It is not difficult to register a business in Germany. The main criterion for obtaining a residence permit is the absence of tax debts and a stable income for several years.
Already in 2012, amendments were made to the law on business immigration, the requirements for foreign businessmen have been simplified: the limits on job creation and the amount of investment disappeared.
Basic business requirements for obtaining a residence permit in Germany
- The business plan must be economically attractive for the region or state of Germany;
- The business plan must be reviewed by the regional German Chamber of Commerce;
- A businessman must have sufficient financial resources to run a business at the expense of his assets or guarantees of creditors;
- The entrepreneur must prove his professionalism and personal qualities, which guarantee the success of the business idea.
The most common ways of business immigration to Germany
- Transferring your business to Germany or setting up a subsidiary;
- Creation of a new company in Germany within the framework of an existing business;
- Opening a new direction for your business and creating an independent company in Germany;
- Purchase of a share in a German company or acquisition of a ready-made business in the country.
Business immigration procedure to Germany
In the first step, the applicant must submit a detailed business plan for consideration by local officials. The future immigrant will have to convince the local authorities that the proposed business will be useful for this region.
The business plan should indicate:
- The name of the company. It must not violate copyright or duplicate existing titles. You can check this on the website of the German Patent Office or in the German Federal Trade Register;
- Goals and objectives of the business, its form, the amount of investment;
- Specific steps for business development;
- Income forecast, profit, and loss calculation, solvency forecast;
- Market research and analysis of the position of competitors;
- Advantages over competitors;
- Experience, qualifications, and business qualities of the project participants;
- Staffing table, wages, and working conditions;
- Marketing strategy;
- Sources of financing;
- An explanation of the positive impact the project will have on innovation and research (if applicable).
- The business plan must be written in good German without grammatical errors. A serious plus will be the conclusion from an international auditing company on the possible implementation of the business plan.
Choosing a form of doing business
- Self-employed – Selbstständig (self-employed), Freiberufler (liberal professions, freelancers) and Gewerbe (private enterprise);
- A simplified form of a limited liability company is a mini-GmbH or Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) with an authorized capital from 1 euro to 25 thousand euros. Annual deduction of a quarter of the company’s profits before the formation of the authorized capital of 25 thousand euros and the transformation of UG into GmbH. It is more difficult for UG to open a bank account and obtain a tax number.
- Limited Liability Company (GmbH) with a registered capital of 25 thousand euros. A memorandum of association is required, the director may be a non-resident;
- A joint-stock company (AG) with a statutory fund of 50 thousand euros, upon registration, 12,500 euros must be paid. The number of shareholders is not regulated. The AG board may be chaired by a non-resident.
Actions of a business immigrant upon arrival in the country
Upon arrival in Germany, a business migrant must register at the place of residence, receive an internal and European tax number (Steuernummer, Ust-Identnummer), as well as an insurance identification number – Betriebsnummer. This stage takes about a month.
After the registration of the company and after 18-24 months of its activity, the businessman submits documents for obtaining a residence permit for himself and his family. An important condition for the renewal of a residence permit in Germany is the provision of financial statements for the year.