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Setting up a business in Germany


Do you wish to set up a business in Germany? Find out, in this article, how to proceed.

European citizens do not need special work permits or work visas to invest or develop a business in Germany. However, different conditions may apply to non-European Union nationals according to their country of origin.

Financial requirements to set up a business in Germany

To start a business in Germany, or to work self-employed in the country, citizens from outside the EU-EEA need first to apply for a visa at the German consulate or embassy in their country of residence. 

Once in Germany, if the investment is of at least €500,000 with the creation of at least 5 jobs, residency permits will be granted without particular difficulties to non-EU nationals. 

If the investment is of less than €500,000, or if the number of expected created jobs is under 5, German authorities will closely consider the application taking into account local economic interests. 


It is of your responsability to conduct marketing or feasibility studies, define the structure of your company, register the trade mark and register the company in the local trade register. Do not hesitate to seek help from an accountant or a tax lawyer if necessary. Before going ahead with your project, check that your activity is not subjected to special regulation in Germany. 

For more information about administrative formalities or to find out more about the legal framework, you can seek advice from the chamber of commerce of your home country established  in Germany or directly to the local chamber of commerce in the German locality where you want to set up a business. 

As a self-employed person, or as an investor in Germany, you need to pay income tax, property tax and professional tax. You will also need to affiliate with an health insurance fund. 

  Useful links:  

Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy
How to Germany - setting a business
American chamber of commerce in Germany
British Chamber of commerce in Germany

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