Germany is one of the most popular countries where foreign investors establish company branches. Similar to any other country, you’ll need to fulfill all the legal requirements in order to open a branch in Germany. These requirements usually come in the form of documents. So what documents do you need to open a branch in Germany? What are the essential steps for opening a branch office? To find the correct answers to these questions, go through the following sections.
Essential steps to open a branch office in Germany
Just like establishing a domestic company, opening a branch office in Germany is straightforward, as you just need to go through the following steps:
- Apply for trading name reservation
- Prepare all incorporation documents
- Fill out the Germany Companies Register incorporation form
- Obtain a tax identification number
- Obtain a valid business license required to operate your branch office and business
- Open a bank account
There is no need to travel to Germany in order to complete these steps. You can rely on professionals to help you open a branch office by completing these steps for you.
Legal requirements for opening a branch office in Germany
If a foreign company wants to set up a branch office in Germany, it must first determine its type: independent, dependent, or subsidiary. It’s also a requirement to provide certified articles of association copies and resolutions of the shareholders. The additional information you need to provide includes the main office name, company address, registered office, branch activity’s subject, number of managers, CEO, and representative information, and details on obtaining the local license for branch offices abroad.
You also need to make certified and public copies of shareholders’ resolutions, articles of association, and excerpts from the foreign trade registration. The branch office must register for VAT with the correct Tax Office assigned to the domicile country of the parent company. German VAT returns are filed monthly when the total VAT payable for the previous calendar year exceeds €7,500. If the amount of payable VAT is below this, VAT returns are normally filed on a quarterly basis. Businesses that file quarterly VAT returns can request a change to monthly filing when the total amount of refundable VAT in the prior year exceeds €7,500.
Necessary documents for opening a branch in Germany
The necessary documents you need to open a branch office in Germany include the following:
- Foreign company’s notarized articles of association
- Foreign country’s proof of registration
- The company’s name and registered address
- Reasons why the company was incorporated
- Directors’ and board of managers’ names
- The company’s capital details
- The branch office’s objectives and address
- The branch office’s current sum of working capital
- Operating license
- Germany company representatives’ names and addresses
- Branch availability period
- Date when the original company decided to open a branch office in Germany
How to register your branch office in Germany
Registering a branch office in the Commercial Register before performing any other activity is important. That means each branch office receives a unique commercial register number. It’s designated for a specific jurisdiction and has a registration location.
In front of a notary, the foreign company’s representative must sign the application for the German branch office registration. Additionally, all documents must have an authorized German translation. In case you’re opening several branch offices in Germany, you can choose the commercial register of a single district and send all the required documents for registration.
During registration, the German Supervision Office must receive the solicitor’s proof of identity, the requested state permit, the foreign company’s proof of registration, a residence permit, and the local representative’s name and address.
Overall, registering a branch office in Germany is perceived as being more straightforward than creating a company. However, it depends on how quickly the representatives of the foreign company will prepare and issue the required documents, including the articles of association. After registration, a branch office in Germany must have a designated manager responsible for the day-to-day activities.
Open a branch office in Germany with Workhy
Do you want to open a branch office in Germany but don’t know where to start? Look no further than Workhy. We offer services for entrepreneurs to open branches in Germany, without the need to reside in or travel there. Extra services that we provide include VAT applications, opening online bank accounts, bookkeeping, and more. Visit our website now for more information.