Choice of corporate form
Do you want to start a business, or are you already running a business and considering a change of legal form?
There is no patent recipe to provide a tailor-made legal entity. In the choice of legal entity, criteria to consider include financial, tax, company law and, especially, legal liability issues.
We can initially assist in the following questions:
- Do you want to be a sole trader or work with partners?
- Is the enterprise risky? Should you therefore be limiting your personal liability?
- Do you attach particular importance to the name of the firm and the “standing” of your company?
- Is the legal status appropriate to the size of the firm?
The following legal entities are available:
- Sole trader
- Company under civil law (German: BGB-Gesellschaft, Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts)
- Partnership (including independent professions)
- Registered trader (German: eingetragener Kaufmann)
- Ordinary partnership (German: Offene Handelsgesellschaft)
- Limited partnership (German: Kommanditgesellschaft)
- Company with limited liability (German: GmbH), including non-profit companies (German: gGmbH)
- Limited partnership where the sole general partner is a limited liability company (GmbH & Co. KG); Limited partnership where the sole general partner is an entrepreneurial company (UG & Co.KG); Limited partnership where the sole general partner is an English limited company (Ltd. & Co. KG)
- Public company (German: Aktiengesellschaft)
- Partnership limited by shares (German: Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien)
- English limited company
- Entrepreneurial company with limited liability (German: Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt))
As well as (with limitations):