Invest in Brandenburg
Would you like to set up your business in Brandenburg? Then read on to find out everything you should know beforehand.
If you are planning to set up office in Brandenburg you can obtain funding under certain circumstances. Contact our advisors at the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg as early as possible to obtain quick and uncomplicated support every step of the way – from your initial enquiry to the opening of your business venture.
Our team of funding experts at the Economic Development Agency and Business Promotion Bank Brandenburg is prepared to provide you with information relating to your individual funding requirements. The Economic Development Agency Brandenburg advisors look forward to your call.
In cooperation with our partners at the regional and local levels, our advisors support you at every step. This also applies for business premises in Brandenburg: A registered business address is required for conducting commercial operations in Germany. Your advisor can support you in finding the right premises in close cooperation with economic development partners at regional and city levels.
Entrepreneurs and citizens of many non-EU countries require a visa for business trips to Germany, but there are some exceptions. Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and some other countries may enter and stay in Germany for up to 90 days without a visa.
Citizens of all other countries require a Schengen or a German national visa for entry into Germany. For short-term stays in Germany (stays not exceeding 90 days within any 180-day period), a Schengen visa is required to travel to Germany.
A Schengen visa is generally sufficient to establish a business in Germany. However, establishing a business in Germany with a Schengen visa is no guarantee for the subsequent issuing of a residence permit. Applications for visas must be filed with the German Embassy or a Consulate in the country of residency. Schengen visa applicants (business visa applicants) will usually be asked to present certain documentation such as:
- a letter of invitation by the German business partner or by an official institution/organisation
- documentation of employment and salary certificate
- a letter from the applicant’s employer confirming the business purpose of the trip
When the entrepreneur personally applies for a Schengen visa, documents such as a copy of the foreign company’s entry in the foreign commercial register, articles of association, and bank statements from the last three months may also be required.
A visa will only be issued if you can prove that you have health insurance coverage in Germany. You can purchase health insurance in your own country. Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 valid for the entire Schengen area.
Anyone can establish a business in Germany – irrespective of nationality or place of residence. There is no specific investment legislation in Germany, nor is there a minimum percentage of German shareholders required for foreign entrepreneurs. Foreign investors can choose the most suitable legal company form as a corporation or partnership or conduct business via a Germany-based branch office. Either way, establishment procedures are straightforward with well-defined steps.
When choosing the legal form of the company, a corporation is usually the best option for larger, established companies. There are four major forms of corporations under German law:
- Limited Liability Company (GmbH)
- Limited Liability Entrepreneurial Company (“Mini GmbH“)
- Stock Corporation (AG)
- Partnership Limited by Shares (KGaA)
The German limited liability company (GmbH – Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) is the most widely used legal form for corporations. It combines high flexibility with relatively few obligations.
In order to successfully register a business in Germany, certain documentation verifying the existence of a parent company as well as the power of representation for persons acting on its behalf is needed. Generally, an excerpt of the foreign commercial register as well as articles of association of the foreign parent company will be required.
The documentation must be notarized and either legalized or issued with an apostille. It should also be accompanied by a certified German translation. Please note that the documentation required can vary depending on the legal form and origin of the foreign company. It is advisable to consult a German notary at an early stage for individual advice.
The minimum share capital required to establish a GmbH is EUR 25,000 (this can also be made up of contributions or assets in kind). At the time of registration, at least half of the minimum capital (i.e. EUR 12,500) must be actually and verifiably contributed to a bank account.
After the location decision has been made, the new German corporation has to be registered. All companies carrying out commercial business operations are obligated to incorporate at the public commercial register (Handelsregister) which provides legally relevant information about merchants and commercial companies.
The commercial register is managed by the district court where it can be viewed by the public free of charge. Additionally, all business operators must notify the trade office (Gewerbe-/Ordnungsamt) of the town in which the business operation is located. A business license or permit is not necessary in the majority of cases and only in some sectors.
Entrepreneurs from non-EU countries require a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or a settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) if they want to run a business in Germany in person or if they are employed in Germany. A residence permit is always limited in time, a settlement permit is unlimited. A settlement permit will usually be issued if a non-EU citizen has been in possession of a residence permit for at least five years. Both residence and settlement permits are always issued for a specific purpose, usually for the purpose of self- employment or for the purpose of taking up employment in Germany.
A residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is generally issued if:
- an economic interest or a regional need regarding the intended business activity exists
- positive economic consequences are to be expected from the investment project
- the planned investment has secure financing in place
A residence permit for the purpose of employment among other things requires:
- a specific offer of employment
- the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)
Certain professional groups may obtain a residence permit without requiring the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, e.g. employed managing directors or managerial employees.
In order to inititate a residence permit procedure for the purpose of employment or self- employment, non-EU nationals first have to apply for a national visa at the German Embassy in their home country.
Exceptions apply for nationals from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the USA who may enter Germany for long-term stay purposes without a national visa. They can directly apply for the necessary residence permit at the local immigration office in Germany.