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Start-Up Company Lawyer in Germany

Even before the first step of realising a business idea, start-up companies and business founders are faced with several financial, organisational, strategic and not least legal challenges. The sheer multitude of tasks at hand may intimidate and overwhelm some entrepreneurs. However, that initial enthusiasm and excitement for their innovation should not be lost as a result. With the proper legal support, the individual start-up phases can be overcome.

We at Schlun und Elseven Rechtsanwälte will accompany you from the preliminary phase, start-up phase, through the development and growth phase to the maturing phase and a possible sale of your company. We want to ensure that your start-up company is equipped with the best possible legal framework to gain a foothold in the business market. We will support you in negotiations with investors, customers, employees, suppliers and distributors. Through long-term, close cooperation with you as the founder, we can tailor our legal services to your start-up company’s specific needs and goals. As a full-service law firm, we can support you every step of the way.

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Our company lawyers are here to help start-up companies in Germany.

As a full-service law firm, Schlun & Elseven will oversee all the legal requirements

Our Services for Start-up Companies and Entrepreneurs

Our experienced and qualified lawyers will advise and support you in all matters regarding your start-up company and the establishment of your business. This can include not only aspects of corporate law, such as the selection of a suitable corporate form and the establishment of a company, but also support in the development of a stable financing or a legally secure internet presence. Furthermore, we take over the drafting of any contracts in connection with your new business idea so that you can concentrate on your business start-up. In all these areas, our lawyers from Schlun and Elseven Rechtsanwälte, with their extensive and disciplinary expertise, are always at your disposal.

In detail, our services include among others:

  • Legal support in every start-up phase: preliminary phase, foundation phase, start-up phase, growth phase, maturity phase and, if necessary, exit (company sale)
  • Corporate law – selection of the appropriate corporate form, formation of the company, articles of association
  • Examination/development of a legally compliant Internet presence (IT law)data protection, general terms and conditions, revocation policy
  • Labour law for entrepreneurs: employee contracts, training for employers
  • Employee participation – employment law advice
  • Advice on financing options and necessary security services for the start of the business
  • Venture capital
  • Legal support in the ongoing work after the foundation phase, in particular ongoing contract drafting
  • Conducting negotiations with investors, distributors, key accounts, suppliers and resellers
  • Drafting and revision of all types of contracts – articles of association, loan agreements, rental agreements, successive delivery agreements, framework agreements, purchase agreements, employment contracts, etc.
  • Trademark registration, trademark protection, copyright licenses and their subsequent licensing
  • Avoidance of violations of competition or antitrust law and their consequences (warnings, claims for damages)
  • Company sale and due diligence audit
  • Updating of contracts and business adaptation to changed legal situations
  • Legal representation before conciliation and arbitration courts and in classic court hearings

The above listed are just some of the matters in which we assist our clients. As  a full-service law firm our assistance is comprehensive. Contact our office today to find out more about how we can help your start-up company.

German Corporate Law for Start-ups

One of the most fundamental decisions in the founding phase of a start-up company is based on company law and faces the question of how the founding team will cooperate, the level of liability they will face and their plans for the future. It is specifically about choosing the appropriate corporate form for your business idea. For this purpose, the parties involved must clearly define the economic and entrepreneurial goals for the start-up company in advance. This is because the different legal forms that come into consideration differ concerning central factors, e.g., the company’s assets, the liability of the company or the managing directors and partners, the ability to act, and tax obligations. There is a choice between the more affordable partnerships – such as the GbR or OHG – and the corporations – such as the GmbH or UG – which, in return, grant the possibility of personal exemption from liability for the partners. Furthermore, hybrid forms such as the GmbH & Co.KG or UG & Co. KG are conceivable. Visit our page on Company Formation in Germany to find out more.

Our attorneys will work with you to find the most suitable corporate form and assist you in all company and partnership formation steps. This begins with the first consultation on the company’s establishment to determine the goals and legal structure of the start-up company and work through the business plan. Then the articles of association are drawn up and adopted, and the company name is entered in the commercial register. This is followed by the notarisation of the articles of association and the payment of the share capital. Finally, we also arrange the company’s registration in the commercial register and the tax and business registration.

Another critical area of corporate law covered by our lawyers are services relating to M&A corporate transactions and due diligence audits. We support you and your start-up company in mergers, takeovers and the exit, i.e. the sale of a company as the final start-up phase. We also pave the legal way for mergers, restructuring and transformation of companies. We subject all these intended corporate transactions to a careful due diligence examination to provide you with a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages. We also offer comprehensive support in the due diligence examination of your start-up.

In addition, we offer legal support for national and international joint ventures for your start-up company. We facilitate the preparation, organisation and actual realisation of a joint venture, whereby creating a joint consensus often presents a particular challenge. We can ensure that the essential discussion points in joint venture negotiations are worked through and that mutual interests are brought to a compromise.

Furthermore, we will advise and represent you in the liability of directors and shareholders and many other areas of corporate law. For more information on our services in corporate law, please visit here or contact our German business lawyers personally.

Contract Law for Start-up Companies

Particularly in the initial phases of a start-up company, such as the founding and development phase, many contracts must be concluded to enable entry into the economic market. These include financing agreements, loan agreements, rental agreements for business premises, purchase, work or service agreements with manufacturers or suppliers, successive supply agreements, framework agreements, partnership agreements, managing director agreements and employment contracts.

We draw up and draft your contracts according to your interests as the company founder and individually tailored to your start-up company. We pay particular attention to clear, precise and court-proof wording to avoid later complications already during the preparation of the contract. You can also turn to our experienced lawyers for the subsequent revision or redrafting of contracts, thus ensuring that the formal requirements of the contracts are adhered to and correctly implemented.

In addition to the drafting of contracts, the examination of contracts and contract clauses for possible invalidity, nullity, contestability, or incompleteness is of utmost importance. This applies both in contract negotiations and at the time of contract conclusion and undoubtedly after contract conclusion to ward off unjustified, ineffective, void or contestable claims and demands. Only a careful examination of the contractual offers submitted can ensure that unpleasant contractual and business relationships are prevented, and the interests of your start-up company are protected.

Our services in contract law for start-up companies and entrepreneurs also include the drafting, negotiation and review of general terms and conditions. It is essential to ensure that the correct wording is used in both B2C and B2B business so that no ineffectiveness of the general terms and conditions clauses is risked. Many court decisions and legal changes characterize the law on general terms and conditions, so the consultation of an experienced lawyer is highly recommended when drafting general terms and conditions. Should you require more information on the services of our lawyers in contract law, you can find further information on our homepage on contract law, or contact our lawyers personally.

Trademark Application and Trademark Protection

Trademark registration and protection are of essential importance for start-up companies and entrepreneurs. With the trademark as the figurehead of the business idea, the own products are innovatively marked. It conveys product quality, image, trust and ensures a recognition value whose importance cannot be overestimated, especially for start-up companies. With the appropriate and protected brand, the business launch can be heralded, and the company’s establishment on the economic market can begin. For this purpose, the company brand must first be entered in the trademark register.

From a legal point of view, it must be established in advance that a similar trademark registration does not already exist, as the priority principle applies. The earlier registered trademark thus has priority over the later registered trademark. Furthermore, it must be clarified with the founders to what extent the trademark is to be protected, i.e. to what extent and in what way. A distinction must be made between word marks, figurative marks, and “word/figurative marks”, tracer marks, and sound marks. We will support you in making the right choice and the corresponding application. Those interested in finding out more can obtain more information on trademark registration on our homepage.

Our attorneys also prosecute any trademark infringements for our start-up company clients and the associated trademark and assert resulting claims for damages, warnings, as well as claims for injunctive relief and removal. In addition, we can effectively protect your trademark through oppositions against trademark registrations of competitors. For the lawful use of your business idea and trademark by third parties, we design and review possible licensing, negotiate with licensing partners and draft appropriate licensing agreements. In this way, the economic potential of your start-up companies can be further exploited.

Employment and Labour law for Start-up Companies

Employment law presents challenges for start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Such challenges can even begin before the first employees are hired! After the successful establishment of a company, e.g. a GmbH or UG, the question arises as to how the founders’ salary as managing directors must be regulated, particularly whether social security contributions must be paid. This depends on the position of the respective shareholder-managing director in the company and on the initial relationship between the founders. It is true that the more influence a managing director has in the company and the less he is bound by instructions, the more likely it is that a social insurance obligation will have to be rejected. This is to be determined based on the articles of association and managing director contracts and the facts of the case.

Further regulations regarding the social security obligation and minimum wage, working hours, personnel qualification, and working premises must be considered when the first full-time and part-time employees, interns, working students, and other employees are hired. To cover the initial personnel requirements of a start-up company, it is recommended that you hire a specialist in labour law who can tailor and design the employment contracts to your company’s needs.

A further area of employment law for start-up companies is the legal design and implementation of an Employee Participation Scheme (ESOP). Whether it is a loan, dormant partner’s interest, virtual participation, variable remuneration agreement or granting of a partnership position, employee participation can bring many advantages to start-up companies. The financing of employee remuneration can be made more accessible, performance incentives can be created, and the founding team can be supported more sustainably. Our experienced lawyers will assist you in selecting the appropriate form of employee participation and its implementation.

Financing of Start-up Companies

Even before the start of your start-up company’s business activities, questions regarding financing must be clarified so that appropriate state subsidies such as support programmes and promotional loans can be taken advantage of in good time. For example, KfW assumes 80% of the credit risk with the KfW – Start-up Loan to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access loans. Promotion by the respective federal state can also be considered in regional areas. The financing options can be very diverse and, depending on their form, have different advantages and disadvantages. Whether bank loan, promotional loan, venture capital, crowdfunding or ICOs, we support you in the preparatory work and subsequent selection of the most suitable financing method with the right conditions for your start-up.

In the area of financing, negotiations with investors and business partners play an essential role. Our legal assistance can ensure that the cooperation with investors and their participation in the company is not entered into in a hurry. We work out compromises to bring mutual ideas and interests to a common, business-friendly solution. We conduct the negotiations with experienced investors with and for you to avoid conflicts and disagreements in advance. Particularly when obtaining venture capital, the financing provider’s necessary experience and qualifications must be taken into account. The investor often balances his profit-risk by acting as a long-term strategic partner in the start-up and influencing decisions.

The financing of the start-up is one of the most decisive factors for a successful establishment of the business idea in the business world. Therefore, the decision for a certain form of financing and its implementation requires a lot of sensitivity and careful legal work. In addition to legal difficulties, economic and fiscal challenges also arise, which must be considered in company financing. Our lawyers will accompany you from the preparation, negotiation, selection and implementation of the financing of your start-up company.

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Practice Group for Start-up Companies in Germany

Dr. Matthias Wurm Lawyer

Dr. Matthias Wurm

Jens Schmidt Lawyer

Jens Schmidt

Dr Simon Krämer

Dr. Simon Krämer

Dr Richard Nouvertné

Dr. Richard Nouvertné

Lawyer Florian Reisser

Florian Reisser

Contact our Practice Group for German Company Law

Full Service & Expertise

We are aware of the special importance for start-up companies and business founders to have a legally stable and reliable foundation for their business start. Due to our interdisciplinary approach, we can provide you with comprehensive support in all aspects of corporate law, contract law, employment law, trademark law and financial aspects of your start-up. We would be pleased to present our extensive expertise in detail in a personal meeting.

With offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf, as well as conference rooms in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt, you can take advantage of our support and advice throughout Germany. We also provide distance services through the means of video conferencing. The international team of lawyers at Schlun & Elseven advises and represents private individuals and companies in English and German. Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you.

Contact a lawyer for Start-up Companies in Germany

Please use the form on the right to inform us about your concerns in the field of corporate law in Germany. After receiving your request, we will make a short preliminary assessment on the basis of the information provided and give you a cost estimation. You are then free to decide whether you want to instruct our lawyers.