Basic Requirements for Setting Up a Business

Find out whether you are eligible to set up a business in Germany...

The German law of residency (AufenthG) determines the conditions for running a private business as a form of self-employment in Germany.

According to this law, European Union citizens may start up companies in any of the EU member states. All that is required is to inform the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) and provide the necessary funds. With a German settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis), it is possible for non-EU citizens to open a business in Germany at any time. With possession of only a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis – for non-EU

In order to obtain permission to live and start a business in Germany, the applicant must show that:

  • There is a significant economic interest or special need for the proposed business
  • The business will have positive results for the economy
  • The venture is secured by either equity or credit guarantees

The application may be made in Germany or from outside the country at the nearest German Consulate or Embassy. The following documents are needed:

  • Application for a residence permit
  • Business plan
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of professional qualifications and experience

The application for a residence permit will be considered by the German Foreigners Authority (Ausländeramt). The business plan will be considered by the Commerce Department (IHK) of the state that the applicant plans to enter.

  • To find the Commerce Department of the appropriate German state: Click here

Entrepreneurs who invest at least one million Euros and create at least ten jobs will, as a rule, receive a residence permit.

Information approved by Kanzlei am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Christian Regnery, Rechtsanwalt Torstr. 49/Ecke Schönhauser Allee, D-10119 Berlin Tel: 030 4404 2733, Fax: 030 4404 2777,