business owners, but the process of company registration in Germany and outside your jurisdiction can be daunting. We’re here to make the process easier for our clients. Let’s get your business in Germany started!

As the largest economy in the Eurozone and one of the largest in the world, Germany is a global powerhouse that offers lucrative opportunities to investors and business owners. Some of the most prominent industries in the country are automobiles, chemicals, and electronics. With an outstanding reputation and incredibly high standards, German products and services are lauded in the world market!

A bureaucratic country that follows a specific set of rules, Germany’s comprehensive social security and tax systems can become complicated to deal with on your own. Setting up your business and company registration Germany will be easier when you work with experienced professionals who’ll save you from unnecessary steps along the way.

Forms Of Companies In Germany
  • GmbH “Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung”—limited liability company
  • AG “Aktiengesellschaft”—Joint Stock Company/Public Listed Company (PLC)
  • UG “Unternehmergesellschaft”— a type of mini-GmbH, limited liability company
  • Einzelunternehmen—sole trader
  • OHG “Die Offene Handelsgesellschaft”—Commercial partnership
  • GbR “Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts”—Private partnership
  • Branch of a foreign company
  • KG “Kommanditgesellschaft”—Limited partnership
Setting up a limited company in Germany?

German limited liability companies—GmbH and UG—are the most incorporated amongst the various types of companies.

The main difference between these 2 forms is the minimum amount of share capital involved. While UG companies have a minimum 1 EUR share capital, GmbH companies have a 25,000 EUR share capital with a minimum of 12,500 EUR that needs to be paid. When setting up a UG company, we will recommend to pay at least 1000 EUR share capital due to easier bank account opening but also, your share capital is visible to your clients and suppliers in The Register.  UG can automatically become GmbH once the share capital has reached 25,000 EUR. Process of setting up a company in Germany will be the same for GmbH and UG while only share capital will be different.

Have any queries about GmbH and/or UG companies? contact us today and we’ll help you make the right choice!

Fundamentals Of A Limited Liability Company in Germany

Corporate Tax in Germany

VAT in Germany


19% standard and 16% (Covid-19 VAT tax rate for 2020.)

Fundamentals of GmbH and UG
Limited liability companyGmbH and UG
Minimum Share capital

GmbH: 25000 EUR, min to pay 12500 EUR, UG: 1 EUR

Registered office requiredYes
Physical office requiredNo
Min. number of Shareholders1
Min. number of Directors1
Local Director requiredNo
Other requirements

Bank signatory must travelYes
Timescale for company formation30 days
Timescale for bank account opening7 days
Timescale for obtaining VAT number7 days
Statutory audit requirementsNo
Shelf companies availableYes

The process of setting up a company in Germany - Where to start?

The first step in the process of company registration Germany is getting approval to set up a bank account where the share capital has to be paid. To be able to register a company in Germany, you need to obtain the share capital payment certificate from the bank. While this process is underway, we prepare your company documents and inform you on the process of setting up a company in Germany as we go.

The timescale will depend on which one of our options you choose (with visit or without, high street bank or online bank). Regardless of your selection, you’ll be required to certify and submit documentation in order to proceed to the next step of the process of registering company in Germany.

This required documentation will be differently certified, depending on the country of residence, and/or the country of origin of the parent company in case you’re registering a subsidiary.

Every director, shareholder, and member of the company structure will be required to submit the following prior to company registration Germany:

  • A copy of their passport (certification will be needed in some cases)
  • Proof of address (this can be in the form of a bank statement or original utility bill that isn’t more than 3 months old
In case where the company is a shareholder, we will ask for:
  • Certificate of incorporation of the US company
  • Certificate of good standing 
  • Commercial register extract 
  • A certificate of representation from the company secretary (the managing director should be clearly named as managing director)
company registration in germany

Options for setting up a limited company in Germany?

CompyCo has three different options you can choose from when registering company in Germany. Depending on your priorities you can pick one that suits you best. These priorities may be about how promptly you want to set up or whether you want a remote or high-street bank account.

Each of the three options includes:

Company registration cost in Germany and options?

  1. Company registration Germany with a high-street bank. Opening the bank account will require the director of the company to visit Germany for 1 day. Company registration price in Germany for this option is EUR 4950 ex. VAT.
    Among all the options, this one has the longest process of company registration in Germany and can take between 5 to 7 weeks after you provide us the original documents but you will have High Street bank account and its the cheapest.
  2. Remote Company registration Germany with an online bank account. Everything can be done remotely, and the company director doesn’t need to travel to Germany. Company registration cost for this option will amount to EUR 5650 ex. VAT.
    Please note: this option is only available when the shareholders or directors are EU residents, it isn’t applicable on residents from other countries.
    This option takes 3 to 4 weeks to process after you’ve delivered the original documents to us.
  3. You can buy a shelf GmbH company in Germany. This is the quickest process of setting up a company in Germany and can be done fast if you opt for an online bank account. If you choose a high-street bank account, you’ll have to travel to Germany. Company registration cost for this option will be EUR 5400 ex. VAT. 
  4. When buying shelf GmbH, you will need to open bank account to be able to transfer share capital, but if you are registering UG company with share capital under 100 eur, we dont have this step. The fastest way for setting up a company in Germany is purchasing UG company with max 100 EUR share capital. This purchase can be done in 1 week. The cost will be 3900 EUR.

Each of the above packages includes all the costs (for max 2 individuals shareholders, max 2 directors) for required mandatory company registration cost in Germany. That is company registration, Registered office address, tax registration, Notary fees, Commercial Register express fees, drafting documents, help with Bank account opening, setting up meetings if needed, transport from airport to first destination. Company registration cost in Germany will be paid in full in advance. No surprises during the process.

Setting Up A Branch Office In Germany

Many foreign investors and business owners choose Germany’s lucrative market as the perfect place to set up a branch of their business. Registering a branch can take up to 2 months to complete.

There’s no need for the payment of share capital when registering a branch office in Germany since the foreign parent company is fully liable for the German branch. Due to this liability, the accountancy of the branch office will be extended to the parent company. As a result, higher costs may be incurred.

To set up a branch office, a Commercial Register and local trade office registration are necessary.

In order to complete the process, a Manager and German Registered office address have to be assigned to the branch office.

If you are not sure is Germany the right choice for your business plan,  have a look at our post and contact us today to discuss other options. Based on your business activity and many other factors, we will propose options for you.

If you are interested to hear more about the benefits of setting up a company in Germany, read this post.


Bank Account Opening

Opening a bank account is one of the first steps for company registration Germany. The country has some of the world’s best international banking facilities, and CompyCo is connected with all of them.

CompyCo maintains a strong relationship with high-street and online banks in Germany. Our process is focused on catering to your needs while also offering our expert opinion based on years of experience. That’s why we work with you to determine where you should open your bank account considering the residency of shareholders and company directors, business activity, monthly transactions, and turnover.

Listed above are some of the factors that banks consider when deciding to take you on as a client. Depending on their selection criteria, we can find a bank that suits your business best.

Company registration price in Germany will be different based on your choice of bank, an online bank or high street bank. Also, the process of setting up a company in Germany will be longer if you choose to opt for high street bank.

For more information about International banking solutions that CompyCo can assist with, head over here.

After registering a company in Germany what you should have in mind...

Accounting & Taxation

Some of the accounting obligations to take into consideration are:

  • Germany operates under a standard VAT rate of 19% and due to COVID-19 reduced rate of 16% for certain goods and services up to the end of 2020th. When it comes to effective corporate tax rate, which includes solidarity surcharge and trade tax is in a range of approx. 30-33%
  • Once your company is registered for taxes, you’ll need to submit a monthly report.
  • All German tax returns need to be filed by 31st May after the end of the company’s financial year.
  • The requirements for tax filing and disclosure may vary depending on the type of company. Small firms should create a balance sheet, while medium-sized firms need a balance sheet, management report, and profit & loss statement.
  • Any reports submitted by medium-sized firms need to be audited.
  • Non-resident German companies are only taxed on the income derived from their Germany-based ventures.
  • Everyone working in Germany has to pay progressive personal taxes depending on their annual income.
How to employ in Germany?

Germany is home to a large pool of highly-qualified, technically-trained individuals. If you’re looking to find out how to employ in Germany a German resident while your company is in another country, CompyCo can help you out.

We’ll assist you in registering a company in Germany or setting you up as a non-resident employer in case you are looking to hire someone in Germany with a legal entity. Employing as a Foreign employer is a common practice for businesses that want to hire talented individuals to work from home. If you are looking to hire an employee in Germany for a home-based job such as Web designers, and Digital Marketing Experts, Researchers, you can avoid some of the major costs associated with local companies if you hire someone in Germany with a legal entity which is foreign.

In some business activities, you won’t be able to hire employee in Germany to work from home. For these cases, we’ll take care of registering a company in Germany and we’ll set you up as a local employer or we can offer Employer of record services.

Whatever the case is, you can rely on CompyCo to make sure you’re set to hire someone in Germany who is only the best for your company. We’ll arrange HR services for your needs, provide monthly maintenance, and keep you updated on Germany’s changing requirements and regulations.

Want to find out more? Take a look at our HR services page to find out how we can help you!

Starting a Company in Germany

The Best Countries For Starting A Business In Europe

When you’re thinking about starting a business, it can be hard to decide which country is best for you. After all, there are so many wonderful options out there. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the best countries for starting a business in Europe. We’ll take a look at the different economic climates, the level of regulation, and more. By the end of the article, you should have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to starting a business in any of these countries.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is one of the best countries in Europe to start a business. The country has a well-developed legal system and strong economy. In addition, the United Kingdom has a large pool of talented professionals and a supportive business environment.

Many businesses in the United Kingdom operate on a franchise model. This allows companies to expand rapidly by investing in smaller businesses that meet their standards. Additionally, the United Kingdom has a highly developed infrastructure, including skilled workers and low costs of operating a business. The country also offers favorable tax policies and access to key markets.

One of the most important factors for success when starting a business in the United Kingdom is customer focus. Businesses need to focus on meeting customer needs and expectations first and foremost. This will ensure that customers are happy with your product or service, and they will return in future episodes.


Germany is a great place to start a business. The country has a well-developed infrastructure, and its citizens are highly educated and tech-savvy. Additionally, Germany has a stable political environment and a strong economy.

There are many companies in Germany that can help you get started with your business. For example, there are venture capital firms that can provide you with financial support, as well as trade associations that can offer advice on how to market your product or service.

If you want to operate your business in Germany, you will need a German business visa. You can apply for this visa through the embassy or consulate of Germany in your home country.


Sweden is a great place to start a business in Europe. The country has a low cost of living, an educated population, and a stable government. Additionally, Sweden has a well-developed infrastructure, including a strong banking system and an efficient legal system. The country also has a wide range of businesses to choose from, including technology companies and small businesses.


If you’re looking to start a business in Europe, France is definitely one of the best options. With a strong economy and skilled workforce, this country is perfect for budding entrepreneurs. Additionally, France has a variety of business-friendly regulations and generous tax breaks that will help your company thrive.

France also has a vibrant startup scene, with plenty of resources and support available from local businesses and government officials. If you’re planning on starting your business in France, be sure to attend events and networking activities organized by local organizations to get the most out of your experience.


Italy is one of the most popular places in Europe to start a business. It has a strong economy and an impressive track record of entrepreneurship. Plus, it’s known for its quality infrastructure and customer service.

Spain is another country with a rich history and culture when it comes to entrepreneurship. Its close proximity to France and Belgium makes it an ideal place to do business, while its diverse geography offers a wide range of opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

How to start a business in Europe

There are many factors to consider when starting a business in Europe, but some of the most important include: market size, infrastructure, cost of living, and language barriers.

To determine which country is best for your business, you’ll want to look at each factor. A good place to start is by looking at the size of the market. Do your research to figure out how large the European market is and what percentage of it is populated by businesses. Then, use that information to help you decide where to set up shop.

If you’re looking for an easily accessible market, Germany or France are great choices because they have a large population and speak both English and one of the major European languages. However, if you’re looking for a more remote area or a specific type of customer, other countries may be better suited. For example, Norway has strong ski industry ties with Europe and has a largely Viking population that can be very advantageous when selling winter sports equipment or products related thereto.

While it’s important to consider your target audience when choosing a location for your business, don’t forget about the infrastructure needed to support it. In addition to having an active economy and adequate resources (such as broadband Internet access), countries should also have applicable tax laws and regulations, skilled workforce availability, and merchant services offered (such as banking). Additionally, be sure to research any necessary permits or licenses required before setting up shop (e.g., trademark registration or regulatory compliance).


When it comes to starting a business in Europe, there are a number of different countries that offer favorable conditions and corresponding tax rates. From the UK to Germany, these are some of the best countries in which to start your own business. With an understanding of the various tax laws governing each country and a little bit of research, you’ll be well on your way to setting up shop in one of Europe’s top economies.

Next: Find out how can CompyCo help you set up a company in Denmark or Hungary.