Start-Up Companies in Germany

German Corporate Lawyers

Start-Up Companies in Germany

German Corporate Lawyers

Start-up companies in Germany face a wide range of legal challenges, from establishing the company and protecting intellectual property to negotiating funding deals and expanding into new markets. Even before the first step of realising a business idea, start-up companies and business founders face several financial, organisational, strategic and legal challenges. The sheer multitude of tasks at hand may intimidate and overwhelm some entrepreneurs. With the proper legal support, these difficulties can be overcome.

At Schlun und Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we accompany start-up companies from the preliminary and start-up phases through the development and growth phases to the maturing stage. Entrepreneurs can utilise our legal services to help them navigate the complex legal landscape and achieve their business goals. Our experienced team of corporate lawyers understands the unique needs and challenges facing start-ups and provides tailored legal solutions specific to each client’s needs. As a full-service law firm, we can support you every step of the way.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us directly to benefit from our legal services.

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German Corporate Law for Start-Up Companies

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 of 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.

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 into the commercial register. This is followed by the notarisation of the articles of association and the payment of the share capital. Finally, we arrange the company’s registration in the commercial and tax and business registers.

Another critical area of corporate law covered by our lawyers is related 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 companies’ mergers, restructuring and transformation. We subject all these intended corporate transactions to a careful due diligence examination to provide 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 collective 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 German corporate law.

Contract Law for Start-up Companies

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 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 drafting contracts, examining 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 drafting, negotiating, and reviewing 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.

Employment and Labour Law for Start-Ups

Employment law presents challenges for start-ups and entrepreneurs, beginning before hiring the first employees.

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 the initial relationship between the founders.

Indeed, the more influence a managing director has in the company, and the fewer instructions bind them, the more likely a social insurance obligation will have to be rejected. This will be determined based on the articles of association and managing director contracts and the case facts.

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.