All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsGerman Corporate LawStarting BusinessStarting or Expanding Business

3 Ways to expand your Business to Germany

Establish a real German Company, register a Branch Office or start with a mere Representative Office If you want to sell your goods or services to Germans it is in most cases a huge advantage to be actually present in Germany. A German business address and phone number shows that you are seriously committed to doing business in Germany long term and thus builds trust with customers and business partners. But how to go about…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 9, 2014
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Can foreign Taxes be set off against UK Inheritance Tax?

Unilateral Inheritance Tax Relief in British-German Probate Matters If a legator was domiciled (or legally deemed to be domiciled) in the UK and possessed assets in other countries, then HMRC will levy inheritance tax on the entire estate, i.e. all assets worldwide (see here). The problem is: Other jurisdictions may employ an entirely different inheritance tax system and also demand inheritance tax. Germany, for example, does not use domicile but citizenship (nationality) and residency to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 4, 2014
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

How to apply for a German Grant of Probate

First, you need to make the right choice about which German Grant to apply for The German equivalent of a UK Grant of Probate is the Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein). Less common is its “little brother”, the Certificate of Executorship (Testamentsvollstreckerzeugnis). Both documents are issued by the Nachlassgericht which is the probate department of the respective local District Court (Amtsgericht). Who needs an Erbschein? As we have explained here, German law applies the principle of…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 30, 2014
Business in GermanyGerman Labor Law

Germany introduces minimum wage in January 2015

After 10 years of heated discussion Germany will implement a nationwide universal minimum gross wage (flächendeckender Mindestlohn) of EUR 8.50 per hour starting 1 Januar 2015. The act still needs to be formally passed but is expected to go through without relevant changes. Thus the details of the future „Tarifautonomiestaerkungsgesetz“ can already be found in the government draft of the bill here. There will be transitional provisions and some exceptions for certain business sectors. Fore…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 24, 2014
Civil actionDebt collectionGoing to court

How expensive is a German Lawsuit?

Mandatory Legal Fees in German Civil Law Matters We have shown here that chasing a debt in Germany is fairly easy and quick. While we also explained the basic rules regarding court and lawyer fees in section 3 of said article many readers ask us how much an actual lawsuit will cost them. Thus, here a more practical approach to that question, explained by the German litigation experts of Graf & Partners (GP Chambers): The…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 11, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionFamily LawGoing to court

Alimony in Germany: Child Maintenance and Financial Support for Single Mothers

How much Child Support is due in Germany? You are or have been in a relationship with a German woman. She is pregnant and wants you to pay alimony for the newborn-to-be. But you are not sure whether you are the father. What to do? This post deals with unmarried couples only. For children born in marriage, German law presumes that the husband is the father. If the husband has doubts about this then he…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 2, 2013
Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsGerman Labor LawGerman Tax LawStarting BusinessStarting or Expanding BusinessTrustee & Escrow Services

10 Things to do when starting a German Business

Get started on the fast track If you have read our previous postings "Guide for doing Business in Germany", "Establish a German Limited Company (GmbH): FAQ and Checklist" and "Open a Business Bank Account in Germany?" you already have a pretty good idea how to go about starting your own German business. With this posting we provide ten - personal and probably subjectively biased - practical tips how to get a head start: #1: Choose…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 9, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to courtProfessional Regulations

So you want to practice Law in Germany?

Update for British readers: This post explains the pre-Brexit legal situation There are an impressive 160,000 advocates (Rechtsanwälte) registered to practice law in Germany (from the official statistics of the German Bar Association: German Advocates in February 2013). However, that doesn't mean there are not interesting opportunities for British lawyers who are considering practising law in Germany: Many German companies (have to) negotiate and draft agreements with international business partners in the English language and…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 8, 2013
Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsGerman Corporate LawStarting Business

Establish a German Limited Company (GmbH): FAQ and Checklist

If you wish to establish a German Limited Company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, in short: GmbH) from abroad, you will probably not get very far without the assistance of experienced professional service providers. For more than 10 years the German law firm Graf & Partners advises and assists foreign shareholders and company directors on how to: establish a German company or subsidiary, buy a German company or open a branch office or engage a fiduciary…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 7, 2013