A representative office
is established in order to conduct non-commercial activities
, which will just set out the premises for establishing a business presence
on the local market. Foreign companies are allowed to open a representative office in Germany
, but it is important to know that the term is not officially recognised in Germany
because the applicable legislation does not contain any provisions referring to the incorporation of a representative office
. However, the law provides an alternative in this sense, through the registration of a branch office in Germany
. Our team of German lawyers
can offer assistance for the incorporation of a non-commercial office
The legal premises of a German representative office
Although most of the European countries allow the incorporation of a representative office as an entity which does not conduct any commercial activities, the German legislation does not provide this type of structure. However, the representative office can be registered here, under several conditions.
The German commercial legislation
considers that the opening of a representative office of a foreign company
would represent a commercial activity
, as the office set up in Germany
is a part of a commercial legal entity
. In this case, the office
will have to be registered following the procedure established under the commercial law
as a branch office.
The only way to set up a representative office with non-commercial activities is if the office is set up by an external and independent businessman, who, from a legal point of view, is a commercial representative.
The activities of a German representative office
The purpose of a representative office is to establish a business presence on the local market, which can be set up only through non-commercial activities that do not provide any type of financial gain.
The most common activities of a representative office are:
• market research;
• feasibility studies;
• liaison office for negotiation matters;
• customer support.