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Business Plan: Residence Permit for Entrepreneurs & Investors

Under § 21 of the German Residence Act entrepreneurs can obtain a German residence permit should they start a business in Germany. Essentially, should an entrepreneur present a business idea that will be deemed to be of benefit to the German economy or meet a regional need, they may be provided with this residence permit. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our dedicated business immigration team advises our global clients on all aspects of the German entrepreneurial visa. If you require further advice on drafting a business plan for the entrepreneurial visa, don’t hesitate to contact us by email, by phone or by using the contact form below.

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Necessary Elements of the Business Plan

Every business idea has some degree of uniqueness. As an entrepreneur, this concept and idea that you have are what makes the business worth pursuing. However, when putting the details down on paper, the plan should provide information on certain key points, such as:

  • The concept of the business – what the business is concerned with,
  • The structure of the business – which form of business structure is appropriate,
  • A market analysis demonstrating the regional need/benefit to Germany of your business,
  • An earnings forecast and liquidity plan,
  • How many people will be employed by the business,
  • The target audience of the business’ product.

The key issues for this visa are the ideas of:

  • It must meet an economic interest or regional need,
  • It should have a positive impact on the economy,
  • The financing must be secured by equity capital or a loan commitment.

These are the areas where working with our team will be of particular benefit to you. Our lawyers have worked with many entrepreneurs and helped them prepare their business plans. We have inside knowledge of how a company’s idea can meet the economic interest or regional need and positively impact the economy.

A Closer Look at the Business Plan

Having a strong business plan is vital for obtaining the Residence Visa under §21 German Residence Act and getting support from banks and investors. Some of the key questions your business plan should answer can be put into different categories, breaking down these requirements. Of course, the relevancy of these questions will depend on the nature of the product or service your business will focus on.

The Business Idea

  • What is the name of the company?
  • The products that the company will sell / services it will provide.
  • What makes your company unique – is it different from other companies in the market?
  • Where will your company be based? Which city/region of Germany?
  • Will, your company, be primarily online, or will it have a business premise?
  • Which form of company will your business take?
  • How much share capital is behind this company?

The Product / Service Offered

  • What exactly is the product offered by the company?
  • How is it different from what is already on the market?
  • Marketing strategies – what marketing the company will use strategies?
  • Has the company obtained the right licenses and permissions to enter the market?
  • Does the company have the appropriate copyrights and/or patents and trademarks to launch its product?
  • Is the product ready for the market, or are there products still in development?
  • Have the products been tested and trialled before entering the German market?

Competitors in the Market

  • Who are the competitors in the market?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can your company target their weaknesses?
  • How will your product/service reach the market better than what they have to offer?

Customers and Market

  • Who are your potential customers? (The demographics of your target audience.)
  • Is there a market for your product/service in the location of your business?
  • Is your market base broad, or is it marketed at a few big customers?
  • What will advertising channels work best to reach this market?
  • How can your company announce itself to this market?

Finances in the Business Plan

  • What are the short-medium term sales forecasts?
  • Does the company have enough finance to resolve early liquidity issues?
  • What turnover is expected in the first year / early years of the business?
  • What is the total capital requirement?
  • How is your business being financed?
  • What are the monthly costs of the business?

Other Aspects to be aware of

When preparing the company business plan, it is vital to know that the competent authorities will seek information on certain aspects of the entrepreneur. Relevant university degrees, qualifications, certificates and generally evidence of your competence need to be shown. If you have previously run a business, it is worthwhile to have documentation demonstrating its financing and successes. Getting a German residence permit provides its holder with several benefits. The relevant authorities aim to make sure that the person obtaining it deserves to do so. On that front, they will examine the applications on the following grounds:

  • The viability of the underlying business plan,
  • The relevant business experience of the applicant,
  • The amount to be invested in Germany,
  • The businesses’ impact on the employment and training situation,
  • The project’s contribution to innovation and research.

Should you wish for more information on these grounds, please contact our legal team directly. Below we have outlined some of the services our firm offers when it comes to business immigration.

Further Services in Start-Up

German bureaucracy is well-known for a reason. Starting a company in Germany is a time-consuming process as once the business plan is completed. The next step is ensuring that the company is registered with the correct offices. Essentially, a company may have to be registered with the Finanzamt (tax office), Gewerbeamt (trade office) as well as registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Which offices the company has to be registered with will depend on the model of the company pursued by the entrepreneur. In our page on company formation, we provide the information you need to decide on the appropriate business model your company should follow.

Once the model and the plan is ready, our firm provides extensive corporate immigration services in the form of real estate assistance, advice on insurance and tax issues among other forms of assistance. Should your workers need to move to Germany, we also provide relocation services to ensure that they are secure and settled in Germany. We hope to be at your side in ensuring that your company is a success in Germany following its establishment.

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Practice Group:
German Immigration Law

Practice Group:
German Immigration Law

Aykut Elseven

Lawyer | Managing Partner