Getting started in Germany

Starting a business in Germany is not easy for foreign investors. The registration process is quite tedious and a lot of obstacles have to be overcome. Clients need a qualified and experienced partner like Acconsis with a one-stop solution comprising comprehensive law, tax and accounting services. With this approach the client gets maximal benefit so that he immediately can start his operations and concentrate on his core business.

First contact with Acconsis

More and more business gets international. Even smaller units tend to expand their activities into other countries, often starting with a sales person, later a permanent establishment or through a subsidiary. Although we live in a common market,  there are many specific items to be regarded in each member state of the European Union. This especially applies for Germany when a foreign investor wants to start with his activities.

Often we are approached with questions like

•  We will start with a sales person. What are the commercial and tax implications ? (VAT, payroll, social security)

•  What is the best vehicle to operate through ? (pros and cons of subsidiary versus permanent establishment)
•  How long does it take to get started ?
•  Is it necessary to use an expensive international law firm to get started ?
•  Can you organize for us to set up a subsidiary ?
•  Can you assist us in drafting a German labor contract ?
•  Can you take care of payroll and accounting requirements ?


In most cases the wish to expand is sales driven and the time schedule from decision to actual start of the operations is always very tight. So the foreign investor needs a proactive experienced partner who is able to assist quickly.

Our Foreign Desk Team

Here our English speaking “Foreign Desk Team” comes into place. After the first contact with the responsible partner, an in-house lawyer does the legal work to establish the required vehicle. In most cases it is possible to work with proxies in order to minimize actual physical presence of the foreign investor. As soon as the legal establishment is done, a tax manager follows up with the formal tax registration process. Through our good and long standing connection to the IRS we always try to speed up the slow and cumbersome “red tape” process, because it is essential to receive a tax number before the start of actual activities.

Beginning operations

Once the start up phase has finished the client needs payroll services, monthly accounting and VAT filing. Therefore we closely work together with the client`s HR-department to make sure that the employees will receive their salary in time. Hereby we use the newest technology and electronic interfaces with the parties involved (tax office, social security agencies, health insurances). So it is guaranteed that all filings and payments are done at the right time in order to avoid penalties.

Regarding the accounting we offer flexible solutions. Either we do the accounting on our system and report to the client in any way he wants or our IT/accounting manager together with the client establishes online access to the client´s system, eg. SAP or Navision, so that we can directly book on the client´s system. If the client does the accounting himself abroad, we help to receive the permit for doing so and normally load up the data in order to be able to process the monthly electronic German VAT declaration. In addition to these standard outsourced services we also offer treasury functions.

Continuous assistance by Acconsis as experienced partner

Once the first fiscal year is over there is annual tax and commercial compliance work to be done. Also in this case we offer a complete solution including all the legal work referring to shareholder resolutions etc.

As the business hopefully grows other questions like intercompany pricing, optimizing of tax structure, expat structure arise. Also assistance at tax and social security audits is needed. All these requirements of our foreign clients are met in order to enable the client to fully concentrate on his core business activities in Germany being safeguarded by us.