All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Disinherit your no-good children? Not so easy in Germany

Close relatives are always entitled to a portion of the estate. Period! Really? According to German inheritance law, close relatives have a right to claim a portion of the estate, even if the testator did not want to leave them anything and has consequently disinherited them. This so called "Pflichtteil" is mostly translated with "statutory share", "forced share" or "compulsory share". However, it is difficult to find the correct English word, because this concept does…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 22, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to court

Making a Court Claim for Money in Germany: It’s actually quite easy

Debt Collection in Germany: A practical Guide to Civil Court Procedures So a German person or company owes you money but won't pay. And you find that German courts have jurisdiction. Well, that may be unfortunate but it is no reason at all to abandon your claim. In fact, to sue for and collect a debt in Germany is easier and cheaper than you might expect, especially if you are from Britain or the United…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 10, 2013
Business in GermanyStarting BusinessStarting or Expanding BusinessTrustee & Escrow Services

Fiduciary, Trustee and Escrow Services in Germany

To start or expand a business in Germany an existing enterprise can: (i) either trade directly from the UK; (ii) use a German partner as agent or distributor; (iii) set up a branch office in Germany or (iv) establish a separate legal entity for the German activities, which makes good sense when one wants to separate the risks of the specific German business. The best choice for option (iv) will in most cases be a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 22, 2013
Business in GermanyContract TemplatesGerman Labor Law

Model Employment Contract (German Law, English Language)

In this article here we have explained the basic principles of German labour law, in particular the protection of employees against dismissal. To give you an idea what a typical German employment agreement looks like we have posted a model Employee Agreement here: Model_Employment_Contract_Germany_english_2013 The contract is based on German labour law, but drafted in English language. To use an English contract is of course only acceptable if the employee is fluent in English otherwise he/she…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 19, 2013
Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsContract TemplatesGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawStarting BusinessStarting or Expanding Business

Checklist: Formation of a German Company. And then what?

Setting up a German Limited Liability Company and everything that comes with it The most popular company form in Germany is the "Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung" which translates "company with limited liability". We explain the formation process here (see PDF guideline) and provide a sample set of documents (articles of association, statutes etc.) here. If you have decided to set up a German subsidiary or register a branch office of your existing company in Germany,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 17, 2012
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Basics of German Inheritance Law (German Probate)

German Succession Rules and Probate Proceedings explained German inheritance law differs very much from UK law and there are many formal requirements which must be followed. A good starting point for basic information about the law of succession in Germany (or any other European country for that matter) is the official EU website "Successions in Europe". It answers a few basic questions and contains helpful links for more detailed research. In our CrossChannelLawyers blog we…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 10, 2012
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman LawStarting Business

What is a GmbH? The German Limited Liability Company explained

Checklist for your Startup in Germany "Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung" (in short: GmbH) means Limited Liability Company. It is the most popular company form in Germany and protects - as long as the legal rules are being obeyed - its shareholders from any personal liability. For an overview of German company forms see here. However, in contrast to most other EU member states, there is still a hefty minimum capital requirement of 25,000 Euro, half…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 4, 2012
Starting or Expanding Business

Starting a Business in Britain: 10 practical Tips

10 HOT TIPS FOR STARTING A BUSINESS IN LONDON Starting any new business, or expanding an existing business to a new location, is always a daunting prospect.  To start a business in a foreign country, even one that you might be familiar with, makes the prospect even more challenging.  At the same time, starting a new business in a world class, cosmopolitan city like London can in many ways be a very exciting prospect indeed…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 9, 2012
GeneralGerman LawOutside the Law

Economic Data Germany

Stats & Figures for Germany In case you plan to expand your business into Germany, it may be a good idea to get familiar with some stats and figures. The German Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS), based in Wiesbaden, is constantly publishing data and projections regarding German economy in general as well as regarding various economic sectors. Furthermore, you can find all kinds of statistics regarding environment, society, social security and state. Most services are also…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 23, 2012
Outside the Law

An Expat on Germans

Being German means drinking beer from huge steins, driving 120 mph on the Autobahn and wearing stupid looking hats. Right? If you want the truth about Germans, this is the list "What I know about Germans" by the great Australian blogger Olivia Hambrett. She explains it all: from Sauerkraut to naked sauna. For more Anglo expat knowledge on Germany see here and our post "Corresponding with Germans: How not to come across as being rude" Or…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 20, 2012