Germany Company Formation

Germany company formation is structured as a GmbH and the process takes one to two weeks to complete. Off the shelf companies are also available in Germany. 

You must submit the company name to the Chamber of Commerce for approval and, should in some way, relate it to a shareholder or indicate the type of business. The company only needs one director and their name(s), addresses and proof of identity must be submitted in the form of accepted photo identification.

You can establish residency through a utility bill or bank statement that is less than three months old. Germany does not require companies to have a local resident director.

Shareholders may also be citizens of and reside in any nation.

The director and the shareholder can be the same person and there are unlimited numbers of shareholders permitted under this structure. Germany also allows for the use of nominee shareholders.

The documents required at formation to be filed with the Trade Register are: 

  • Articles of Association

  • Foundation Agreement

  • An open bank account to provide the minimum agreed share capital

  • Minutes from the directors’ appointment meeting

  • Fee paid at the time of incorporation

  • Minutes from the first board meeting

  • A notarised document containing information about the registered company office, amount of share capital, business type, company’s purpose and each shareholder’s share capital contribution

  • If the shareholder is a foreign company, you must note the names of the board members of that company and its official address

In Germany, you carry out company registration at the local trade office where the business is located. You may also have to use a certified translator for the constitutional documentation. Every company in Germany has to be registered in the Trade Register, which in addition to containing the company name and owner’s name, contains information about granting power of attorney.

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