Guide to doing business in Germany

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The British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (“BCCG”) is a privately funded, non-profit making membership network organisation with about 900 companies and professionals from Britain and Germany as members. It provides support for all companies and professionals seeking advice in British-German business and trade.

Exporting into Germany

“I never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.” (Mark Twain)

The good news is you don’t have to anymore, especially not for doing business in Germany. Many companies in Germany already use English as their official internal language and the majority of people in Germany are at an advanced English level. But this is only one of many reasons why UK businesses should consider exporting to Germany. In light of Brexit it might have become even more important to gain access to the German market.

Facts and figures from Europe’s economic power house

Germany is not only the home of great beer, fast cars and Johann Wolfgang Goethe, it is also the home of 80m highly productive inhabitants. Exporting to Germany offers plenty of business opportunities especially for UK businesses.

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  • For the UK, Germany is currently one of the most important export markets with annual sales in goods and services of more than GBP 30 billion

  • Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It is also among the largest exporters and importers of goods in the world.

  • It was the world’s number three exporter after China and the US in 2015.

  • In 2015 German imports had a value of more than 734 billion GBP. Among those goods were machinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products.

10 Reasons of Doing Business in Germany

  • Location: The most obvious reason is its central location within Europe. Located at the heart of Europe it offers easy access to the established markets in western Europe and markets in central and eastern Europe.

  • Infrastructure: Germany is Europe’s number one logistics market. Sophisticated energy and communications infrastructure and first-class transportation networks ensure on-time delivery and short roads to success.

  • Business Incentives: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) should consider Germany as a market. Approximately 99% of all German companies are SMEs. Germany provides attractive incentives to all investors as well. A comprehensive range of programmes support the broad spectrum of business activities at all stages of the investment process.

  • Global Player: Investors profit from the economic performance of a large domestic market as well as easy access to growing markets in the enlarged European Union. It is one of the top regions for foreign investment (469 billion Foreign Direct Investment)

  • Security: Highly developed economic and political frameworks provide the necessary security for your business investment. Contractual agreements are secure and intellectual property is strictly protected.

  • Standard of Living: The German quality of life is surely another reason why 7 million foreigners have made their homes in Germany. Germany is a modern, tolerant, and cosmopolitan society with great health and education provisions and endless opportunities for sports and recreation.

  • Productivity and Quality: The high quality of German products is world-renowned. Also, Germany has one of the highest productivity rates in the world and decreasing unit labor costs through market reforms have made it one of Europe’s most cost effective production locations.

  • Work Force and Ethic: Germany provides excellent work force because of its outstanding education system. The German apprenticeship system is highly renowned.

  • Innovation: Germany is Europe’s number 1 location for research. German R&D is backed by billions of euros in annual federal funds, helping to make Germany the world’s leader in innovation.

  • Values: German business partners (customers, suppliers, employees etc.) will put great value on reliability. Great Britain and Germany have similar values and Great Britain remains a very popular country for most Germans.

Establishing business in Germany

For British companies there are different ways to establish a German market presence either through a new legal entity (subsidiary) or a branch office. There are various legal forms for businesses. The German private limited liability company (GmbH) is the most widely used legal form for corporations and combines high flexibility with relatively few obligations. It requires a minimum share capital of EUR 25,000 (cash or kind) and the liability of the shareholders is limited to their respective contribution. The establishment procedure of a GmbH is straightforward with well-defined steps and takes around 1-2 weeks.

For further information on doing business in Germany please contact the BCCG:

Contact Germany:

Andreas Meyer- Schwickerath (Managing Director & Member of the Board)

E- Mail: info@bccg.de

Phone: +49302067080

British Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V.

Friedrichstr. 140, 10117 Berlin, Germany

www.bccg.de

Contact UK:

York-Alexander von Massenbach (Co-Chairman of the BCCG)

E-Mail: york-alexander.von.massenbach@luther-lawfirm.com

Phone: +44 207 002 53 48

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

7 Pilgrim Street, London EC4V 6LB , United Kingdom

www.luther-lawfirm.com