Business Immigration

In Germany, entrepreneurs find a large market with wealthy customers, eager to try out new products and services. This, along with superb infrastructure and a great number of other reasons, is what pushes many start-ups and branches of existing businesses to Germany.

Investing in Germany or developing a new business venture for the German market is a huge business opportunity. Political stability and a sound legal system are other building blocks for high confidence in starting a business in Germany, working self-employed, or extending your existing business into Germany.

Under § 21 of the Residence Act (AufenthG) non-EU nationals can obtain a residence permit for self-employed activities in Germany. This also applies to freelancers, partners in a partnership, legal representatives (e.g. managing directors) of legal entities (e.g. GmbH, Aktiengesellschaft) if they share in the entrepreneurial risk of the company. There is no minimum investment amount.

Conditions for business immigration

The key to obtaining a German residence permit as a self-employed person is showing that the business will have positive effects on the German economy, i.e. that there is an economic interest in and / or a regional need for the business and that financing has been secured. Entrepreneurs have to address that their business will increase the market potential as well as sales opportunities of other German enterprises and that it will create a positive impact on the economy. If the applicant is above 45 years, he will be required to prove adequate pension provisions have been taken.

Minimum investment sums or a certain number of jobs do not have to be proven. What is decisive, however, is a good business idea and a concept that proves to be viable and financially viable when the market situation is analyzed. A good qualification of the entrepreneur, positive effects on the labour market, and contributions to innovation and research are beneficial.

We offer professional support from the residential permit to the establishment of your business. We look forward to you reaching out to us!

Communication with authorities

The Foreigners Authority involves the local economic authorities such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the Ministry of Economics, in assessing the business plan. Based on the documents submitted, these authorities draw up an expert opinion as to whether there is an economic interest in setting up such an enterprise. This examination procedure is often lengthy. It is advisable to prepare a business and financial plan thoroughly.

The residence permit will be issued for a maximum of three years, after which a settlement permit can be issued if the self-employment has proven successful and the livelihood of all your legal dependents is assured.

There are 7 steps to obtain a residence permit based on your business:

  1. Business idea
  2. Drafting a business plan
  3. Discussing the business plan with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  4. Application for visa according to § 21 of the Residence Act (AufenthG)
  5. Entry to Germany and registration with the local registration office
  6. Incorporating a company (e.g. foundation of a GmbH)
  7. Applying for a residence permit by submitting of all document


Our Services

Our team of highly skilled lawyers, specialized in comprehensively supporting entrepreneurs, offers an all-around package of legal services under one roof.

Among others, we offer the following legal services:

  • Visa application at the German embassy – we are going to fill out the forms and documents together with you
  • Business plan review – our vast experience allows us to counsel you efficiently regarding the requirements of the business plan, together we will determine if your planned business activity is suitable for obtaining the visa
  • Company formation – we will assist you in finding the right company structure and help you to start your business legally watertight
  • Due diligence – in case you want to invest into an already existing company we will help you in negotiating the terms and conditions. If necessary we will provide legal due diligence of the targeted company
  • Employment contracts – Our specialized department for labour law will support you in drawing up employment contracts and can advise you through all matters regarding labour law
  • Application for a residence permit – we will apply for a residence permit at the responsible immigration authorities for you right after you have obtained your visa
  • Application for settlement permit – after you have raised and operated your business successfully for three years we will apply for a settlement permit on your request
  • Family reunion – after you have obtained your residence permit we will help your family to join you in Germany as well

Timeline for our services

  • Drafting/Amending the Business Plan
  • about 6 weeks
  • Discussing the Business Plan
  • about 2-3 weeks
  • Application for VISA/§21 Residence Act (AufentG)
  • about 4 weeks
  • Company
    Formation
  • 4 weeks
  • Application Residence Permit
  • about 4-6 weeks

Please provide us with following documents for the application:

  • Copy of your passport
  • A biometric picture
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • A detailed and structured description of your business idea
  • Copy of your university degrees or similar proofs of education
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bank statement of the past 3 month

Contact Us

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Valerie Tiet

Lawyer and head of the Immigration Law Department

Do you want to start a company or begin working in Germany, or is your family already here and you would like to join them? Are you interested in studying at one of the many universities?

We offer legal consultation for the countless opportunities to live and work in Germany. In the process we’ll focus on the legal demands but will support you in practical matters like the move itself.

We at GHENDLER RUVINSKIJ Attorneys at Law are experts in the areas of immigration law and the rights of immigrants as well as labor, contract, corporate, tax and commercial law. With this much experience we can answer any question concerning immigration, which would be especially interesting for business founders or self-employed people.

From preparing the visa application to the issuance of the residence permit, we are glad to be your contact and competent companion throughout. We’ll offer you plenty of support while you establish your business or build a new life in Germany.

We look forward to you reaching out to us!