Access USA

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Doing Business in the United States

AmCham Germany provides research and support for business development and investment in the United States. General information and guidelines to forming a company in the US, information about business regulations, and roadmaps to various forms of enterprises are also available.

Starting a Business

AmCham Germany has a pool of experts who can assist you in setting up a business in the US. Please contact our business service department for more information by sending an email to Katrin Utzinger.


For a summary of the basic steps to take when starting a business in the US  please have a look Dr. Gero Burwitz's presentation (McDermott, Will & Emery).

Download PDF

The US Chamber of Commerce offers toolkits for financial planning and starting up a business in the US. (For more on AmCham Germany's affiliation to the US Chamber, please click here.)

Starting a Business in the US – US Chamber Toolkit

Investment Agencies

The National Association of Development Organizations provides training, information and representation for regional development organizations in small metropolitan and rural America.

NADO National Association of Development Organizations

The Investment Company Institute (ICI) is the national association of US investment companies, including mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and unit investment trusts (UITs).

Investment Company Institute

Small Business Administration provides financial, technical and management assistance to start, run, and grow individual businesses.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Foreign Investment Advising Service.

The World Bank Group

Company Search

These links provide you with the resources to search for companies across the US in various areas of expertise.


Commercial News USA

Also includes information about trade shows, supplies, exporters


Hoovers Online


Also provides authoritative legal, news, public records and business information; including tax and regulatory publications

MacRae's Blue Book

Thomas Register

US Securities and Exchange Commission

US Telephone Book

“Buy American” – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The American Embassy in Berlin has compiled the most frequent questions to the “Buy American” provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, “US stimulus package”) and provides the respective answers. Click here for the FAQs.

Regional Economic Development Agencies

If you plan to make an investment in the US, please contact one of the following AmCham Germany member organizations in the corresponding state/region: 

Council of American States in Europe (C.A.S.E.) 

The partner for European business in US site selection and the source for innovative US products
Mainzer Landstr. 176
60327 Frankfurt
T +49 69 97358-315
F +49 69 97358-199
E info(at)

German American Business Chamber of Florida, Inc.

100 North Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2100
Miami, FL 33132
T +1 305 371 4282
F +1 305 371 6145
E miami(at)

Ms. Miriam Metzger, Executive Director


State of Florida 

Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Im Amerika-Haus
Karolinenplatz 3
80333 München
T +49 89 9901-3665
F +49 89 9901-3667
E alexander.bothmann(at)
Mr. Alexander Bothmann, Deputy Director

State of Georgia
Im Amerika-Haus
Karolinenplatz 3
80333 München
T +49 89 517027-40
F +49 89 517027-45
E munich(at)


State of Illinois

28-30 Boulevard de la Cambre, Bte 2
1000 Brussels
T +32 2 6465730
F +32 2 6465511
E brussels(at)


State of Indiana

Martin-Buber-Str. 24
14163 Berlin
T +49 170 6881548
F +49 30 8148841-10
E indiananaberlin(at)

Jan-Christoph Wiedemann, CEO



State of Iowa 

Iowa Economic Development Authority

Kleine Hochstr. 8
60313 Frankfurt am Main
T +49-69-283858
F +49-69-281493
E iowa(at)
Ms. Anke Goebel de Méndez, Director

State of Kentucky 

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Poststr. 14-16
20354 Hamburg
T +49 40 23934-356
F +49 40 23934-472
E info(at)

Mr. Finn Weisse, European Representative

State of Massachusetts

Am Karlsbad 11
10785 Berlin
T +49 30 399025-47
F +49 30 399025-48

State of Mississippi

Martin-Schmeißer-Weg 12
44227 Dortmund
T +49 231 75443-253
F +49 231 75443-27
E come2mississippi(at)


State of Ohio 

1 Rue de la Presse
1000 Brussels
T +32 2 2272758
F +32 2 2272754
E europe(at)


State of Pennsylvania 

Frankfurter Landstr. 76
61352 Bad Homburg
T +49 6172 92118-0
F +49 6172 92118-11
E pennsylvania-info(at)


State of South Carolina 

Department of Commerce

Almeida Palais
Brienner Str. 14
80333 München

T +49 89 291917-0
F +49 89 291917-10
E europe(at)
Mr. W. Ford Graham, Managing Director

State of Tennessee

Nibelungenstr. 84
41462 Neuss
T +49 2131 1518991
F +49 2131 1518992
E contact(at)


State of Washington

Scheidswaldstr. 73
60385 Frankfurt
T +49 69 255380
E info(at)

State of West Virginia

Department of Commerce
Im Amerika-Haus
Karolinenplatz 3
80333 München
T +49 89 548841-13
F +49 89 548841-33
E info(at)
Angela Mascia, Interim Director

Helpful Tips

Living and working in a foreign country is never an easy process. Here we provide you with a resourceful set of links to help navigate through the process of establishing yourself, both professionally and personally, in the United States.

Visa information

Standards and Norms

International Standards Organizations


Standards developers accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Germany Trade and Invest (gtai)

The German Office for Foreign Trade (gtai, formerly bfai) primarily informs German companies about foreign markets. Publication and service spectrum includes: economic data and trends, sector analyses, foreign economics and taxation law, customs procedures and tariffs, international invitations to tender, public and private financed projects, business opportunities from German and foreign companies, organisation of information and networking events and coordination of the foreign trade portal iXPOS. The gtai offers a monthly magazine called "Geschäftspraxis USA," which offers information on doing business in the US.


For more on gtai, please click here

iXPOS - Das Außenhandelswirtschaftsportal

iXPOS is a Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWA) initiative. The German Office for Foreign Trade (bfai) is responsible for coordinating the website content. offers you the entire spectrum of German foreign trade promotion opportunities at a glance. The platform will guide interested entrepreneurs through the dense jungle of tools, services and information which various government and semi-independent players in Germany provide.

Market Access Database - A Service Provided by DG Trade, European Commission

The Market Access Database is an operational tool of the European Union's Market Access Strategy, supporting a continuous three-way exchange of information between: the EU institutions, Member States and European business. The Market Access Database is a free, interactive, easy to use service providing information about Market Access conditions in non-EU countries.


For more on the Market Access Database, please click here

US Bureau of Industry and Security

The mission of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is to advance US national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. BIS's activities include regulating the export of sensitive goods and technologies in an effective and efficient manner; enforcing export control, antiboycott, and public safety laws; cooperating with and assisting other countries on export control and strategic trade issues; assisting US industry to comply with international arms control agreements; and monitoring the viability of the US defense industrial base and seeking to ensure that it is capable of satisfying US national and homeland security needs.


For more on BIS, please click here:

US Commercial Service Germany

US Commercial Service Germany facilitates German-American trade on an industry-specific level: main office in Berlin at the US Mission. BuyUSA is a service of the US Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce. Here you will find thousands of qualified US companies who are ready to do business with you through automated matchmaking and trade leads. Registration is free for buyers, distributors, representatives, and agents. Your BuyUSA registration allows you to post your company profile, search for and email US suppliers, receive email notices of new trade leads and submit and respond to offers to buy US products.


For more on the US Commercial Service, please click here:

US Customs and Border Protection

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP combined the inspectional workforces of US Customs, US Immigration, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the entire US Border Patrol. 


For more on US Customs and Border Protection, please click here:

General Guidelines for Trade Fair Success

  • Participation in a trade fair takes an extreme amount of planning and organizing. The following guidelines and links are meant to give you a general overview of the preparation involved, as well as tips and contact information for further detailed information.
  • It is important to choose the trade fair wisely. Research is key in determining which trade fair is best for you and your company.
  • Outline your product goals, trade fair participation goals and objectives. This is important in measuring ones success after the actual event has taken place.
  • Calculate overall costs. Make a well planned budget and include all cost factors, such as stand rental, energy supply, stand construction, furnishing and design, stand service, transport, handling, clean-up, personnel and travel costs.
  • Organize and prepare carefully for the trade fair.
  • Take full advantage of services available through the organizer of the trade fair. (i.e. stand constructor, freight forwarders or interpreters)
  • Pay close attention to how you would like your trade fair stand to represent your company most effectively.
  • Make certain that the personnel at the stand is informative and well qualified, thus enhancing the interest in your stand and consequently chances for more business contacts.
  • Advertise well - trade fair organizers can only advertise for the trade fair in general and cannot single out individual exhibitors. Therefore it is important to note that each individual Exhibitor is responsible for targeting their specific target groups before the event takes place.
  • Be aware of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) at trade fairs in Europe. If you are selling to Europe, you should protect your IPR today or you may not be able to sell your product in Europe tomorrow. For more important information protecting your IPR, please visit the US Commercial Service's website.

Trade Fairs Participation

Most trade fairs and trade fair organizers have websites in both English and German outlining the specific participation guidelines for each trade fair. Therefore it is necessary to contact the individual trade fairs or trade fair organizers directly. There are also a wide variety of publications available which can help you not only plan for a successful trade fair, but also effectively choose which trade fair is best for you.

Trade Fair Checklists

The following checklists are published by the FAMAB e.V. (Design, Exhibition, Event). For more information about these and other checklists, as well as relevant tips and suggestions, please contact FAMAB directly.

Useful Links

The following organizations provide helpful information and ideas, as well as lists and dates of specific trade fairs in both Germany and in the US, application guidelines and necessary processes:

Ausstellungs- und Messeausschuss der deutschen Wirtschaft  

Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA)

AUMA offers on-line international trade fair data and tips, as well as a trade costs calculator to assist you accurately calculate trade fair costs. AUMA further offers a German trade fair library, including such publications as trade fair catalogues, newspaper articles and guides. AUMA offers trade fair information worldwide, as well.



This portal shows business trade shows and exhibitions promotion services in the US.


Deutsche Messe AG

Deutsche Messe AG, which is based in Hannover, develops, plans and runs trade fairs and exhibitions in Germany and abroad. It has extensive expertise and experience in planning and executing around 50 trade fairs and exhibitions every year, involving 21,000 exhibitors, 1.79 million visitors and 16,000 journalists from over 100 different countries. For more on the Deutsche Messe in the US, please click here:


German Convention Bureau (GCB)

GCB is the central representative of interested parties, and the marketing organisation for Germany as a conference location.



German-Pavilion is the website of the German pavilions at trade fairs worldwide. Current information on export-orientated German companies who take part in the official German presentations at major international trade fairs worldwide is available on the website. 



EventsEye offers information on trade shows and exhibitions worldwide including trade fairs in the US.


Export.Gov provides online trade resources and one-on-one assistance in the area of international business. Export.Gov provides a trade calendar.


FAMAB e.V. - Design, Exhibition, Event

FAMAB assists customers with trade fair participation, including such aspects as stand design and construction.


FKM - Gesellschaft zur Freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen

FKM publishes basic data on trade fairs and exhibitions both in the US and in Germany. FKM further assists with trade fair planning, including calculating space figures, exhibitor figures and visitor figures.


iXPOS - Das Außenwirtschaftsportal

iXPOS provides links, lists of trade fairs and events, news, and various publications through partnership organizations.


m + a Expo Database

m + a Expo Database provides current news and trade show data, seminars, workshops and training courses.


Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

50 international trade fairs are organised by Messe Düsseldorf, among these are 23 world‘s premier trade fairs. 


Messe Frankfurt GmbH

The Messe Frankfurt corporate group, one of the world’s leading exhibition corporations, organises more than 100 trade fairs worldwide and is one of the few global players in the trade fair sector.


Messe München GmbH

The Munich Trade Fairs International Group (MMI) is one of the world`s leading organizers of trade fairs. It organises some 40 trade fairs for capital goods, consumer goods and new technologies and has special expertise in the numerous sectors.


Messe Stuttgart

Please visit for more on trade fairs in Stuttgart, trade fairs abroad, and international representatives.



Jobmesse-Radar lists

Das Jobmesse-Radar listet wichtige Recruiting- und Karriere-Veranstaltungen auf und präsentiert Infos und Angaben zum Programm, Veranstalter, Aussteller und vieles mehr

Internship and Study Opportunities in the US

There are numerous opportunities available to study abroad or participate in an internship in the US. The following organizations offer various programs and information about the many different opportunities to travel abroad:


"USA-Interns" is an internship program that fosters the German-American partnership and was founded by the Steuben Schurz Gesellschaft. This German-American internship exchange is done in cooperation with the US Consulate General Frankfurt and the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts. For further information about the USA-Interns Program, please visit or send an email to info(at)


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) - Educational & Cultural Exchanges 

Fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational and training programs. Contains excellent links to exchange and scholarship programs.


CDS International, Inc.

CDS International (CDS), founded in 1968, is a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of international practical training opportunities for young professionals, students, educators, as well as labor, business and government representatives. CDS started out small, arranging internships in US companies for young German professionals and exchanging farmers between Germany and the United States. Today, CDS serves almost 1,400 individuals annually from over 50 other countries in Europe, Asia and South America in a variety of work/study, internship, and study tour programs.


Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals is a scholarship program with a strong focus on cultural exchange. It is designed to give participants understanding for everyday life, education, and professional training in Germany and the United States.


Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

Study abroad and work abroad with CIEE, the Council on International Educational Exchange. CIEE provides quality programs and services for individuals, employers, communities and educational institutions. Let us help you choose your international experience.


DAAD Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

The DAAD is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic co-operation. They offer study abroad programs, internships, and teaching and language courses.


Das Parlamentarische Patenschafts-Programm (PPP)

Der Deutsche Bundestag vergibt jährlich an Schüler/innen und Berufstätige Stipendien für einen einjährigen USA-Aufenthalt.


Deutsche- Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung e.V. (DAJV)

The DAJV provides its Internship Service for prospective German jurists. The DAJV informs US law firms, public offices and companies about the German legal education system and inquire in their willingness to host and educate German law students and clerks.


German American Chamber of Commerce California (GACC California)

The German American Chamber of Commerce California, a public charity organization, runs two major programs - the Business Program and the Career Program including internship placement and J-1 visa service. These programs serve individuals, corporations and academic institutions from all over the world. GACC California is closely connected with the San Diego World Trade Center and the California Chamber of Commerce, and has been serving the International Committee of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce for many years supporting local, state and federal legislation in improving local economic and environmental conditions, and implementing strategies that enhance trade and commerce with global markets.


German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (Chicago)

The Transatlantic Program works to provide American citizens with facts on Germany and to bring the two nations closer together. 


German American Chamber of Commerce in New York (GACC New York)

The GACC New York offers a career service where interns and professionals are matched to jobs in the US. Focus is placed on Germans who wish to work in the US. Furthermore, they also help obtain the necessary Visas as well as offer language testing. 


Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH: 

The GIZ offers human resources development and vocational training in the US and in Germany. A wide variety of information is available.



The Steuben-Schurz-Society has set up USA-Interns (please also see above or to provide German students from all faculties with the opportunity to spend eight weeks of their summer vacations with a US company.


Study is an online resource for study abroad information. They provide information about Academic Year, Semester, or Summer Courses, as well as about Language courses, Internships or Volunteer work, High School Exchange programs, the TOEFL Certificate, and law and business courses during the summer.


The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel

Establishes standards for, monitors, and disseminates information about reputable international youth education and exchange programs.


US Embassy

The US Embassy offers a wealth of information on academic exchange programs in the US as well as internship opportunities and more. 


Zentralstelle für Arbeitsvermittlung (ZAV) 

The ZAV is the international department of the German labor office. They help with the procurement of jobs abroad in international organizations. 



High School Programs

AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V.

AFS bietet internationale Schüler- und Jugendaustauschprogramme, die interkulturelles und globales lernen fördern.


AIFS - American Institute for Foreign Study

AIFS (American Institute For Foreign Study) offers high school and au pair exchange opportunities in the USA.  AIFS offers the possibility for young people to spend their summer in a traditional American summer camp where campers are encouraged to challenge themselves through new activities and make international friends around the campfire. AmCham Germany members receive a 5 % discount. For further information, please visit


Ayusa-Intrax GmbH

Ayusa-Intrax GmbH bietet Dreimonats-, Halbjahres- und Ganzjahres High School Programme in den USA an.


Dr. Frank Sprachen & Reisen GmbH


EF Education (Deutschland) GmbH

Educational Foundation for Foreign Study bietet Sprach- und Kulturaustausch für alle Altersgruppen: Schüler/-innen, Erwachsene, Studenten, Berufseinsteiger und Fach- und Führungskräfte an.


GIVE Gesellschaft für Internationale Verständigung mbH


GLS Sprachzentrum


into Schüleraustausch GmbH


iSt Internationale Sprach- und Studienreisen GmbH


Kaplan International


Stepin GmbH




YFU - Youth For Understanding Komitee e.V.

YFU organisiert zusammen mit Partnerorganisationen in 40 Ländern langfristige Schüleraustauschprogramme.


Xplore GmbH


More Programs

Das Parlamentarische Patenschafts-Programm (PPP)

Auch 2005/2006 vergibt der Deutsche Bundestag an 250 Schüler/innen und 100 Berufstätige Stipendien für einen einjährigen USA-Aufenthalt.

German-American Partnership Program (GAPP)

Since its founding in 1972, the German American Partnership Program has developed into the most successful exchange program between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program

Since 1927, students and host families all over the world have had their horizons broadened and their lives enriched by the generosity of Rotary's Youth Exchange program. Administered by Rotary clubs, districts and multidistrict groups, the program today involves more than 82 countries and over 8,000 students each year.

World Heritage Student Exchange

World Heritage High School Student Exchange Program is an international organization dedicated to education through student exchange.

Helpful Websites

Ausgetauscht ist ein Schüleraustauschportal mit Informationen und Kontakten für Austauschstudenten.

High School Exchange web portal with helpful resources for young people.

Lists of Universities and Colleges in the USA

The following websites offer lists and rankings of colleges and universities in the US. Articles and detailed information about different academic programs, as well as application processes are also available.




Princeton Review


US News & World Report


Web US Higher Education (University of Texas at Austin)


Campus Mondi


American Universities Admission Program



English Language Schools and Training Courses in the USA

There are many different opportunities to study the English language in the US. The following companies offer English classes and training for both adults and children.



StudyLingua offers language-learning holidays as well as language courses in different US states.



Berlitz offers interpretation and translation services, as well as language courses and business training.


EF International


ELS Language Centers


Kolumbus Sprachreisen

Kolumbus Sprachreisen offers educational opportunities in 10 German States.





// Study in the United States

There are numerous opportunities available to study abroad or participate in an internship in the US. The DAAD offers study abroad programs, internships, and teaching and language courses.

American Summer Camp

AIFS welcomes young people to participate in a traditional American summer camp. Members receive a 5 % discount. Please click here.

Points of Contact USA

"Points of Contact USA" is a database that includes important contacts in the US and serves as a platform to improve transatlantic networking.


The contacts included in "Points of Contact USA" can

  • improve your networking capabilities
  • assist you in expanding your business to the US
  • help provide you with information concerning various US regions
  • offer you consultation services
  • can provide you with legal services
  • offer support in many ways


To access "Points of Contact USA," please log on with your user name and member password and continue to read below.