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Guide to Starting a Business in Germany

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Germany. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Clear the name of company at the local chamber of industry and commerce1 dayno charge
2A notary notarizes the articles of association and memorandum of association1 dayEUR 1104
3Open a bank account1 dayno charge
4Notary public files the articles of association with the local commercial register, kept at local courts7 daysEUR 426
5Notify the local office of business and standards of the establishment of the company1 dayEUR 31
* 6Register with the professional association of the relevant trade1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* 7Notify the local labor office of the establishment of the company1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* 8Register employees for health and social insurance1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* 9Mail out the documentation to the Tax Office1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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