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Doing Business in Germany

AmCham Germany provides research and support for business development in Germany. Here you will find detailed information about our business research services, as well as information about doing business in Germany. General information and guidelines to forming a company in Germany, information about business regulations, and roadmaps on various forms of enterprises are also available.

In addition, we offer our members access to an excellent global network and use the expertise of our members.

Starting a Business

Here are some useful links to help inform you about the process of setting up a business in Germany.

Legal updates for foreign investors - provided by Haver & Mailänder 

Attractive Opportunities for Distress Investors

How to Avoid Risk Deriving from Standard Contract Language

Use of Incoterms Clause "DDP" may establish international jurisdiction

Germany: Invalidity of Insolvency-Related Termination Clauses in Long-Term Contracts

Germany: Unanimous Shareholder Resolution Required for Due Dilligence Review by Competitor

Germany: Court Defines Standard of Dilligence for Corporate Purchaser

Germany: Don't Put Your Warranty Claims at Risk!

Investment Agencies

The first stop in any inquiry is the federal government. Here you will find information regarding German law and legislation, including policy statements, background information, news and publications.

Die Bundesregierung (Federal Government)

This Website of the federal agency Invest in Germany GmbH offers services and assistance to you and your business needs and guides you through a broad range of features of the business location Germany.

Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI)

Company Search

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


Credit Reporting, Debt Collection, Data Base, Marketing Addresses, Economic Research, Rating, Factoring. For information on companies, please click here.


The iXPOS Export Community is an international platform where companies search for business partners worldwide and post their business inquiries:

Europages - The European Business Directory

Europages is an online directory of over 500,000 European companies in 21 business sectors.

Firmen Finder

Online databank of German businesses and contact information.

Gelbeseiten Business Deutschland

GelbeSeiten Business Deutschland is the national directory of the GelbeSeiten (Yellow Pages). In GelbeSeiten Business Deutschland you will find more than 130,000 regional companies from industry, wholesale and the service trade listed according to more than 30,000 trade and product headings.

German Export Directory

This online directory offers sources of supply and company profiles of the German export industry.


These pages list the commercial registers and the Registers of Associations, of Cooperatives and of Partnerships of the federal states.

Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK)

(Industry and Chamber of Commerce)
Address Research Center: +49 69 2197 1280


LexisNexis® provides authoritative legal, news, public records and business information; including tax and regulatory publications.

Das Telefonbuch (Telephone book)

Das Telefonbuch is the official online directory of the German Telekom AG with over 35 million entries.

Regional Economic Development Agencies

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


Baden-Württemberg International (BWI) - Gesellschaft für internationale wirtschaftliche und wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit  mbH

Willi-Bleicher-Str. 19
70174 Stuttgart
T +49 711 22787-0
F +49 711 22787-22


Berlin Partner GmbH Wirtschaftsförderung

Ludwig Erhard Haus
Fasanenstr. 85
10623 Berlin
T +49 30 39980-0
F +49 30 39980-239


Bremer Investitions-Gesellschaft mbH

Bremen Business International
Kontorhaus am Markt
Langenstr. 2-4
28195 Bremen
T +49 421 9600-10
F +49 421 9600-810


FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH

International Marketing of the Region
Unterschweinstiege 8
60549 Frankfurt/M
T +49 69 686038-0
F +49 69 686038-11


Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V.

Pickhuben 6
20457 Hamburg
T +49 40 37709-0
F +49 40 37709-109


HA Hessen Agentur GmbH

Location Advisory Services-Foreign Trade
Konradinerallee 9
65189 Wiesbaden
T +49 611 950 17-80

HWF Hamburgische Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung mbH

Habichtstraße 41
22305 Hamburg
T +49 40 227019-0
F +49 40 227019-29


Invest in Bavaria

Prinzregentenstr. 28
80538 München
T +49 89 2162-2642
F +49 89 2162-2803


Invest in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH

Schlossgartenallee 15
19061 Schwerin
T +49 385 59225-0
F +49 385 59225-22


Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH

Am Alten Theater 6
39104 Magdeburg
T +49 391 56899-0
F +49 391 56899-50


Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz (ISB) GmbH

Holzhofstr. 4
55116 Mainz
T +49 6131 985-0
F +49 6131 985-299


Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr

Friedrichswall 1
30159 Hannover
T +49 511 120-0

KGE Kommunalgrund GmbH Entwicklungsträger der Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg

Rogätzer Str. 8
39106 Magdeburg
T +49 391 53290-0
F +49 391 53290-55


Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft Thüringen mbH (LEG)

Mainzerhofstr. 12
99084 Erfurt
T +49 361 5603-450
F +49 361 5603-328


Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf Wirtschaftsförderungsamt

Mühlenstr. 29
40200 Düsseldorf
T +49 211 8995500
F +49 211 8929062


Landeshauptstadt Hannover

Trammplatz 2
30159 Hannover
T +49 511 168-0
F +49 511 168-41245



Economic Development Agency of the Federal State of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW)
Völklingerstr. 4
40219 Düsseldorf
T +49 211 13000-0
F +49 211 13000-154


Rostock Business and Technology Development GmbH

Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Technologieförderung Rostock GmbH
Schwerinerstr. 10-11
18069 Rostock
T +49 381 377-1910
F +49 381 377-1919


Wirtschaftsförderung Bergstraße GmbH

Wilhelmstr. 51
64646 Heppenheim
a.d. Bergstraße
T +49 6251 18-199
F +49 6251 18-299


Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen GmbH (Saxony Economic Development Corporation)

Bertolt-Brecht-Allee 22
01309 Dresden
T +49 351 21380
F +49 351 2138399


Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation

Friedrichstr. 10
70174 Stuttgart
T +49 711 228350
F +49 711 2283555


Wirtschaftsförderung Region Frankfurt RheinMain

Unterschweinstiege 8
60549 Frankfurt/M
T +49 69 686038-0
F +49 69 686038-11


Wirtschaftsförderung und Technologietransfer Schleswig-Holstein GmbH

Lorentzendamm 24
24103 Kiel
T +49 431 66666-0
F +49 431 66666-767


Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt GmbH

Frankfurt Economic Development GmbH
Hanauer Landstr. 182 d
60314 Frankfurt/M
T +49 69 21236209
F +49 69 21298


Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH (WFBB)

Steinstr. 104-106
14480 Potsdam
T +49 331 660-3000
F +49 331 660-3840

AmCham Germany Info on Export Control

AmCham Germany member MELCHERS law firm provides a briefing on corporate export regulation. Please click on the following documents for information and advice on export and import rules, especially regarding corporate control mechanisms, regulations and provisions:

Exportkontrollrechtliche Genehmigungspflichten/ Verbote

Unternehmensinterne Organisation eines Exportkontrollsystems (German)

Unternehmensinterne Organisation eines Exportkontrollsystems (English)

The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA)

The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (das Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle, BAFA) is a superior federal authority subordinated to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). It is entrusted with important administrative tasks of the federal government in the following sectors: Foreign Trade, Promotion of Economic Development, and Energy. A central task of BAFA in the foreign trade sector is export control. Visit the BAFA site here.

German Export Database

This online directory offers sources of supply and company profiles of the German export industry. Visit the website here.

German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology offers a portal with information on import regulations. Please visit their site here.

Trade Compliance Center

The Trade Compliance Center (TCC), part of the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, is the US Government's focal point for monitoring foreign compliance with trade agreements. The TCC attempts to oversee that US firms and workers get the maximum benefit from these trade agreements. For more please visit their website here.

United States Commercial Service (USCS)

The US Commercial Service in Germany, located at the US embassy in Berlin and the five consulates, assists the promotion of US goods and services in Germany and the EU. Commercial Service Trade Specialists help identify trade opportunities, find local partners and develop market research through a variety of standardized and customized programs. For more information click here.

US Chamber of Commerce - TradeRoots

The US Chamber of Commerce offers tips and information on exporting or expanding into new markets including Germany. Their TradeRoots program promotes free enterprise at a grassroots level. Visit the TradeRoots site here.

Federal Customs Administration

The Federal Customs Administration, Zollamt - Bundesministerium für Finanzen, provides important information about customs in Europe. Please visit their Web site here.

Real Estate Overview

Here investors will find helpful investment market overviews in major cities in Germany.

Investment Market Overview Berlin
Investment Market Overview Frankfurt
Investment Market Overview Hamburg
Investment Market Overview Munich
Investment Market Overview Düsseldorf

Tax and VAT

Important Tax Information for all Businesses in Germany:

Section 5b EStG (German Income Tax Law) regulates for all companies in Germany that the tax balance sheet is to be submitted electronically to the fiscal authorities. Read more

This update has been provided by Mr. Klaus Heininger, Partner at

FALK GmbH & Co. KG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

Darmstädter Landstr. 108
60598 Frankfurt/M

T +49 69 962204-0


The Taxes in Europe Database, the European Commission's on-line information tool covering the main taxes in force in EU Member States, contains information on around 600 taxes, as provided to the European Commission by national authorities. Access the database here.


The German Federal Finance Office's service that helps you confirm the validity of foreign sales tax numbers (USt-IdNr.). Proof sales tax numbers here.


The German Federal Finance Office has established a central point of contact for foreign investors, providing information and support with tax-related issues. For more information visit their website here.


The German Federal Ministry of Finance provides helpful information regarding tax-free shopping for visitors in Germany. Please click here for more information.


The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology offers a portal to help businesses in the area of tax and duty. You can access their website here.

Market/Economic Information - Germany

Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V.
(Federation of German Industry)
Bundesministerium der Finanzen
(Federal Ministry of Finance)
Bundesverband deutscher Banken
(Federation of German Banks)
(CESifo Group)
Deutsche Bundesbank
(Central Bank of Germany)
Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag
(German Industrie and Chamber of Commerce)
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsförderung
(German Institute for Economic Research)
German Business Portal
(From the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology)
Nationale und Internationale Wirtschaftsstatistiken
(National and international economic statistics)
Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland
(Federal Statistical Office Germany)

Market/Economic Information - Europe

EUROSTAT- Statistisches Amt der Europäischen Union
(EUROSTAT- Statistical Office of the European Union)
Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsförderung
(Center for European Economic Research)

Market/Economic Information - Europe and World

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

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. 


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

Official Websites of German Trade Fairs

Internships and Study Opportunities in Germany

There are numerous opportunities available to study abroad or participate in an internship in Germany. Scroll down for useful links regarding high school programs, American and international schools & colleges in Germany, German universities and MBA programs as well as language schools and business training opportunities.

The following organizations offer various programs and information about the many different opportunities to travel abroad:

US-German Internship Program

The program offers American students the opportunity to appreciate and become acquainted with German culture through daily interaction with their host companies. The new platform provides the students with ample opportunity to gain insight into the German economy, improve their already existent German language skills and enjoy cross-cultural challenges.

The US-German Internship Program is currently open for students enrolled in one of the following universities: 

Columbus State University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, North Georgia College & State University, Piedmont College, UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Georgia, Wake Forest University, Washington and Lee University


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.

Cultural Vistas

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. They develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. The programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.


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.


DAAD Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

DAAD introduces RISE Professional, an exchange program providing young North-American researchers and students with the opportunity for a qualified internship at German companies. Please click here for more information on RISE.


European Youth Portal

The European Youth Portal offers European and national information of interest to young people who are living, learning and working in Europe. The portal gives information on 8 main themes, covers 31 countries and is available in 25 languages.


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. 


Internationales Parlaments-Stipendium (IPS)

This is a program organized by the German Bundestag in cooperation with Berlin's universities. Each year, the German Bundestag, in cooperation with Berlin's universities, offers approximately 100 young people from different countries - currently 27 - a unique opportunity to complete an internship lasting several months in the office of a Member of the German Bundestag, and thus to familiarize themselves with decision-making processes in German politics and gain practical experience in the field of parliamentary work. 


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. is an online intern-exchange website and job board for students, graduates, and young professionals. The website provides offers from a range of industrial sectors.


Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program

The program provides young American professionals (23-34) with executive level internships in the federal government and private sectors in Germany.


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 Commercial Service

The US Commercial Service assists US companies entering the German market and helps German firms in their efforts to profit from their alliances with American companies either by representing American manufactures, utilizing American products, or through joint venture arrangements.

Internship opportunities are offered throughout the year in the US Embassy in Berlin and the US Consulates General in Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich.

US Embassy

The US Mission has established new in-depth access to Internet-based resources. Bilingual information materials in English and German on subjects ranging from selecting an academic or exchange program, to application procedures are also available. 



"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)

High School Programs

Ausgetauscht ist ein Schüleraustauschportal mit Informationen und Kontakten für Austauschstudenten.


Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program has been helping prepare ambitious young people like you for a global future since 1983. This unique program provides 250 full scholarships for American high school students to live with a host family and attend school in Germany for a year.


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.


Rotary Club's International 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.



American Schools and Colleges in Germany

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

DoDEA's mission is to plan, direct, coordinate, and manage the education programs for eligible dependents of US military personnel and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense stationed overseas.


Touro College Berlin

A branch of Touro College New York, offering a US-accredited, full-time A.S. & B.S. in Business, Management and Administration with an elective minor in Jewish and American Studies, plus an M.A. in Holocaust and Tolerance Studies. Admission in Spring and Fall Semesters.


Troy University

Troy University is an award-winning American university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.

International Schools in Germany
















Lists of Universities in Germany

For further information about requirements and application procedures for a specific university in Germany, please contact the university directly. Each university has its own requirements for foreign students and they are often outlined in multiple languages. The following links provide lists of universities within Germany and the necessary contact information and/or web address:


German Universities and Other Useful Links

Universitäten in Deutschland


German Academic Exchange Service

Offers useful information, as well as scholarship possibilities - links to university websites and profiles.



The Goethe-Institut is the largest organization of German culture and offers everything from language courses and research services to film festivals and various other programs focusing on arts and society in Germany.



MBA Programs in Germany

For detailed information about MBA programs in Germany, as well as contact information and various rankings, please visit the following Web sites:


The B-School Net

Offers information about business education, school rankings and career opportunities in Germany and in the US.



Careerdynamo offers contact information for Business schools in Germany, as well as in the US, offering MBA programs. The also offer various MBA rankings and application information.


MBA Association of Germany

MBA provides information about international MBA programs, lists and rankings, as well as networking opportunities for both MBA students and graduates.



This site offers information about MBA programs, MBA rankings, MBA providers, and more. is an MBA-information web portal. Several thematic blocks are dealing with the different specific MBA-topics like GMAT, TOEFL, MBA application and the MBA study process.

Online Bachelor Program

This website contains comprehensive resources from around the web to provide a comprehensive look at bachelor degree programs (traditional and online) today.

Language Schools and Training Courses in Germany

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


Goethe-Institut offers language courses, internationally recognized language proficiency and qualification exams, and various cultural programs. 


Jobline LMU offers an English-language job application training program for students and graduates. 

US English and American Business Consulting

US English and American Business Consulting develops investment relations through business networking, cultural awareness and language support. The office is located in Cottbus, Germany.

With these links you can access the pages of various ministries, commissions and organizations within Germany and the European Union.

German Government Links

For a complete listing of Ministries of the Federal Government, please click here.

European Union Links

Financial and Monetary Institutions:

Embassies and Consulates