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Foreign legal forms

Even if you only want to do business in Germany, you may also set up a company in another member state of the European Union (EU) in accordance with the local legislation. This refers to the freedom of establishment throughout the EU. According to this, German founders of businesses are free to set up a company which has its administrative headquarters in Germany according to french law.

Please note: A company with a foreign legal form is subject to the law of the corresponding country for the entire duration of its existence. This could be associated with difficulties. Check whether a foreign legal form is really appropriate for your company. It is particularly important to get advice on legal issues from a notary or a lawyer.

Detailed information

You can get contact details from the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Notaries (Notarkammer Baden-Württemberg) or the bar associations in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Tübingen (Rechtsanwaltskammer Freiburg, Rechtsanwaltskammer Karlsruhe, Rechtsanwaltskammer Stuttgart and Rechtsanwaltskammer Tübingen).

On matters related to a specific industry, the following institutions are at your disposal. For crafts and trades, Baden-Württembergischer Handwerkstag e.V., and commerce and industry, Baden-Württembergischer Industrie- und Handelskammertag.

You can find an overview of the existing European legal forms (Übersicht über die bestehenden europäischen Rechtsformen) on the website of the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 09.03.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.