Foreign business owners

If a foreign company wants to expand into Germany, it can set up a domestic subsidiary, branch office, permanent business establishment or representative office. A business registration and if necessary, a separate state authorization is required for the subsidiary, branch office and permanent business establishment to commence commercial activities.

If the German branch is to be headed by foreign national’s resident in Germany, a valid passport for the business registration and if necessary, the relevant documents for the business registration is sufficient for EU citizens from all 27 member states. They enjoy freedom of establishment according to the provisions of the free movement of persons (FreizügG/EU) regarding self-employment or equivalent paid employment.

Nationals from non-EU countries (third countries) who wish to travel to Germany to start a business require a special purpose residence permit (AE) which must be applied for the German foreign representation in their home country.

Please note: Foreigners are not permitted to start a self-employed activity without authorization. The provisions of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) must be observed. Nationals from third countries who are already resident in Germany and are in possession of a permanent residence permit, a residence authorization or a settlement permit are however equivalent to German or EU citizens.

How we can help you

  • We help foreign companies and foreign investors to successfully incorporate a business in Germany
  • We help the foreign management to stay compliant with regard to German rules and regulations
  • Our cooperation partner Counselhouse helps foreign business owner to obtain a German residence permit which is aligned with the German Residence Act
Consultinghouse - Martin Wilke

Martin Wilke

Managing Director
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Copyright Consultinghouse 2017
*All services offered on this website are provided by Consultinghouse A.M.C. Int GmbH and are exclusively carried out under § 6 Nr.3-4 of the German tax adviser direction code. Consultinghouse provides management consulting as well as services with regard to accounting of current business activities, the generation of payslips, as well as the registration for payroll tax. For tax or legal services please contact our cooperation partner