Guidebook Founding a Company in Germany
1 Feb 2018

The guide “Founding a Company in Germany” supports aspiring entrepreneurs in their start-up project and provides them with a quick overview of the framework conditions, requirements and support services as well as important information sources in Germany. It asks the essential questions that founders need to clarify, from the orientation and preparation phase to the registration of a company and the first steps as a self-employed person.


“Companies founded and managed by people from other countries are becoming increasingly important for business and society in Germany. In almost every sector, there are now successful entrepreneurs with migration roots. About one in five new companies is now started by a founder who does not have a German passport or who has a migration background. Thus the number of self-employed foreign workers is steadily rising. Diversity, creativity and innovation are increa­sing in the international startup scene, and are giving additional momentum to startup activities. The many refugees who are seeking asylum with us and who want to integrate into our society also offer a signifi­cant amount of entrepreneurial potential, which must be leveraged. Analyses show that people with foreign roots are more likely to use their entrepreneurial talent and try new things.

However, they need just the right support to make a successful leap into self-employment. Every founder has to deal with many questions at once and make impor­tant decisions during the founding phase. People who have recently arrived in Germany and have to find their way in a new legal and economic system need additi­onal information and advice. In addition, the young founders have a limited amount of time – after all, they are mainly supposed to be focusing on their business concept. […]

The authors of these guidelines, using easy-to-under­stand language, make it easier for immigrants who want to become self-employed in Germany to pre­pare for starting a company. They provide informa­tion about the legal requirements, explain key building blocks like the business plan and financing, and offer many helpful tips. The guidelines thus give quick insight into the startup landscape, explain the most important steps for preparing to start a company, and provide a brief overview of the many different support offerings and contact partners.”

Foreword by Dr .Sabine Hepperle, Head of the SME Policy Department Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)


Download here. This guidbook was developed by RKW Kompetenzzentrum in cooperation with the IQ Department of Migrant Economics and the tax consultancy Dr. Siegel. It is available as a PDF with many direct links to further information as well as a print version. Both versions are equipped with an English translation. This is an updated 2nd edition.

Sonja Alt

Project Management | GEN Germany