Branch offices

Branch Office

Min. share capital (€)


Min. partners



Parent company fully liable

A foreign investor may decide to establish a branch office of the foreign company, instead of establishing an independent company or partnership.

There are two kinds of branch office in Germany: autonomous and dependent branch offices.

Foreign companies can set up an autonomous branch office in Germany if they are registered in their home country’s commercial register. An autonomous branch office operates independent business activities, such as entering contracts, and has its own capital, bank account, and separate accounting system. However, the parent company remains fully liable for the branch’s obligations.

The branch office may have its own name, but this must include the parent company’s name and business type (e.g. Business Ltd, branch office Cologne). The branch office must be registered in the German commercial register and at the trade office.

A dependent branch office cannot trade in its own right and cannot have its own name. Any business activities must be conducted in the parent company’s name. As such, it is a department of the parent company.

The branch does not have to be registered in the commercial register, although, it may be more advantageous to do so, as information concerning the parent company would be disclosed and this can be more attractive to potential business and trading partners. The branch office must be registered with the trade office.

With the exception of financial and insurance institutions, there are no minimum capital requirements to set up a branch office.

Either, foreign managing directors or a specific German branch manager can run the branch.

A branch office is suitable for low risk projects. As the parent company assumes full liability, a branch office is usually less well suited for larger projects.

Here you can find an overview of our services in the area of starting a business in Germany. For further information, contact our team of German lawyers on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0 or use our contact form.

Advice on choosing suitable business form Ja Ja Ja Ja
Model articles of association – UG; standard partnership agreement – GbR Ja Ja Ja Ja
Modified standard partnership agreements – GbR, oHG, KG, PartG Ja Ja Ja
Bespoke partnership agreements/articles of association – GbR, oHG, KG, PartG, UG, GmbH Ja Ja
Articles of association / partnership agreements – AG, GmbH & Co. KG and other business forms Ja
Review of company name Ja Ja
Standard directors’ service contracts Ja Ja
1 hour additional legal advice Ja Ja Ja
Assessment of whether all important aspects have been considered (incl. directors’/representatives’ liability) Ja Ja Ja Ja
Provision of documents required for entry in the commercial register Ja Ja Ja Ja
Notary referral Ja Ja Ja Ja
Assistance with filling in documents required by notary Ja Ja Ja Ja
Advice on next steps Ja Ja Ja
Assistance with searching for grants and investors Ja
Legal notices Ja Ja Ja
Information pack on your chosen business form Ja Ja Ja Ja
Preis €495.00* €980.00* €1580.00* Available on request

* plus 19% VAT

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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