Knowledge base

Expanding your business to Germany and the right documents

Expanding your business to a foreign market, such as Germany, can be a thrilling opportunity for growth and success. However, the process can also be overwhelming and confusing, especially when it comes to navigating the legal and administrative requirements. To ensure that your expansion to Germany is successful and in compliance with all regulations, it's important to be aware of the necessary documents required for your business. From business registration to employment contracts and tax identification numbers, having a clear understanding of the documents you need will help you set up your business in Germany efficiently and effectively. Here is a comprehensive guide on the necessary documents and steps you need to take to expand your business to Germany.

Business plan

Before you start expanding your business to Germany, you need to have a clear business plan that outlines your business idea, target market, competition, marketing strategy, and financial projections. This plan can be used as a roadmap for your business in Germany and will also be useful when seeking financing from banks or investors.

Business registration and tax identification number

To start a business in Germany, you must first register your company at the Trade Register. This is done at the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer) and requires payment of a fee. You need to apply for a tax identification number (Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer) from the German Federal Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) in order to pay taxes.

Commercial license

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need a commercial license (Gewerbeanmeldung). This can be obtained from the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Health and safety requirements

If you are starting a business in certain industries, you need to comply with health and safety regulations. For example, a food-related business requires a food hygiene certificate (Lebensmittelhygieneschein).

Insurance and employment contracts

As a business owner in Germany, you must have liability insurance (Betriebshaftpflichtversicherung) and workers' compensation insurance (Unfallversicherung) for your employees. If you plan on hiring employees, you need to have employment contracts (Arbeitsverträge) in place that complies with German labor laws.

Business bank account and VAT registration

You need to open a business bank account in Germany to manage your business finances and for tax purposes. If your business is taxable, you need to register for value-added tax (Umsatzsteuer) with the German Federal Tax Office.


Accounting and bookkeeping

As a business owner in Germany, you are required to keep accurate records of your finances and file tax returns on a regular basis. You can either do this yourself or hire an accountant to help you. Firm24 has a couple of experts that can help you with your bookkeeping!

Local representation

If you do not have a physical presence in Germany, you may need to appoint a local representative to act on your behalf.

Trademarks and intellectual property

If you have trademarks or other intellectual property that you wish to protect in Germany, you should consider registering them with the German Patent and Trademark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt).



Expanding your business to Germany can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with careful planning and a thorough understanding of the legal and administrative requirements, it can also be a rewarding and successful venture. In addition to the above steps, it is advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer or tax advisor in order to ensure that your business is set up correctly and complies with all relevant regulations. 

Begin your journey today! 

Firm24 is here to help you grow your business by expanding to Germany. We are here to provide you with the information you need and answer any questions you may have. Simply schedule a consultation through our page and one of our experts will be in touch with you within 24 hours. Let's start your expansion process now!

Published on 6 July 2023
Adam Cambridge linkedin
Adam is our English content writer and studies International Business Law at Leiden University

Not quite getting it right? We are here for you.

Thanks to years of experience, we know how to help entrepreneurs with the right advice.

Call us at +31 (0)20 30 80 675
Mo t/m Th
09:00 - 22:00
09:00 - 17:00
Chat with a advisor
Mo t/m Th
09:00 - 22:00
09:00 - 17:00
Sales team Firm24