Company Finance and Accounting in Germany

euro_billsSmaller businesses, under German tax and accounting laws, must deliver to the same professional standards as larger companies, but they are often not in a financial position to pay for an experienced in-house team of accountants, controllers and financial planners. For such companies in Germany we offer the expertise and services of a full team of English speaking experts, but on a „pay only for what you need“ basis.

We provide German subsidiaries or branch offices of British and American enterprises with experienced services in the areas of financial bookkeeping, payroll, cost accounting, forecasting and strategic planning. We also help you observe all German legal requirements. Of which there are plenty.

If you are establishing a new business in Germany or expanding by opening a branch, we can help you set up the necessary systems from scratch. You will look forward to your monthly finance review – because the numbers will be clear and understandable. We also do assist with writing applications for German and EU grants and will provide you with all the necessary charts and tables for professional negotiations with investors and buyers.

FG_LogoDon’t hesitate to call us on +49 (0) 941 463 707 80. Here you find more information on Friendly Germans, the British German Consulting Company.

English Desk at German Law Firm Graf Partners LLP

Solicitor_SchmeilzlThe Munich and Regensburg based German law firm Graf & Partners LLP, established in 2003, specialises in providing professional legal services to English speaking clients, both business and private. Our British-German specialist teams of lawyers and linguists advise on all legal and tax issues connected to Germany and European Union law, from business, corporate and labour to international probate, family law and property.

Solicitor_EJ_MunichThe English Desk in our Munich office is headed by dual qualified English solicitor and registered European lawyer Elissa Jelowicki. The English Desk at the Regensburg office is headed by the firm’s managing partner Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M.

Our English partner firm Lyndales Solicitors LLP, located in central London, operates a German Desk with expertise in German-British legal matters from an English law perspective. Together, the British-German lawyers do assist UK, US and other international clients in both the United Kingdom and in Germany.

And should you need to go to court in Germany, the litigation department GP Chambers provides forensic services in German civil and business lawsuits or arbitration proceedings throughout the country. Our senior lawyers are also frequently called upon to act as arbitrators due to their expertise in both English and German law as well as their language skills.

If you need assistance with German law or tax issues, why not contact German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester) or Munich based English solicitor Elissa Jelowicki on +49 941 463 7070.

More information on litigation and legal fees in Germany is available in these posts:

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The law firm Graf & Partners was established in 2003 and has many years of experience with British-German and US-German legal matters.The Anglo-German litigation lawyer team of GP Chambers is well equipped to advise and represent clients from the UK and other English speaking countries. If you wish us to advise or represent you in a German or cross border case, or if you need an expert report on German law, please call +49 941 463 7070 in order to contact German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester), managing partner and head of the litigation department. Bernhard is also frequently asked by British and US Courts and Tribunals or by legal counsels to provide expert reports and legal opinions on German law.

International Probate: Assets in Germany will be found (and taxed) by German Tax Office

Nowhere to hide from the German Finanzamt

If the deceased held funds or owned property in Germany, the German Tax Office (Finanzamt) will find out about it and will – most likely – levy German inheritance tax, even if the deceased was not a German national and even if the deceased was not resident in Germany. We have explained the workings of the German Inheritance and Gift Tax Code (Erbschafts- und Schenkungssteuergesetz) here.

Executors are under the legal obligation to submit an inheritance tax declaration (Erbschaftssteuererklärung). The German IHT forms are available for download here.

But would the German tax office (Finanzamt) ever find out about the assets of the testator if the executor would – let’s say – forget to submit such a German IHT declaration? Yes, the tax authorities definitely will find out about such assets of the deceased. For numerous reasons: Continue reading

When starting a Business in Germany: Don’t Forget the Trade Register Notification (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Under German law (see section 14 Gewerbeordnung, i.e. German Trade Regulation), the commencement of a business activity must be notified in writing (Gewerbeanmeldung) to the local Ordnungsamt (Trades Office), which is a department of the municipal government, for example the city of Munich. This notification obligation also applies to any change in the business (e.g. move, modification to the nature of the business or staff recruitment) and to the termination of the trade activity, which requires a termination notification (Gewerbeabmeldung). More information on the various options in terms of how to start a business in Germany is available here. For an overview of German company forms see here. Continue reading

London Chamber of Commerce: 10 practical tips for doing business in Germany

In this issue of „London Business Matters“, the London Chamber of Commerce’s monthly magazine, German corporate and business lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl has compiled 10 Top Tips when starting a Business in Germany”. The magazine also contains helpful information about the trading relations between the UK and Germany. Just browse the online issue. For more details on how to establish a business in Germany please see the articles below

– 3 Ways to expand your Business to Germany
– What is a German “Mini-GmbH” or “Unternehmergesellschaft”?
– 10 Things to do when starting a German Business
– Guide for doing Business in Germany


The law firm Graf & Partners (Germany) assists entrepreneurs and businesses with their international expansion to Germany since 2003. Also, we have a network of professionals in the areas tax, IT, marketing and business consulting. Do not hesitate to contact us by calling solicitor Bernhard Schmeilzl at +49 941 785 3053 or send an email to: mail [at]

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 it technically? Continue reading

10 Things to do when starting a German Business

If you have read our previous postings “Guide for doing Business in Germany“, “Establish a German Limited Company (GmbH): FAQ and Checklist“, “Taxation for UK Expats or Freelancers in Germany” 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: Continue reading

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:

To speed up the procedure we have put together a list of frequently asked questions in regards to company formation in Germany (Download: FAQ regarding formation of a German GmbH) as well as a checklist which shows all the information and documents that are required to establish a German company (Download: Company_Formation_Order_Form_English).

German statutory law is extremely strict with regard to consumer protection and data protection, especially when it comes to business websites and online shops. You should have your German internet presence checked to avoid costly cease and desist letters coming from your German competitors. More here.

In regard to practical matters of getting the business going you may be interested in the services of the specialised firm Friendly Germans (UK) Limited and their services for foreign entrepreneurs (see here). Finally, check out the posting “10 Things to do when starting a German Business“.

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Solicitor_SchmeilzlThe law firm Graf & Partners and its German-English litigation department GP Chambers was established in 2003 and has many years of experience with British-German and US-German business and corporate matters, including the representation of clients in M&A transactions, litigation, contentious probate matters or labour law disputes throughout Germany.

If you wish us to provide advice on German law or represent you in court or arbitration proceedings in Germany, please call German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester) or Munich based English solicitor Elissa Jelowicki on +49 941 463 7070.


Taxation of UK Expats or Freelancers in Germany

A British employee who is sent to Germany by his/her firm or an entrepreneur planning to provide services as a freelancer within Germany sooner or later are faced with a number of quite complicated issues regarding taxation, social security contributions and pension rights. In many cases the individual advice of a counselor should be sought. The following links will help to create a basic understanding of the matter:

Continue reading

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

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, the list of FAQs and the formation checklist in this article will guide you through the procedure.

However, before you can fully concentrate on your business there are still some more issues to be taken care of. In addition to the basic registration duties, which are explained on the website of the Central Tax Office, here is a short checklist of what you should not forget when starting a company in Germany: Continue reading