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Starting a business in Germany is relatively straightforward. While there are formalities to follow, the basic procedures and regulations of starting a business in Germany do not significantly differ from those in English-speaking countries. German law makes no distinction between German nationals and foreigners when it comes to establishing companies in Germany. There are also no restrictions on the repatriation of profits. Much like in English-speaking countries, German law distinguishes between limited companies, joint stock companies (similar to a public limited company), and other forms of partnerships.
It is important to understand the different types of business structure allowed by German law, the rules for residents versus non-residents, as well as the legal process for starting a business in Germany.
In most German cities, the Industrie- und Handelskammern (IHK, Chamber of Commerce) provides English-language advice on setting up a business:
The German Ministry for Economy and Technology (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie) offers an English language online service for foreigners wishing to start a business in Germany. This step-by-step portal lists start-up procedures, business planning strategies and management techniques to ensure the company is successful.
State aid can also be applied for, although previous employment in the country is required for at least a year to be eligible for assistance.