Company Registration in Germany

Company Registration in Germany

Updated on Thursday 23rd September 2021

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The first step when run a business in Germany is to register it. The registration process begins with the public commercial register (Handelsregister) and the local trade office (Gewerbe/Ordnungsmat).
The German commercial register will provide information about all relationships between merchants and commercial companies. All information is public and accessible to all companies. It offers information about the name of the partners, the managing director, the capital stock, liability limitations, the opening of insolvency proceedings, or dissolving and ending of a company.

Companies Required to Register in Germany

Most companies running a business in Germany are required to register. The registration is based on different criteria like the use of commercial accounting, capital resources, annual turover and number of employees. Small businesses like civil partnerships (GbRs), freelancers and dependent branch offices do not need register in the commercial register.
Below, investors can find out more details on the types of companies that must register in Germany, as well as other aspects related to the company registration procedure

Registration Procedure in Germany

In order to register in the commercial register the owner of the business will need to contact a notary who will file an electronic certified form. For companies in which the registration in the commerical register is also part of the establishment process, the limitation of liability will only be effective once the company has been registered. This is mostly for coroporations.
Please contact our German lawyers for more detailed information regarding the registration procedure. If you would rather go through a hassle-free incorporation procedure you can leave the entire registration process up to our German law firm.

Registration Costs in Germany

The total cost of registering a companiy depends on its type. These costs consist of the notarial certifications and the fees charged by the district court for registering and publishing the company in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).
There are additional costs for notary’s fees. All costs and fees are  established by the law and depend on the number of partners and the share capital. Contact our attorneys for consultancy regarding your specific case.
Procedure for Registering a Company with the Commercial Register in Germany:
  • obtain the company’s name at the local chamber of industry and commerce
  • notarize the files of association
  • the notary will file all articles of association at the commercial register
  • the local labor office will be notified about the business and standards of establishment
  • register with the professional of the specific trade
  • notify the local labor office about the establishment of the company
  • register employees for health and social insurance
  • send the documentation to the Tax Office
The district court manages the German commercial register. It  is open and free of charge to public view, but it can  also be checked online through the common register portal of the German federal states.
Subsequent steps after corporate registration will also include German VAT registration, among others. We remind investors that if they intend to engage in trade activities they will need to obtain an EORI number for the registered company.
Another type of registration that investors can consider after the corporate one is trademark registration in Germany.
For legal advice on registering a company you can always count on our law firm in Germany.