Open a Foundation in Germany

Open a Foundation in Germany

Updated on Monday 08th January 2018

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Local as well as foreign businessmen can open foundations in Germany with a variety of missions and purposes. A foundation in Germany can be either public or private but it is a type of non-profit organization. If you intend to open a foundation in Germany you may either use the funds for charity or for supporting other organizations. You can rely on our law firm in Germany in order to find out what regulations need to be respected when a foundation is established in this country.

How to create a foundation in Germany

The first steps in the creation of a foundation in Germany should be related to the elaboration of a sound identity and the draw up of a promotion strategy. Moreover in order to be allowed to function as a community foundation, an organization needs to receive a seal of approval, through a jury evaluation. This seal is valid for two or three years and can be renewed by a foundation when needed.
In Germany, foundations or Stiftung are subject to several acts such as the Civil Code and the Law on Foundations. Most foundations in Germany have legal personality as they are established as formal associations. However the German state allows as well foundations created by gift contracts, which lack legal personality and are considered informal foundations.
Our attorneys in Germany are ready to give you more details on specific provisions which describe the functioning of foundations in Germany

Legal requirements for the functioning of foundations in Germany

Some of the most important requirements for the good organization and functioning of a foundation in Germany are included in the sections 80-88 of the Civil Code in this country. The most important requirements are the following:
A foundation has to have a very well defined purpose, which is usually given by the founder, at the beginning of the foundations’ activity;
A foundation needs to be headquartered in one of the German regions – Land, and recognized by the local authority;
German authorities require a minimum amount of 50.000 euros at the creation a foundation and a minimum activity period of 10 years;
A foundation must be able to prove that it is sustainable in order to receive the approval from the authorities.
Feel free to contact our German lawyers who can give a complete overview on the steps you need to perform in order to set up a foundation in Germany.