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The Minimum Share Capital in Germany

The Share Capital in Germany

Updated on Wednesday 24th August 2016

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Types of German companies that require a start-up share capital

Germany offers different types of legal structures allowing foreign companies to choose the legal forms for their businesses. The main types of German companies that require share capital are the limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter  Haftung or GmbH) and the joint stock company (Aktiengesellschaft). A less popular type of company that requires a minimum share capital is the limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft).
 
Businessmen who are interested to invest in Germany can receive assistance from our team of German lawyers who can provide detailed information about the German legislation applicable to foreign investments.
 

The German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH)

 
The German limited liability company (LLC) is the most common type of business because it can be set up by one person that can act as the owner and shareholder at the same time. A LLC in Germany must have at least one director, who isn’t required to be a German citizen. At the same time, the local legislation allows partners in a LLC that are legal entities. 
 
The LLC is recommended for various types of companies, from small businesses to large corporations. 
 
The minimum share capital of a German limited liability company must is EUR 25,000. At least EUR 12,500 must be placed in a bank account when registering the company with the Register of Commerce in Germany. Furthermore, the directors of the company should sign the relevant documents when registering at the Commercial Registry in front of a public notary. 
 
The shareholders can contribute with different amounts of money to the minimum share capital but the share contribution must be of at least EUR 1. The share contribution can be made up of different amounts of money as stated above, but it can also be made up of other forms of contributions in kind, such as movable or immovable properties. The shares of the GmbH are not certified and cannot be publically traded.
 
In case of a German entrepreneurial company which is a mini GmbH, the minimum share capital is EUR 1, and it must raise a share value of EUR 25,000 from a quarter of its annual turnover in order to become a GmbH; our team of German attorneys can offer more details on the registration of a LLC
 

The German joint stock company (Aktiengesellschaft, AG)

 
The German joint stock company is a public limited liability company that is allowed to list its shares on the stock exchange. The minimum share capital for a joint stock company in Germany is EUR 50,000, while the statutory capital is set up as EUR 12,500. The German joint stock company can be set up by a shareholder but it requires a supervisory board made of at least 3 members and a management board made of at least one member.
 
The joint stock company in Germany is governed by the rules and regulations of the German Stock Corporation Act, which provides a comprehensive framework related to the incorporation of this legal entity, its activity, management and the rights and obligations of the shareholders. 
 

The German limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft)

 
The German limited partnership is not a very used type of company in Germany. It has the attributes of a limited liability company and it is made up of a general partner who is wholly liable for the business’ operations and a limited partner liable up to the value of his or her shares in the partnership. The minimum share capital for the limited partnership in Germany is EUR 50,000 and it must be split into shares. The limited partnership is more suitable for medium sized companies
 
In order to set up a partnership, it is recommended to draft and sign an agreement in this sense. The legal entity will have to be registered at the Commercial Registry by all the partners. At the same time, application for the Commercial Registry should be notarized by a public notary in Germany. 
 
Businessmen who want to start a business in Germany and need legal assistance can contact our law German law firm
 

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