Process, costs and services at a glance -

Kickstart your enterprise with

Focus on growing your business right from the start.

  • Get up and running as quickly as possible
  • Form your company without having to navigate German bureaucracy
  • Receive ongoing support from a dedicated consultant
Compare packages
Our customers Uber askCharlie caroobi movinga

Our packages: Tailored solutions for your formation

* Net price

Our packages: Tailored solutions at fair prices

UG All-InGmbH All-InHolding All-In
Services of
Letterhead, imprint and invoice templates
User friendly opening balance sheet template
Employment contract template (part-time)
Employment contract template (full-time)
Temporary personnel contract template
Internship contract template
Loan contract template
Freelancer contract template
Articles of association template
Managing director contract template
Letterhead, imprint and invoice templates
Timely preparation of your Trade registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)
Coordination of all necessary legal formalities
Timely preparation of your tax office questionnaire (Finanzamtfragebogen) for the application of your VAT ID (USt.-ID)
Coordination of name check with IHK/HWK
Scheduling of notary appointment in your city of choice*
An expert consultant to guide you through the process
Referral to a qualified tax adviser in your area
Checklist for incorporation
Preparation of the commercial register (Handelsregister) application form*
Completion of the trade registration form (Gewerbeanmeldung)
Services of the tax consultant
Services provided by Werthing Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH**
Initial consultation via telephone (30 mins/€69 net)
Other services
Free 30-day trial of meineSCHUFA premiumOPTIONAL
Obligation-free insurance check by AXA
Obligation-free business address offer by REGUS
Digital handbook for founders: Firma gründen (currently only available in German)
338€ excluding tax378€ excluding tax747€ excluding tax

* The notary fees and the costs for entry in the commercial register (Handelsregister) are not included in the price and will be charged separately.
** Firmenbaukasten AG does not provide legal advice itself but works exclusively with lawyers and independent tax advisers who specialise in the field of limited liability entrepreneurial companies. The 30-minute attorney consultation is carried out by Werthing Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Günthersburgallee 37a, 60316 Frankfurt am Main. Please make an appointment: +49 611 17207-0 or by e-mail at complete comprehensive

Automate your formation with us

  • benefit-coffee

    No personal liability

    UG shareholders are not personally liable and therefore do not have to guarantee the company's debts with their private assets (e.g. house, car, bank accounts) even in the event of insolvency.

  • benefit-speed

    Enhanced credibility

    Forming an GmbH can help establish credibility with potential customers, employees, vendors and partners because of the perceived status of the company type.

  • benefit-star

    Reduced tax liability

    By using a Holding structure, you can realise substantial tax savings. 95% of capital gains from the sale of shares or interests in subsidiaries are exempt from corporate tax. Only the remaining 5% are taxed at the regular tax rate.

Set up your business with in eight easy steps

  1. You authorise to set up your company.
  2. You receive expert advice from our consultants.
  3. We arrange your company name check with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK).
  4. We coordinate your notary appointment in your city of choice.
  5. We arrange the opening of your company bank account.
  6. We handle your company's entry into the commercial register (Handelsregister), while also preparing your trade registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) and tax office questionnaire (Finanzamtfragebogen).
  7. We refer you to one of our tax adviser partners for an opening balance sheet (Eröffnungsbilanz) consultation.
  8. You start doing business!
Start now

Customers share their experiences of

Frequently asked questions about formations

​How do UGs build up their capital reserves?‬

UGs are legally obligated to reserve of at least 25% of its annual net income each year. ‪Once its share capital reaches € 25,000, the obligation is lifted, and the company can readily be transformed into a GmbH.‬‬

​Is it possible to speed up the incorporation process?

You can significantly accelerate the incorporation process by using a model protocol (Musterprotokoll) if these following conditions are met:

  1. Your GmbH has three shareholders or less.
  2. Your GmbH has one managing director.
  3. You do not have any special requirements for the articles of association.
​What is a Mini-GmbH?

The 'Mini-GmbH' is the corporate legal form Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt) — commonly known as the UG.

The UG is a limited liability structure that caters to the needs of startups that have restricted starting capital (the minimum share capital is only €1.00 per shareholder) but still want to benefit from limited liability.

The UG is not a corporate form of its own, as frequently assumed, but is a variation of the regular GmbH, which was created by the legislation to Modernise the Law on Limited Liability Companies and to Combat Abuse (Modernisierung des GmbH-Rechts und zurBekämpfung von Missbräuchen [MoMiG]) in 2008. And, why the name Mini-GmbH comes from

Since its introduction, the UG enjoys enormous popularity among founders with more than 200,000 formations already — a number that is steadily growing.

​What does limited liability mean?

As opposed to partnerships or sole proprietorships, the GmbH generally is only liable for damages with its assets. The personal assets of its shareholders are off limits. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which we explore below.

If the assets of the GmbH amount to less than € 25,000 before its entry into the commercial register (Handelsregister), the company as a legal entity can claim the missing share capital from all its shareholders. In this case, the GmbH's creditors have the right to full payment from the shareholders’ private assets. Failure to meet the minimum share capital requirement may jeopardise the limited liability of the company.

If a GmbH has lost its assets because of illegal actions by its shareholders, an extraordinary form of liability applies - liability for the destruction of economic basis. In this event, an insolvency administrator can make claims on the shareholders' private assets. If the shareholders do not fulfil their legal obligation to act in the best interests of the GmbH, they no longer have limited liability.

​​What are the rules for choosing a company name?

Your GmbH needs to have an official corporate name. You can choose a name inspired by your name, the sector, your corporate purpose (or business branch) or make something up. In every case the name suffix “GmbH” is mandatory, so your chosen corporate form is transparent to the public.

The four options are explored in greater detail below:

Name your company after a person‬‬‬

It is common to use the names of one or more co-founders as a company name, e.g., "Franklin Smith GmbH."

Create a fantasy name for your company

You may invent a word to serve as your company name, e.g., "Bribotax GmbH" or "Rompostomp GmbH".‬

Describe what your company does‬

Use a description of the purpose or the activity of your company, e.g. "Steve Baker's Online Children's Book GmbH" if you are selling children's books online.‬

Use a combination of the above options

You can combine two or more options, e.g., "Rompostomp – Frank Smith’s Online Book Store GmbH" or "Bribotax – Jill Reagan‘s Party Service GmbH".

Before you incorporate a UG, you should choose your company name carefully. Something to consider is the fact that many founders use fantasy terms that are not only unique - and thereby avoid copyright issues - but also pronounceable in as many languages as possible.

Most importantly, it's crucial that your company name only has positive connotations. Always consider your future customers before you make a final decision.

​What if you don’t have the required € 25,000 to found a GmbH?

If you are unable to raise the minimum capital requirement of € 25,000 to form a GmbH, your best alternative is the UG (haftungsbeschränkt) - colloquially known as the mini GmbH or 1-Euro GmbH.

The UG is a special variation of the corporate form GmbH and caters to the needs of startups with limited starting capital that still want to benefit from limited liability.

The minimum capital requirement is only € 1 per shareholder.

Is the GmbH the right corporate form for my business venture?

A limited liability company, such as the GmbH, is your perfect match if you want to protect your personal assets and are able to raise the necessary capital share of € 25,000.

This corporate form also offers other advantages such as tax benefits and the public image of a fully-fledged company.

Hybrid corporate forms such as GmbH & Co. KG or the non-profit variation gGmbH are also limited liability options.

How can you turn a holding into a tax saving scheme?

The Holding offers many tax benefits. For instance, if you transfer a subsidiary's profits to the Holding, 95% are tax-exempt — provided that the Holding holds a high enough share of the subsidiary (§ 9 Abs. 2a GewStG). The tax savings can then either be re-invested or paid out.

Tax benefits of the Holding also apply in the sale of subsidiaries. Such transactions only attract a 1.5 % sales tax.

Is it possible to set up a Holding by using an existing company?

Yes, it is possible to convert an existing company into a subsidiary of a Holding. However, if you want to sell the company and benefit from the tax advantage that Holding structures afford, you are going to have to wait seven years to do so.

If you sell the subsidiary before seven years have passed, the tax advantage is prorated. For example, if you sell a subsidiary after four years, the tax advantage applies to four-sevenths (57 %) of the selling price.

For total tax savings, the existing company must be intergrated as a subsidiary in the Holding formation process.

Is the Holding liable for its subsidiaries?

Liability of a Holding structure's subsidiaries does not extend to the parent company. Thus, transferring profits from the subsidiaries to the parent company protects them from liability claims.

For non-Holding companies, the profits remain as company assets. In the case a liability claim, assets have no protection.

What are the pros and cons of a holding structure with split operations?

The most important benefit is the liability limitation. Usually, all company assets are liable for damage claims. Within a holding structure, only the individual subsidiaries have unlimited liability.

If the respective subsidiaries are limited liability companies (GmbH or UG), the shareholders are not personally liable.

What types of Holdings exist?

Operational Holding

Large-scale businesses typically use this kind of Holding. The Holding company itself is also an operating company, while the subsidiaries are branches. Within this structure, the parent company’s maintains tight control over its subsidiaries.

Management Holding

Within a Management Holding, the parent company issues directives to its subsidiaries about business strategy, capital flow management, and recruitment for management positions. Management Holdings often choose countries with attractive tax regulations to base their operations.

Finance Holding

Finance Holdings focus only on investment management rather than business oversight. In some cases, the parent company sets financial targets for its subsidiaries and functions as a corporate bank by providing capital.

Organisational or Structural Holding

This kind of corporation uses the Holding legal form as an organisational structure. Each subsidiary is a different department of the parent company.

Holding as a shareholder

Within this structure, the Holding acts as a regular shareholder, leaving the subsidiaries to manage their respective business operations autonomously.

This structure gives shareholders the tax benefits of a Holding without creating additional costs or increasing administrative burden.

​How much capital must be provided when founding the UG (haftungsbeschränkt)?‬

The paid-in share capital of the UG (haftungsbeschränkt) must be between €1.00 (per shareholder) and € 24,999. The shareholders must pay the share capital after the incorporation but before the registration in the commercial register (Handelsregister).

The total share capital is the sum of the nominal shares held by each shareholder. The articles of association should explicitly articulate these amounts. The shareholders must pay the full amount in cash.

Although the minimum required share capital for a UG is only € 1.00, the upper limit is € 24,999. In practice, this figure is usually between € 1.00 and € 1,000.

‪For an accurate determination of your UG share capital, you should seek professional advice as the amount significantly influences your company's credit status and thus your liability as a shareholder.

Is UG the suitable corporate form for my business?

The UG makes starting a limited liability company with low starting capital possible.

As with any limited liability company, UG shareholders' liability is limited to company assets. Claims cannot extend to the private assets of shareholders.

The UG has the lowest financial risk and the least bureaucratic hassle relative to other limited liability companies.