Business in Germany – Expat’s Guide

Updated on
September 11, 2022
Table of contents

Germany is one of the best business destinations in the world. Thousands of expats relocate to the country every year looking to expand and grow their careers. Having the largest economy in Europe and an excellent standard of living, Germany grants expats access to ample business opportunities. Welcome Center Germany provides a guide to ease the process of doing business in Germany.

First things first, before you start doing business in Germany, you have to ensure that you sort out the necessary legal paperwork and licences. In this article we will discuss the process of getting an employment visa and starting your own business.

Getting A Visa For Germany

Employment Visa

Thanks to the EU Blue Card system, if you are qualified and have the necessary skills, working in Germany should is relatively easy. In order to receive your Blue Card, you have to firstly provide evidence that proves your qualifications and a job offer that provides an annual salary of 49,600 Euro. For the following professions in mathematics, engineering, natural sciences and IT, the minimum salary requirement is 38,688 Euro per annum.

When it comes to third-country nationals, employment visas are also permittable, as long as they have the necessary qualifications or are graduates in the process of finishing an in-company training course.

Job Seeker Visa

This is given for graduates with a degree from outside of Germany.  The degree, however, has to be equivalent to a German degree. With this visa, expats have the ability to stay in Germany for a maximum of six months in order to search for a job. In addition to your qualifications, you would also have to be able to financially support yourself, in order to be able to apply for such visa.

Keep in mind that whilst you are under this visa, you are not permitted to work or be self-employed.

Starting a Business

In order to start your business in Germany, you have to firstly check whether you need a permit or licence. In addition to this, for some instances, in Germany, you might be required to also take a competency test to see if you have the necessary skills.

As an additional requirement, you will have to become a member of the chamber of industry and commerce or the chamber of crafts in Germany. In order to become a member, you have to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Worked as a company director


  • 6 years job experience as self-employed


  • German Master craftsman certificate.

You should also register your company with the trade office in Germany according to where you want your business located. The following are needed:

  • ID or Passport
  • A fee of 10-40Euro
  • Craft or trade card
  • Permit of authorization

You also need to inform the tax office in your locality regarding the profits by issuing a statement of assets and liabilities and a profit/loss statement.Last but not least,  your business has to have a general positive effect on the economy in Germany.

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