There are a few general legal conditions for setting up a business in Germany. You have to be of legal age – i.e. at least 18 years old. Another requirement: You must not have been banned from doing the job you want to do for yourself. Such a professional ban can be issued by the courts after serious criminal offenses.
Before starting the company, you must register your planned activity. You do this at the trade or tax office – depending on whether you are going to work commercially or as a freelancer. For some professions, you have to prove that you have no criminal record. EU citizens who live in Germany can usually obtain a “European Certificate of Good Conduct” from Registration office Apply for your place of residence. If you come from another country, you must obtain comparable proof from the competent authorities there.
We explain further formalities that you should consider when starting a company at this point.
If you want to start your own business, you should have professional skills related to your business idea. In some professions, you have to prove your qualifications by means of corresponding qualifications in order to be able to set up a business in Germany. This applies, for example, to start-ups in the health, legal and educational sectors, but also in the craft sector. If you have obtained your professional qualification abroad, you must apply for recognition of your qualification. You can only start a business in the respective profession if your degree is recognized as being equivalent to the respective German degree. You can find out how the recognition process works for various professions in the ” Recognition section”. Important: Even professional qualifications obtained in the European Union do not have to be automatically recognized.
There are special features in the handicraft: For some trades, it is not enough to have learned the relevant trade. As a business start-up, you need a master craftsman’s certificate, which you receive through certain further training. Anyone who can show a foreign professional qualification that is classified as equivalent to the master craftsman’s examination can independently practice a trade that requires authorization. These include, for example, the following trades: bricklayers and concrete workers, road builders, painters and varnishers, precision mechanics, electrical engineers, carpenters, butchers, opticians, etc. Those who have a professional qualification, on the other hand, have a normal professional qualification without Championship title can be through appropriate training Championship titlegain. What options do you have, one Championship titleWe have summarized it for you under the heading “ Training in Germany ”.
Regardless of your professional qualifications, you should have business knowledge. In special seminars or workshops you can learn methods of bookkeeping, price calculation and cost accounting, for example, or brush up on your knowledge.
Knowledge of German
It is important for business start-ups to be able to speak German: Many official papers and documents are only available in German, your customers and business partners will expect you to be able to contact you in the local language. Find out more about your options for learning the language here.