Buying a Business in Germany

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Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte PartG is an international law firm who are active all over Germany. Whether you are looking for legal advice on a specific issue regarding buying a company in Germany or for a successful partnership build on ongoing support, our law firm can provide you with what you need. As a full-service firm we offer comprehensive legal advice from one source. Get to know us, our services and covered industries today.


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Strategic Legal Support when Buying a Business in Germany

Accessing the lucrative German market can prove very beneficial and buying a German Business can be a time-saving means of achieving that. Compared to establishing a company from scratch, buying an existing business or a buying a shelf company can often be a more straightforward process. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our corporate lawyers are here to oversee the purchase of the German company. Our team will ensure that the legal requirements are fulfilled, allowing you to focus on your plans for the German and European markets.

If you would like to contact our lawyers directly, we can be reached by phone, by email or by the contact form below the article. Our corporate lawyers look forward to working with you.

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Buy an existing Business in Germany
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Our Services when buying a Business in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we provide an extensive range of corporate law services when purchasing a company in Germany. As a full-service legal firm, we advise our clients on the broad spectrum of German legal issues and provide ongoing support in the German market. Here are some of the services we offer when purchasing a company:

  • Legal and tax due diligence: We ensure that your purchase is safely carried out and that the company purchased is a secure investment.
  • Drafting of documents and opening contact point: We will contact the intended company on your behalf and draft the legal documents required for the takeover / M&A procedure.
  • Oversee the company’s purchase: Our lawyers will ensure that the purchase of the German company is as smooth as possible.
  • Corporate restructuring post-purchase: We can provide the assistance required by the board for the company should they require it.

These services are just some of those which we offer to our corporate clients. If you would like more specialised assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team directly.

Buying an existing Business in Germany

Buying an existing Business in Germany is a process that requires the transfer of shares from that company to the purchaser. However, this transfer needs to take place before a public notary in Germany. Purchasers need to provide the appropriate identification documents, which the notary will verify and authenticate. The process of purchasing a specific company is not straightforward. Therefore, it is vital to consult with experts in advance to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that the company is as it appears.

If the transfer of shares has correctly taken place, the buyer can focus their attention on essential steps such as:

  • altering the name of the company,
  • provide an address for the company,
  • put a new board of directors or management in place for the company,
  • contacting the German Trade Register.

Depending on the company purchased, buying the company may cost more than starting a company from scratch. Altering the purchased company alongside the notary fees, the costs of making changes to the company and the purchase price will likely incur additional fees. However, for companies looking to establish themselves quickly in Germany, purchasing an established company will ensure a recognisable market presence in Germany from an early stage.

Buying a Shelf Company in Germany

A shelf company is a company that has been registered in Germany but has not conducted economic activity. The purchase of shelf companies allows the investor to focus their attention on the economic activity of the newly purchased company as opposed to the bureaucratic requirements involved in starting a company in Germany. From the start, the company exists, and the new owner can manoeuvre it to reflect their needs and goals. Our team will assist you in carrying out these changes and oversee them in a legally compliant manner.

There are several reasons why purchasing a shelf company can be more beneficial than starting a new company. They include:

  • Credibility: purchasing a shelf company that suits your company goals and ambitions is a means of gaining credibility from banks and investors.
  • Quickens the process: purchasing a shelf company in Germany generally requires less paperwork and less time-consuming bureaucracy. This time-saving measure can allow your company to engage in economic activity faster than as a brand new company.
  • Flexibility: shelf companies can be easily adjusted to suit the goals and characteristics of your business ambitions.
  • Credibility with banks and investors: purchasing a company in Germany can provide greater credibility to the company than it would gain as a new company.

    Finding a German Business to buy

    Purchasing a business in a specific industry allows entrepreneurs to enter the German market in industries of particular interest. The team at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte can provide you with industry-specific insights in fields such as the German retail market, the insurance industry, the entertainment industry, health and life sciences industries and many more. Outline to us your level of expertise and experience as well as the size of the company you intend to buy and the location you wish to set up, and from there, our team can provide you with suitable companies. Once a decision has been made regarding which company to pursue, our lawyers will be available throughout the process.

    Our lawyers draft purchase and sale agreements, advise and oversee M&A transactions and will carry out the necessary due diligence to ensure that the company is the right fit for your purposes.

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    Practice Group: German Corporate Law

    Practice Group:
    German Corporate Law

    Dr. Matthias Wurm


    Jens Schmidt


    Martin Halfmann