CUSTOMER STORY

Expatrio: Slaying Germany’s bureaucracy dragon.

firma.de offers a single solution for company formation that helps founders avoid unexpected detours that burn through their most precious resource: time.

Expatrio: Slaying Germany’s bureaucracy dragon.
Key results:
  • Expatrio leveraged firma.de’s networks and knowledge of the business landscape to avoid incorporation pitfalls.
  • firma.de bureaucratic support helped Expatrio start operating in the shortest time possible.
  • Outsourcing company formation to firma.de freed up its founders to pursue multiple ventures in tandem with the core business.
Services used with firma.de:


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The business

Expatrio was started to upgrade an archaic immigration system

Expatrio’s genesis was a business model that only served students. It’s founder, Alexander Ruthemeier, saw a business opportunity to digitise the application for German insurance abroad and make it 10-fold more efficient. Before Expatrio came into existence, the process was a complicated mess of faxes, scans and emails.

Expatrio got its big break when it joined forces with the German health insurance giant Techniker Krankenkasse as an innovation partner and jointly develop a digital insurance application. This experience revealed to Alexander just how difficult it is to deal with bureaucracy in Germany – be it social security, visas or beyond.

Slaying the German visa bureaucratic dragon

Helping his foreign colleagues battle Germany’s bureaucracy, quickly evolved into organised information seminars where participants would often bring along their health insurance applications hoping someone could help them make sense of it.

Getting the right insurance is the most important pillar of the German immigration process – but it is also the most baffling. The founders of Expatrio saw a big opportunity for a single solution for expats that not only got them all the insurances they needed but also set up the ‘blocked bank account’ – another key bureaucratic requirement to get a German visa. In other words, a one-stop-shop for those navigating the German immigration process.

The obstacle

Slaying their own bureaucratic dragon

By August 2017, Expatrio’s founders were ready to execute their business idea but were quickly faced with their own bureaucratic woes. Like their target expat customers, they too were baffled when it came to the complicated bureaucratic process of opening a business in Germany.

This is where firma.de came into the picture – a service that paralleled Expatrio’s own. firma.de provides a single solution for all the administrative steps in the company formation process.

A combination of checklists and personal advice from someone that can connect all the dots, as well as technical solutions via a vast network of banks, notaries and tax advisers were invaluable to Expatrio.

Expatrio wasn’t Alexander’s first company formation rodeo

As a seasoned entrepreneur, starting Expatrio wasn’t his first company formation. One of the biggest pitfalls he can attest to is the crucial interaction between notaries and banks.

The incorporation process begins with the notary appointment but this only grants the company an ‘in formation’ (‘in Gründung’) status. The company is then in limbo until the share capital (Stammkapital) is deposited into a special business bank account which then triggers the final stage of the incorporation process.

However, the process can come to grinding halt if you can’t get a business account opening appointment at a bank in a timely fashion or the online banks that offer supposed ‘instant’ bank accounts are at capacity. This means that you are not able to deposit the share capital until several weeks later and only then can the notary submit the application for the company to be entered into the commercial register which, if successful, gets you over the incorporation finish line.

This can be a real drag because unless your company’s entry into the commercial register has been published you cannot apply for other necessary certifications and registrations, such as to operate in the financial services sector or, most importantly, at the tax office.

The way

Planning is everything when it comes to company formation

Having all your ducks in a row is the only way to avoid making a mess of company formation in Germany. This is what firma.de offers for German and non-German founders alike – a single solution that connects all the dots to avoid unexpected detours (eg how not to get stuck at the business bank account opening stage) that burn through an entrepreneur’s most precious resource: time. In other words, the fastest way to form a company in Germany.

firma.de has been proud to slay Germany’s business bureaucracy dragon for Expatrio so they can slay Germany’s immigration bureaucracy dragon. The dynamic startup is making a positive impact on Germany by making it easier for international talent to come to work and live in Germany and in turn future-proof the nation.

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