Good to know Our FAQs.

The individual and personal advice distinguishes vpmk Legal Services. Expertise and know-how are the basis of our work. We are happy to share this. The following sub-items show some questions, subject areas and general specialist knowledge sorted into focal points. For further questions and to solve your individual concerns, our specialized lawyers are available to you at any time at short notice, personally and bindingly.

General topics and questions about our focus areas.

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Immigration & Citizenship
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Real Estate & Investment
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By topic

Immigration & Citizenship
migration home uai
Real Estate & Investment
corporate uai
Business & Companies
immo uai
Private & Family
private uai

By topic

Immigration & Citizenship
migration home uai
Real Estate & Investment
corporate uai
Business & Companies
immo uai
Private & Family
private uai

Frequently Asked Questions about Immigration & Citizenship

Who is eligible for a Blue Card EU?

A foreign national, a citizen of a non-EU-country, is eligible for an EU Blue Card (residence permit according to § 18b II AufenthG) if he/she holds a German or an accredited foreign or a university degree that is comparable to a German degree.
In contrast to the US Green Card, the Blue Card EU is only granted for a specific job, which generates an annual gross pay of 56.400 EUR (salary threshold from January 1, 2022), or 43.992 EUR (salary threshold from January 1, 2022) in case of so-called shortage occupations (scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and IT specialists).
Self-employed and freelancers can not have EU Blue Cards. They are issued specific national residence permits.

How long is the EU Blue Card valid?

The EU Blue Card is limited to a maximum period of four years. If the employment relationship lasts less than four years, the Blue Card is granted for the duration of the employment contract plus another additional three months.

Will a priority check take place? Will members of the German labor market receive privileged treatment? Will the working conditions be checked?

Since March 1, 2020, there is no longer a check on skilled workers in Germany to determine whether privileged workers are available on the German labour market. An inspection of the working conditions will be waived if the income requirement of 56.400 EUR (2022) is met. For graduates with job offers in so-called shortage occupations with a yearly gross income between 43.992 EUR (2022) and 56.400 EUR (2022) an inspection of working conditions, however, will take place.

Can family members of EU Blue Card holders enter Germany at the same time?

Yes. Family members may accompany the EU Blue Card holder and will receive residence permits in Germany as well.

Is it necessary for spouses to have knowledge of the German language prior to the arrival?

Spousal reunification may not be made conditional on integration efforts which may or may not have taken place prior to the arrival. Proof of basic German language skills is not required.

When can EU Blue card holders receive permanent residency?

Blue card holders can receive permanent residency after 33 months; if German language skills according to level B1 can be proven, this period is shortened to 21 months.

Can the EU Blue Card become invalid after an extended stay outside Germany?

Blue Card EU holders may temporarily stay outside Germany for up to twelve months in a row without the residence permit becoming invalid. However, the EU Blue Card expires if the Blue Card holder does leave Germany for non-temporary reasons, for example in case of deregistering the place of residence (Abmeldung) and taking up employment abroad.

Is a visa procedure required?

Generally a Visa procedure is mandatory before entering the country to start a Blue Card employment. The Visa will be issued by the competent German diplomatic mission. Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America may enter Germany without requiring a visa, and must subsequently apply for the EU Blue Card within three months at the competent immigration authority in Germany, and before taking up employment. Also individuals who have held an EU Blue Card in another EU Member State for at least 18 months may enter Germany without requiring a visa and take up employment matching their qualification. Individuals who are already living in Germany and already hold any other residence title may also file their application for the EU Blue Card in Germany.

Who is a skilled worker?

A distinction must be made between skilled workers with vocational training and skilled workers with academic training.

  1. skilled workers with vocational training have a German qualified vocational training (duration at least two years) or a foreign qualification equivalent to a German qualified vocational training.
  2. skilled workers with academic training have a German university degree, a recognised foreign university degree or a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree.
How do I find out whether my university degree is recognised in Germany?

In the anabin information portal of the Central Office for Foreign Education ( ), you can check whether your university degree is recognised in Germany. First you must check whether the university is listed as H+. If the university is listed as H+/-, it must be checked in detail under which conditions a degree acquired at this university can be accepted. The next step is to check whether the specific degree is listed as comparable to a German university degree. If both prerequisites are met, the university degree can be used for a residence title for skilled workers.

The anabin database is not exhaustive. It lists all university degrees that have already been reviewed within the framework of a degree evaluation procedure. If your degree is not listed, it is possible to carry out a degree evaluation procedure. The administrative fee for the procedure is 200 €.

What are the conditions for a residence title to be issued to a skilled worker?

A skilled worker with vocational training or university degree can be granted a residence title to pursue a qualified employment to which his or her qualification qualifies him or her.

A Qualified employment is given if skills, knowledge and abilities acquired in a course of study or vocational training are required for its performance. Helpers' and unskilled jobs are not eligible for a residence title for skilled workers. A residence title for skilled workers cannot therefore be issued for an employment as a kitchen assistant, for example, as this employment does not require skills that are acquired in a vocational training or a course of study.

The university degree or vocational training doesn´t have to be an absolute match for the employment. It is sufficient if the qualification acquired at least partially qualifies to perform the employment. For example, a confectioner can also be employed as a baker.

It is also possible for academic skilled workers to pursue an employment for which vocational training is necessary. For example, an engineer can pursue employment as a technician or mechanic.

Is it mandatory to have a concrete job offer?

Yes, a residence title for skilled workers cannot be issued without the submission of a job offer.

However, if you have a recognised vocational training or a recognised university degree, the granting of a residence title for the purpose of seeking a job may be considered.

Does the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) have to approve the granting of the residence title for skilled workers?

Yes, the Federal Employment Agency must give its consent. Only in the case of the "large" EU Blue Card with a minimum gross salary of €56,400 (from 2023: €58,400), approval is not required.

The Federal Employment Agency checks whether

 the skilled worker is not employed under less favourable working conditions than comparable domestic workers
 whether the skilled worker's qualification qualifies him or her for the employment in question
 a domestic employment relationship exists

In the context of the immigration of skilled workers, it is no longer checked whether preferential workers are available on the German labour market (Vorrangprüfung / priority check).

In order to speed up the procedure, it is possible to carry out a pre-approval procedure with the Federal Employment Agency.

Do special rules apply to persons who have reached the age of 45?

Yes, persons who have reached the age of 45 must provide evidence of an adequate pension or have a monthly gross salary of at least € 3,877.50 (year 2022). This can only be waived in justified exceptional cases.

Is knowledge of German required?

German language skills are generally not required. However, the application must be plausible and, in case of doubt, it must be explained how the skilled worker can successfully carry out the activity without knowledge of German.

How long is the residence title issued for?

If a national visa is initially applied for at a German mission abroad, it is usually granted for six months. The residence permit in Germany is issued for four years if it is not a temporary employment relationship or the Federal Employment Agency has not given its approval for a shorter period.


Can I obtain a residence title for the purpose of employment if I do not have a recognised vocational training or a university degree?

German residence law provides for a variety of residence titles for the purpose of employment regardless of a qualification as a skilled worker. For example, a residence title for employment as an IT worker, company specialist, salaried managing director, executive employee or professional driver may be considered. Nationals of certain states (Andorra, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA) are also privileged regarding the possibility of taking up employment regardless of qualification as a skilled worker.

As a third-country national, can I obtain a residence permit if I invest a substantial sum in a business or in real estate and residential property in Germany?

No. In Germany, in contrast to some other European countries, there is no residence permit for a mere investment. However, a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is possible. If you want to obtain such a residence permit, you are expected to actively pursue a self-employed activity in Germany yourself and to establish your centre of life in Germany.

Who can obtain a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment?

You can obtain a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment if you set up a business or are otherwise commercially active in Germany. You are also self-employed within the meaning of Section 21 (1) of the Residence Act if you are the managing director or legal representative of a corporation (e.g. the managing director of a limited liability company) and have a share in the company to such an extent that you can exert a significant influence on the company. Thus, as a managing director of a GmbH with your own shareholding of 50% or more, you are always self-employed, even if you are employed by the GmbH. If you are an employee of a GmbH in which you yourself hold a share of less than 50%, you are generally eligible for a residence permit for employment subject to social insurance contributions. The distinction between self-employment and employment is often not very easy.

Under what conditions can I obtain a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment?

You have a good business idea. There must be a public economic interest or a regional need for the realisation of your business idea. Moreover, you are expected to have a positive impact on the German economy by carrying out your self-employed activity. Finally, your project must be solidly financed by equity capital or a loan.

When is there an economic interest or a regional need? Do I have to invest a minimum amount in Germany and/or create a minimum number of jobs?

There is (no longer) a minimum investment sum or a minimum number of jobs to be created. What is decisive is a good business idea and secured financing.  Decisive criteria for the assumption of an economic interest or regional need are

  • the viability of your business idea
  • your previous entrepreneurial experience,
  • the amount of capital invested,
  • the creation of jobs and training places
  • the contribution to innovation and research.
Who checks the economic interest/regional need, the positive impact on the German economy and the sufficient financing of the project? What documents must be submitted for this purpose?

It is mandatory that the foreigners authority responsible for the decision involves the bodies competent for the location of the planned activity. These are the competent regional trade authorities, the professional associations under public law, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and, if necessary, the authorities responsible for professional licensing. These expert bodies have the economic know-how that the immigration authorities usually do not have themselves.


The basis for the review by the competent body is a meaningful business-plan. A good business-plan is at the heart of the procedure for applying for a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment. We are happy to help with the preparation of a professional business-plan.

What additional requirements must be met?

In order to be granted a residence permit for self-employment, you must provide evidence of (usually private) health insurance for yourself and all your family members. If you are over 45 years of age, you must also prove that you have an "adequate" old-age pension.

Are certain persons/citizens given privileged treatment when residence permits are issued for self-employment?

Nationals from some states with which Germany has concluded corresponding international treaties receive residence permits for self-employment under facilitated conditions. These include, for example, nationals of Turkey and the United States of America. The same privileges are granted to nationals of so-called best-friends states such as Israel, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.) Foreign graduates of German universities and academics/researchers already living in Germany also receive privileged treatment.

How long does it take before a permanent settlement permit can be issued?

If, after holding a residence permit for 3 years for the purpose of self-employment, you run your business successfully and can finance your livelihood and the livelihood of your family with your business profits, you will be granted a permanent residence permit (settlement permit). The success of the business is usually checked again by the competent competent body.

Is family reunification possible for foreign self-employed persons?

Yes, family reunification is possible in principle. However, you must be able to secure the livelihood of your family from your expected income from self-employment and from available capital.

What procedure must be followed to obtain a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment?

If you do not already have a residence permit in Germany or belong to one of the "best-friends states" named in § 41 (1) Residence Act/ LAw, you must apply for a national visa at the German mission abroad in your home country or in the country of your current permanent residence. This is a complicated and unfortunately often very lengthy procedure. With competent legal support, it is often possible to shorten the duration of the procedure considerably.

What is a liberal profession and where is it defined?

In Germany, there are a number of activities that are considered "liberal professions". Anyone who becomes self-employed in these areas usually works as a freelancer. These include, for example

activities in the medical profession, for example as a doctor

advisory activities in the fields of law, taxation or economics

scientific and technical activities, for example as an engineer

information-providing or creative activities, such as interpreters

pedagogical activities, for example as an educator.

Legal definitions can be found in the Income Tax Act/ Law and the Partnership Act/Law.

Who checks the requirements for a residence permit for the purpose of freelance work?

A residence permit for this purpose is required in order to take up freelance work. The Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) examines the requirements, possibly with the involvement of expert agencies, e.g. the Ministry of Economics or the Senate Department for Economics, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Why is Berlin so well known for the so-called "artist visa"?

For more than a decade, the Berlin administration has decided that when artists stay in Berlin, it must always be assumed that there is an overriding economic interest in the "art and film capital Berlin", which can be expected to have a positive impact on the economy. This can be visual artists as well as freelance musicians and actors. Due to this administrative practice, a particularly large number of titles are granted in Berlin for the purpose of freelance artistic activity.

What is the difference between a permit for permanent residence in the EU according to § 9 a AufenthG and a settlement permit according to § 9 AufenthG

The EU long-term residence permit is an unlimited residence title with which you can also settle in another EU-country in compliance with the regulations applicable there. The EU long-term residence permit expires if you stay outside Germany for more than one year. If you reside in one of the signatory states of the Permanent-Residence-Directive in the European Union, there is the possibility that your German permit for permanent residence in the EU will not expire for up to 6 years.
The settlement permit also allows you to stay in Germany for an unlimited period of time. However, this title does not give you the right to stay for more than 90 days in another EU member state.
In addition, you cannot stay outside Germany for longer than 6 months without your settlement permit expiring.
This also applies to recognised asylum seekers and persons
who have been granted refugee status.
However, they have their own basis of entitlement after 3 or 5 years of prior residence.

What requirements do I have to fulfil to obtain a permit for permanent residence in the EU?

You will receive a German permit for permanent residence in the EU if you have held a residence title for at least five years, can secure a livelihood for yourself and your family members through regular income, have sufficient means of old-age provision as well as knowledge of the German language and are integrated in Germany. In the case of marital partnerships, it is sufficient if the old-age provision can be proven by one of the married persons.

What requirements do I have to fulfill to obtain a settlement permit?

To obtain this title, you must also have held a residence title for at least five years, have made contributions to a pension insurance scheme for at least 60 months, be able to secure your
livelihood and be well integrated. In the case of married couples, it is sufficient if one partner has made pension insurance contributions and is entitled to work. Proof of old-age provision through savings and assets is not possible, in contrast to the permit for permanent residence EU.

Is it possible to obtain a settlement per mit even before 5 years of legal residence?

In addition to Section 9 of the Residence Act, there are other grounds for entitlement to a settlement permit in the Residence Act/Law.

Examples are:

  • Skilled workers of 4 years or more
  • Graduates of a course of study or vocational training in Germany after 2 years
  • Persons holding an EU Blue Card after 33 months or 21 months, respectively
  • Self-employed persons after 3 years
  • Family members of a German person after 3 years.

Frequently asked questions about Real Estate & Investment

Does a real estate purchase contract have to be in writing? Do I have to come to Germany for it?

In principle, a real estate purchase contract does not only have to be in writing, but also has to be notarised, i.e. the contract is read out in the presence of both parties. If you speak little or no German, you will usually need a person to interpret. However, you can have someone represent you at the acquisition and may even save the translator's costs. The power of attorney or declaration of approval then requires - in order to be able to implement the contract completely - also with increased formal requirements.

We offer complete and comprehensible service packages especially for people not resident in Germany who wish to purchase real estate and take care of both the legal and the formal side of the acquisition for you. Our advice is specifically tailored to people with no previous experience or knowledge of the German legal system, offering you comfort and security.

Can I finance a property through my foreign bank?

Theoretically this is possible, but foreign banks are usually not familiar with the system of collateral under German law, so they will not usually lend on the property in Germany.

Do I have to pay tax on the rental income?

In principle, the profit from renting real estate must be taxed in the same way as other income. When determining the profit, high deductions are made by deducting depreciation and usually also loan interest, which considerably reduce the taxable profit. However, the "tax-free subsistence minimum" is generally only available to persons resident in Germany.

We will be happy to advise you on the taxes to be expected from renting.

Do I have to pay tax on the rental income?

In principle, the profit from renting real estate must be taxed in the same way as other income. When determining the profit, high deductions are made by deducting depreciation and usually also loan interest, which considerably reduce the taxable profit. However, the "tax-free subsistence minimum" is generally only available to persons resident in Germany.

We will be happy to advise you on the taxes to be expected from renting.

Do I have to pay tax on the proceeds from the sale?

In principle, the profit from the sale is also taxable. However, important exceptions are granted here to private investors. The best-known exception is the so-called "10-year rule", according to which private investors are granted tax-free profits if they acquired the property more than 10 years ago. It is important to distinguish between private investors and commercial investors. It is always advisable to seek expert advice before looking for a buyer.

There are also exceptions for owner-occupied properties - including holiday homes. Please do not hesitate to ask us about this.

Do I have to keep the purchase contract as proof of ownership?

No, in Germany ownership of real property is not proven by a deed but by the owner's entry in the land register. Even if everything is lost, we can prove ownership at any time by requesting an extract from the land register from the Land Registry.

In the German system, the parties and the land registry only receive notarised copies of the purchase contract, while the contract document remains with the notary. If necessary, a certified copy of the lost copy of the purchase contract can be requested there.

Who pays the house money? The owner or the tenant?

First of all, the owner: The house money (also called "Wohngeld") is the monthly amount owed by the condominium owner to the condominium association (WEG).

The largest part of the housing benefit is the operating costs. In the tenancy agreement, these operating costs can be passed on to the tenant. However, even then the tenant pays the owner; the owner pays the WEG, even if the tenant is in default.
The house money also includes maintenance and administration costs, which cannot be passed on to the tenant under residential tenancy law. When renting, the owner covers these costs from the net cold rent.

What is a declaration of division?

The declaration of division is the notarial deed by which the owner of a property declares how the property is to be divided into several units.

Units can be residential (=residential ownership unit) or non-residential (=partial ownership unit), such as commercial premises. Residential and partial ownership together form the condominium ownership of the property.

Each condominium unit receives its own land register and can belong to someone else. This creates a condominium community (WEG).

Each declaration of division contains a list of the condominium units, the partition plans and provisions on which parts of the property belong to the condominium and which belong to the common property. It also contains community rules that regulate the rights and duties of the condominium owners among themselves and of the manager. The declaration of division is therefore like a constitution of the condominium community.

What is seed financing?

In most cases, it is the founders themselves who provide their newly founded company with initial financial resources. In this first phase of a company, it is often still in the development stage. Product development, market analysis and strategy planning are in the foreground. Market entry has often not yet taken place.
A first round of financing with outside funds is then often provided by family members, friends or early-stage investors such as business angels or venture capital investors (so-called "seed financing" or "early stage financing"). Investments in the seed phase are often structured as so-called convertible loans. In this case, a loan with a fixed interest rate is initially made available to the start-up, which is then converted into equity capital of the start-up at predefined conditions within the framework of the first larger financing round, including the accrued interest.

What is Series A financing?

After market entry and the generation of the first sales, the first large-volume financing (so-called Series A financing) takes place, which is then followed by Series B-/C-/D- etc. financing. etc. will follow.

What is a convertible loan?

Convertible loans are usually concluded solely between the company and the lending investor. This is the great advantage of this form of financing: contract negotiations and conclusion are considerably simplified and shortened by the two-party principle. In order to avoid the risks of a delay or even refusal of the later conversion of the loan by the existing shareholders, it has become established practice to obtain a corresponding approval resolution as well as a declaration of consent and commitment by the shareholders already within the framework of the loan agreement and thus in advance.
The convertible loan is provided with a moderate interest rate and the maturity is chosen in such a way that, given the expected development, a further financing round and thus the conversion can take place beforehand.
This conversion, in turn, is structured as both a right and an obligation. Because of the low interest rate, the investor has no risk-adequate remuneration if the conversion does not take place and thus does not participate in the increase in value of the company. In this respect, one should also not forget that it is still venture capital, since the investor cannot expect repayment of the loan in the event of insolvency.
Of particular importance here is the determination of the conversion price.
A simple possibility is to convert the conversion loan, including the accrued interest, into equity at the conditions of the next equity financing. However, an investor will only accept this in the case of bridge loans or brige financing.
In cases where the financing via a convertible loan represents an independent financing, i.e. is not only intended to serve as a bridge loan, a discount on the issue price of the next financing round is usually agreed. A valuation cap can also be agreed.

When do milestone agreements make sense?

In a milestone investment, the payment of certain parts of the committed total investment is made dependent on the achievement of certain goals or milestones. These can be economic goals, certain development progress or market entry. Milestone investments are to be distinguished from so-called "ratches", which grant investors further shares if targets are not reached, without them having to make a contribution.

A milestone investment is therefore particularly useful for investors if they want to encourage the start-up to achieve certain goals as quickly as possible in order to then receive further funds. For start-ups, this can be a way to convince investors and minimise the risk for them. If the start-up does not reach the agreed milestones, no further money has to be paid out.

What is a second closing?

With the agreement of a second closing, investors can extend their investment within an agreed period of time after the initial contribution of financial resources (contribution) - but usually without being obliged to do so. The conditions under which the second closing can take place are already set out in the original investment agreement, so there is no need for renegotiation.

What is Founder Vesting?

Investors do not just invest in a company or in a product. In most cases, the founders themselves are of crucial importance to the investors. The basic idea of a vesting agreement is to bind the founders to the company for a minimum period. Since this is legally only possible to a very limited extent in Germany, vesting creates a financial incentive. If the founders leave the company or stop or limit their work for the company, their shares in the company lose value or they do not profit from the increase in value or even lose their shares altogether, depending on the contractual arrangement. The concrete design is very variable.

ESPOP - Employee Share Ownership Programme

The participation of employees in the company or in its turnover and profits is becoming increasingly popular. The basis can be a so-called ESOP, an employee share ownership programme. An ESOP must be concluded between the shareholders, as they thereby waive the profit-sharing to which they are entitled from their shares in favour of the employees. ESOPs are a relevant selling point in attracting good employees and are therefore highly relevant.

Frequently asked questions about Business & Companies

What types of company are there in Germany?

There are basically two types of company in Germany. Partnerships such as the GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts), the OHG (offene Handelsgesellschaft) or the Kommaditgesellschaft (KG) and corporations such as the GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) or the AG (Aktiengesellschaft). In the case of partnerships, the focus is on the persons involved and their activities for the company. They manage the business, must contribute capital in case of doubt and are personally liable. In the case of corporations, the partners make a capital contribution and are only liable to a limited extent for this capital contribution. A managing director takes over the management. This makes corporations attractive for investors and for founders who value limited liability.

What is the right form of company for me?

The choice of the right form of company depends on many factors. Founding a corporation is usually more cost-intensive and requires share capital (for example, at least €25,000 for a limited liability company). In the continuation phase, accounting and tax consultant costs are added. At the same time, however, a corporation and especially a GmbH offer many advantages such as good entry opportunities for new partners and investors, an often important limitation of liability or also better tax opportunities.

Partnerships can be set up quickly and easily or even come into being partly automatically with the decision to work together (GbR). They do not require capital reserves and are flexible. But one has unlimited liability with one's private assets.

Should I set up a subsidiary or a branch?

The subsidiary is a legally independent company. It is founded by the existing parent company, which is the owner (usually the sole shareholder). It then operates independently of the parent company.


The branch office is a largely independent part of a company that is spatially and organisationally separate from the main branch office. It is not an independent enterprise. A German branch of a foreign company must be entered in the commercial register in the national language of the foreign company. Foreign additions to the legal form may be continued, even in abbreviated form, if this is not confusing.


The establishment of a branch of foreign companies must be notarised. This must include details of both the foreign parent company and the branch to be established. In addition, proof of the existence of the parent company and a publicly certified and translated copy of the articles of association must be submitted.


Another possibility is the establishment of a permanent establishment. Such a dependent branch is dependent on the parent company in every respect, as it is actually only physically separate from the parent company. It bears the same name and invoices are issued exclusively by the main branch of the enterprise. They do not have to be entered in the commercial register, but a business registration is required. It is important for foreign companies to know that profits must be taxed in Germany. The taxes incurred depend on the legal form of the foreign head office. They correspond to the taxes that a company with the corresponding German legal form would have to pay.  In particular, income tax or corporation tax, solidarity surcharge, wage tax, trade tax and turnover tax are due.

Can I get a residence permit in Germany as a managing director?

Yes, as a managing director of a limited liability company you have an employment service contract with the company. In such a constellation, you can either apply for a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment in accordance with Section 21 (1) of the Residence Act. This would be possible if you are also the majority shareholder of the company. If you do not own any or less than 50% of the shares in the company yourself, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of employment.

What is written in the articles of association?

The articles of association essentially regulate the legal relationship between the shareholders as well as the formal procedures and specifications of the company. In the case of a GmbH, the articles of association are publicly accessible and can be inspected by anyone in the commercial register. For this reason, there are often still internal contracts and agreements between the shareholders that are not intended for the public.

What is the formal process of founding a GmbH?

The formation takes place before a German notary. There, the articles of association are adopted and the management is appointed. The management then registers the company with the commercial register. There is usually some time between the formal notary appointment and the actual registration, as the company still has to open a business account through the future managing director and the shareholders have to pay in the share capital. Only then can the registration be submitted by the notary.

For foreign clients, we offer special service packages that enable the formation to be carried out even without being present in Germany. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Do I have to come to Germany for the formation?

In principle, the presence of the partners and the future management is required at the notarial formation meeting. For foreign clients we offer special service packages which enable the formation to be carried out without presence in Germany. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I get a bank account Germany?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to open a bank account in Germany, as many banks are rather reluctant to accept foreign entrepreneurs due to the new legal regulations, especially regarding the fight against money laundering. However, there are several banks with which we have good experience. Only in a few exceptional cases were we unable to find a bank for our clients. In these cases, however, we were then able to find other solutions so that they could still start their business in Germany.

How do I set up a subsidiary?

As a rule, a subsidiary is founded via a limited liability company (GmbH). The parent company is then the sole shareholder. The formation itself follows the usual procedures for founding a GmbH (see: FAQ How does the formal process of founding a GmbH work?). Only the proof of the existence of a foreign parent company, if any, must be considered separately here. This proof depends on the country in which the parent company has its registered office.

We have many years of experience in obtaining suitable proof and will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

How much does a formation cost?

The costs of founding a GmbH depend on the share capital. As a rule, you have to reckon with approx. 700 EUR notary fees plus 200 EUR fees for the commercial register. After registration, membership in the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and tax registration are required.

We offer our clients various packages for the formation of companies. Please contact us for a cost overview.

What happens after incorporation?

After incorporation, the company can generally start its business. This also applies to the period between incorporation and registration of the company. In this case the company must bear the suffix i.G. (in formation) in its name. It should be noted that the liability of the parties involved changes during this period, as the limitation of liability does not yet fully apply.

After the formation, the initial tax registration must be carried out promptly, which we always recommend to have carried out by a tax adviser.

What running costs do I have to plan for?

A GmbH has relatively high administrative costs. In particular, the costs for bookkeeping and tax advice should be mentioned here, which of course also vary considerably from one individual to another.

Regular costs are also incurred for membership of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

How can I relocate the registered office of a GmbH?

In order to relocate the registered office, the articles of association of the GmbH must be amended. This is only possible with a shareholders' resolution to be notarised. If not all shareholders can appear at the notarial appointment, representation arrangements are possible. We will be happy to advise and represent you here.

What do I have to bear in mind when buying or selling shareholder shares?

In most cases, the sale of partnership shares is regulated in the partnership agreement, so this must always be clarified in advance. Shares can then be transferred within the framework of a purchase and transfer agreement. The price is freely negotiable. The contract must again be notarised. If not all shareholders are able to attend the notary appointment, representation arrangements are possible. We will be happy to advise and represent you in this regard.

What is the procedure for a change of managing director?

The change of managing director is effected by a shareholders' resolution in which the old management is dismissed and the new one is appointed. This resolution must then be submitted to the commercial register by the new management through a German notary.

What are GTC (AGB) and terms of use?

GTC and terms of use can be defined as framework conditions that are to apply to a variety of contracts. For example, a company can stipulate that all business transactions are to be carried out only on the basis of these GTC.

What options do I have for drafting GTCs?

First of all, the possibilities are manifold. Legally, they must stand up to the so-called AGB control. In particular, they must not be surprising or unreasonably disadvantage one side.

What is the difference between B2C and B2B?

B2C means business to customer and defines the legal relationship between companies and consumers. Here, considerable narrower limits are set by German and European laws, which must be observed.

B2B means Business to Business and defines the legal relationship between entrepreneurs. Here, there are more and more far-reaching possibilities for regulation.

What are online shop GTC?

The online shop GTC regulate the sale of goods and services via the internet. In the B2C area in particular, the many consumer protection rights must be observed. In particular, there are narrow limits to the possibilities for regulating revocation, warranty and liability.

What is an imprint?


An imprint is a mandatory requirement on every website in Germany. It must name a responsible person or company. Correct contact details must be given and, in the case of companies, the registration numbers.

What is the difference between copyright, trade mark, design and patent?

Copyright protects a work of an artist, it comes into existence with the creation of the work and does not require registration or anything similar. A trade mark can be registered for terms, signs, images, logos and many other variations. Registration of the trade mark is a prerequisite for protection. This distinguishes it from copyright. The same applies to designs and patents. While designs protect the shape of objects, patents are only possible for technical inventions.

How can I protect my copyright in Germany?

Copyright protection in Germany is automatic. It cannot and does not have to be applied for separately. Problems often arise in the context of proving who did what first and how. It is therefore advisable to take evidence of one's works, in particular the time at which they were made.

What types of trade marks are there?

In addition to the classic and most important trademark forms of the word mark, word picture mark and figurative mark, there are a variety of other trademark forms. For example, colours, holograms, multimedia signs and sounds can be protected as trade marks.
From a territorial point of view, in addition to national trade marks, there is also the Union trade mark, which covers the entire territory of the EU, and the possibility of international registration, with which national trade marks can be extended to other national territories. This is possible in all countries that have signed the so-called Madrid Protocol.

How much does a trade mark application cost?

The cost of a trade mark application depends on the desired scope of protection. Trade marks are always divided into so-called Nice Classes. The Nice Classes essentially cover all areas of goods and services, so that you can have your trade mark protected specifically in the areas in which it is to be used. Each Nice Class you choose will cost additional fees.

The official fees for a German trade mark start at 290 EUR and for an EU trade mark at 850 EUR.

What does data protection mean and what do I have to watch out for?

Data protection regulates the use of personal data. Since 2018, data protection in the European Union has been largely uniformly regulated by the GDPR. In Germany, further regulations from special laws must be observed in addition to this and the Federal Data Protection Act.

As a general rule, personal data should be processed as sparingly as possible. There always needs to be a reason and justification if you want to process data.

We are happy to provide comprehensive and goal-oriented advice on data protection.

How can I protect my trade secrets and know-how?

Protecting one's own know-how is a difficult task in companies. With regard to third parties, the signing of so-called NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements) is both necessary and sensible. Internally, technical and organisational measures should be taken to ensure good protection. Legally, in the event of a breach of confidentiality, one can rely on the law on the protection of business secrets.
We advise companies both preventively on the possible measures to safeguard their know-how and we represent them in proceedings in the event of infringements.

Does an employment contract have to be concluded in writing?

No, an employment contract can also be concluded orally or tacitly, in which case it can of course be difficult to prove the content of the contract. However, fixed-term contracts must be agreed in writing, usually before the employment contract begins. Termination agreements or notices of termination must also be in writing.

Under the Verification Act, companies are also obliged to confirm the essential terms of the contract to the employee in writing.

Can you terminate an employment contract?

In principle, an employment contract can be terminated subject to the statutory minimum notice period. However, for companies that usually employ more than 10 employees - after the expiry of a 6-month waiting period - the Employment Protection Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz) is usually applicable, which imposes additional requirements for termination by the employer.

Can severance pay be demanded?

Unless severance pay is already offered in the employment contract or with the notice of termination in the event that no action is brought, there is usually no entitlement to severance pay. If a dismissal is contested by means of an action for protection against unfair dismissal, however, a severance payment is often agreed by way of a settlement in order to end the dispute over the right to dismissal.

How long is the notice period?

The notice period for employee terminations is regulated in § 622 of the German Civil Code (BGB). As a rule, it is 4 weeks (unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract) to the 15th or to the end of a calendar month.

In contrast, the notice period for employer-side terminations is staggered according to how long the employment relationship existed; here the notice period is extended after 2 years to 1 month to the end of a calendar month, after 5 years to 2 months to the end of a calendar month, and so on. The exact periods of notice are regulated in § 622 BGB.

In principle, the notice periods for employee terminations cannot be shortened. Longer notice periods may also be agreed for employee-side notices of termination, but these may not be longer than for employer-side notices of termination.

During a probationary period of a maximum of 6 weeks, the notice period may also be reduced - for both parties - to at least 2 weeks. However, this must be agreed.

How much holiday entitlement is there?

The statutory minimum holiday entitlement per calendar year is usually 24 working days, which is regulated in the Federal Holiday Act. Working days are Monday to Friday, so this is 4 weeks. If 5 days are worked, this is to be quota accordingly, i.e. the statutory minimum leave is 20 working days, which is also 4 weeks. Less than 4 weeks of leave per calendar year cannot be agreed.

Additional leave (also called "contractual leave entitlement") is regularly agreed and can often be found in company agreements or collective agreements.

Frequently asked questions about Private & Family

Ist die einvernehmliche Ehescheidung online möglich?

Da wir vollelektronische Aktenführung haben und uns mit unseren Mandanten auf vielfältigsten Kommunikationswegen treffen, übernehmen wir einvernehmliche Ehescheidungen in ganz Deutschland, ohne, dass Sie zu einem unserer Büros kommen müssen, also quasi online.

Lediglich zum Gerichtstermin ist eine persönliche Anhörung vorgesehen. Jedoch gibt es auch insoweit Möglichkeiten, ein persönliches Erscheinen zu vermeiden, wenn Sie z.B. weit vom Gerichtsort entfernt leben, inzwischen im Ausland leben oder gerade verreist sind.

Wie läuft die einvernehmliche Ehescheidung ab?

Nachdem im Vorfeld alles persönlich bzw. online vorbereitet ist, muss die Antragsschrift zur Ehescheidung an das Gericht durch einen Rechtsanwalt eingereicht werden. Dies bedeutet, dass der antragstellende Ehegatte eine anwaltliche Vertretung bedarf. und der andere Ehegatte muss nicht anwaltlich vertreten werden, sondern nur der Ehescheidung zustimmen.

Welche Vorraussetzungen müssen für die einvernehmliche Ehescheidung erfüllt sein?

Die Ehescheidung kann (wie auch im streitigen Fall) nach einem Trennungsjahr eingereicht werden. Die Trennung erfolgt in der Regel durch Auszug des einen Ehegatten aus der gemeinsamen Wohnung. Ausreichend für eine Trennung ist jedoch auch eine Trennung von „Tisch und Bett“ in der gemeinsam weiter bewohnten Wohnung, wobei alle Lebensbereiche voneinander getrennt sein müssen.
Übereinstimmende Angaben über die Länge der Trennungszeit werden vom Gericht nicht überprüft.

Auch wenn sich die Eheleute über alle weiteren Themen einig sind, führt das Gericht, auch ohne Antrag, von Amts wegen, den sogenannten Versorgungsausgleich durch, wenn sie länger als drei Jahre verheiratet waren. Dies betrifft den Ausgleich der während der Ehezeit erworbenen Rentenanwartschaften. Hierauf kann jedoch verzichtet werden durch eine notarielle Vereinbarung oder eine gerichtliche Protokollierung. Selbstverständlich können die Rentenanwartschaften auch zusammen mit einer einvernehmlichen Ehescheidungsfolgenvereinbarung geregelt werden, wobei notarielle Form erforderlich ist.

Sind gemeinschaftliche Kinder der Ehegatten vorhanden, ist die Erklärung erforderlich, dass die gemeinsame elterliche Sorge fortbestehen soll und der Umgang geregelt ist. Haben sich die Ehegatten insoweit auf etwas anderes geeinigt, ist eine Erklärung erforderlich, wie dies geregelt werden soll. Außerdem muss mitgeteilt werden, dass der andere Ehegatte der Ehescheidung zustimmen wird.
Erforderlich ist auch eine Erklärung, dass sich die Unterhaltspflicht gegenüber ihrem Kind beziehungsweise ihren Kindern, den Ehegattenunterhalt und die Rechtsverhältnisse an der Wohnung und am Hausrat geeinigt haben.
Seit der Familienrechtsreform ist jedoch nicht mehr Voraussetzung, dass eine notariell vereinbarte oder protokollierte Scheidungsfolgenvereinbarung erfolgt.

Der Antragsschrift sollen die Heiratsurkunde und die Geburtsurkunde der gemeinschaftlichen minderjährigen Kinder beigefügt werden (§ 133 Abs.2 FamFG).
Für die Antragsschrift ist die Vorlage von Kopien ausreichend. Da die Antragsschrift mittlerweile von uns elektronisch an das Gericht übermittelt wird, reicht ein scan der Urkunden vorläufig aus. Die originale sind aber -genauso wie ein Ausweispapier der Parteien spätestens zum Ehescheidungstermin mitzubringen.

Muss ein Arbeitsvertrag schriftlich geschlossen werden?

Nein, ein Arbeitsvertrag kann auch mündlich oder stillschweigend geschlossen werden, wobei dann natürlich der Beweis des Vertragsinhalts schwierig sein kann. Schriftlich müssen jedoch Befristungen vereinbart werden und zwar in der Regel vor Beginn des Arbeitsvertrags. Auch Aufhebungsverträge oder Kündigungen bedürfen der Schriftform.

Nach dem Nachweisgesetz sind Unternehmen überdies verpflichtet, dem Arbeitnehmer die wesentlichen Vertragsbedingungen schriftlich zu bestätigen.

Kann man einen Arbeitsvertrag kündigen?

Grundsätzlich kann ein Arbeitsvertrag unter Einhaltung der gesetzlichen Mindestkündigungsfrist gekündigt werden. Für Unternehmen die in der Regel mehr als 10 Arbeitnehmer beschäftigen ist aber – nach Ablauf einer 6-monatigen Wartefrist - in der Regel das Kündigungsschutzgesetz anwendbar, welches zusätzliche Voraussetzungen für arbeitgeberseitige Kündigungen stellt.

Kann man eine Abfindung verlangen?

Sofern nicht bereits im Arbeitsvertrag oder mit der Kündigung eine Abfindung für den Fall, dass keine Klage erhoben wird, angeboten wird, so besteht in der Regel auch kein Anspruch auf Abfindung. Wenn eine Kündigung mittels der Kündigungsschutzklage angefochten wird, so wird aber häufig eine Abfindung im Wegen eines Vergleichs vereinbart um den Kündigungsrechtstreit zu beenden.

Wie lang ist die Kündigungsfrist

Die Kündigungsfrist für arbeitnehmerseitige Kündigungen ist in § 622 BGB geregelt. In der Regel beträgt sie (soweit nichts anderes im Arbeitsvertrag vereinbart) 4 Wochen zum 15. oder zum Ende eines Kalendermonats.
Die Kündigung für arbeitgeberseitige Kündigungen ist hingegen danach gestaffelt, wie lange das Arbeitsverhältnis bestand, hier verlängert sich die Kündigungsfrist nach 2 Jahren auf 1 Monat zum Ende eines Kalendermonats, nach 5 Jahren auf 2 Monaten zum Ende eines Kalendermonats und so weiter. Die genauen Fristen sind in § 622 BGB geregelt.

Grundsätzlich können die Kündigungsfristen für arbeitnehmerseitige Kündigungen nicht verkürzt werden. Es können längere Kündigungsfristen auch für arbeitnehmerseitige Kündigungen vereinbart werden, wobei diese nicht länger sein dürfen als für arbeitgeberseitige Kündigungen.

Während einer Probezeit von maximal 6 Wochen kann die Kündigungsfrist auch – für beide Parteien – auf mindestens 2 Wochen verkürzt werden. Dies muss aber vereinbart werden.

Wie viel Urlaub hat ein Arbeitnehmer?

Der gesetzliche Mindesturlaubsanspruch pro Kalenderjahr beträgt in der Regel 24 Werktage, das ist im Bundesurlaubsgesetz geregelt. Werktage sind Montag bis Freitag, dies sind also 4 Wochen. Wenn 5 Tage gearbeitet wird, so ist dies entsprechend zu quoteln, dh dann beträgt der gesetzliche Mindesturlaub 20 Arbeitstage, was ebenfalls 4 Wochen sind. Weniger als 4 Wochen Urlaub je Kalenderjahr können nicht vereinbart werden.

Darüber hinaus gehender Urlaub (auch „vertraglicher Urlaubsanspruch“ genannt) wird regelmäßig vereinbart und findet sich oft auch in Betriebsvereinbarungen oder Tarifverträgen.

Gilt in Deutschland eine Mietobergrenze?

Ja, aber nicht überall und nicht für alle Wohnungen.

Abhängig vom Ort und Zeitpunkt des Erstbezuges sind Wohnraummieten in Deutschland reguliert. Die Regeln der sogenannten Mietpreisbremse gelten in Gebieten, für die der Landesgesetzgeber durch Verordnung einen angespannten Wohnungsmarkt bestimmt hat, wie z. B. für ganz Berlin, aber auch andere Städte.

Ausnahmen: In solchen Gebieten gilt die Mietobergrenze jedoch nur für Wohnraum, der vor dem 01.10.2014 erstmals genutzt und vermietet wurde. Überdies ist der Wohnraum ausgeschlossen, der nach dem 01.10.2014 umfassend modernisiert wurde und dann erstmalig vermietet wird. Eine umfassende Modernisierung kann angenommen werden, wenn der Zustand in etwa einem Neubau entspricht UND die Modernisierungskosten ca. 1/3 der Neubaukosten mindestens betrugen.

Greift die Mietpreisbremse, darf die Miete bei Wiedervermietung und Erstvermietung nicht höher sein als 10 % über der ortsüblichen Vergleichsmiete ODER eine höhere Vormiete, die wirksam vereinbart war.

Achtung: Der Vermieter kann sich nur auf eine Ausnahme oder eine höhere Vormiete berufen, wenn er den Mieter vor Vertragsschluss darüber informiert hat.

Wie lange läuft ein Mietvertrag in Deutschland?

In Deutschland werden Wohnraummietverträge in der Regel unbefristet abgeschlossen. Der Mieter kann den Mietvertrag mit einer Dreimonatsfrist zum Monatsende kündigen. Der Vermieter kann nur aus wichtigem Grund (Vertragsverletzung, Eigenbedarf) kündigen, §§ 543, 569 BGB.

Ein befristeter Zeitmietvertrag kann im Wohnraummietrecht ebenfalls nur abgeschlossen werden, wenn ein vom Gesetz anerkannter Grund (z. B. der Eigenbedarf) vorliegt, der bei Vertragsschluss schriftlich mitgeteilt wird, § 575 BGB. Fehlt es daran ist die Befristung unwirksam und der Mietvertrag läuft unbefristet.

Außer beim Eigenbedarf kann eine Befristung nur bei Mietverträgen zum vorübergehenden Gebrauch oder über Einliegerwohnungen vereinbart werden, § 549 BGB.

Eine Befristung auf ein oder zwei Jahre mit Verlängerungsmöglichkeit, wie wir es in manch anderen Rechtsordnungen kennen, wird dennoch manchmal gewählt, um den Mieter zu vergewissern, dass er vor Vertragsende nicht mit einer Kündigung rechnen muss, die in Deutschland aber ohnehin nur möglich wäre, wenn ein wichtiger Grund vorliegt.

Möchte der Vermieter ebenfalls sicherstellen, dass der Mieter nicht vor Ablauf von 1 oder 2 Jahren kündigt, muss er dies in Deutschland durch die Vereinbarung eines beidseitigen Kündigungsausschluss tun.

Im Gewerberaummietrecht gibt es für die Vermieterkündigung und die Befristung keine Beschränkung. Um für den Gewerberaummieter die Nutzung zu dem vereinbarten Mietpreis für eine bestimmte Dauer sicherzustellen, vereinbaren die Parteien des Gewerberaummietvertrag daher in der Regel eine Befristung und nicht selten Optionsrechte, mit dem der Mieter den Vertrag auch ohne Zustimmung des Vermieters verlängern kann. Dies erhöht aber auch das Risiko für den Gewerberaummieter, da dieser ebenfalls nicht vor Ablauf der Mietzeit kündigen kann, auch wenn es im Betrieb nicht gut läuft oder der Mieter umziehen möchte.

Wann habe ich ein Widerrufsrecht?

Das gesetzliche Widerrufsrecht besteht insbesondere beim sogenannten Fernabsatzvertrag, wenn also ein Vertrag übers Internet, Telefon oder Fax geschlossen wird, sowie bei Haustürgeschäften, bei denen ein Unternehmen bei dem Verbraucher nach Hause kommt. Es gibt noch weitere Konstellationen, wie bei Verbraucherdarlehensverträgen oder Versicherungsverträgen.

Das Widerrufsrecht beträgt in der Regel 14 Tage. Wichtig ist, dass das Unternehmen zuvor ordentlich über das Widerrufsrecht belehren muss. Da dies erstaunlich oft nicht der Fall ist, haben Verbraucher häufig auch noch viel später die Möglichkeit, einen Vertrag rückabzuwickeln. Spannend ist das insbesondere bei teuren Darlehens- und Versicherungsverträgen oder auch bei Maklerverträgen.

Da die Frage, ob ein Widerrufsrecht überhaupt, noch oder vielleicht auch nicht mehr besteht, von vielen Faktoren abhängt, sollte dies immer überprüft werden, um mögliche Rechte, aber auch Pflichten und die sich daraus ergebenden Konsequenzen zu kennen.

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Gewährleistung und Garantie?

Die Gewährleistung besteht auf alle neue und gebrauchte Waren, die ein Unternehmen einem Verbraucher verkauft. Sie beträgt 2 Jahre und kann bei gebrauchten Waren auf 1 Jahr reduziert werden. Mit der Gewährleistung muss der Verkäufer für Mängel an der Ware einstehen, die bei Übergabe der Ware bereits vorhanden waren.

Wichtig ist, dass der Mangel sich nicht schon gezeigt haben muss. Wenn beispielsweise ein Bauteil kaputt ist, dass erst Monate später zu einem Defekt führt, lag der Mangel trotzdem schon bei Übergabe der Ware vor.

Ansprechpartner ist immer der Verkäufer. Er gibt die Gewährleistung qua Gesetz. Dies kann er auch nicht ausschließen.

Die Garantie ist ein freiwilliges und individuelles Qualitätsversprechen, das häufig von Herstellern gegeben wird. Dieses richtet sich ganz allein nach den Garantiebestimmungen und hat weder etwas mit der Gewährleistung zu tun, noch kann es diese ersetzen.