German Attorneys for Non-Profit Organisations

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

German Attorneys
Non-Profit Organisations

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers utilise their considerable abilities to support non-profit organisations in Germany. As a full-service law firm, non-profit organisations can find all the legal support they need under one roof. Our lawyers support NPOs to establish themselves in Germany, whether by starting from scratch or by expanding from abroad into Germany. For established NPOs, our legal team will help you in all matters concerning German corporate law and the law for non-profit organisations, German employment law and issues concerning trademark, copyright and intellectual property law.

Below we have listed just some of the areas of law in which our team supports non-profit organisations in Germany. These are only some of the areas in which we provide our support. If you need legal counsel on a specific case, don’t hesitate to contact our firm directly.

The Advantages of Working with a Non-Profit Organisation Lawyer

Non-profit organisations often have different legal requirements compared to other companies, groups and associations. These requirements vary in the initial foundation of the body, and in its daily management. Working with a standard corporate lawyer will likely involve working with a partner without the specialist insight into this particular sector. However, our team consists of lawyers who will provide you with the clear insight needed when facing German law as a non-profit organisation.

Our lawyers will advise you on matters concerning tax exemption status and how to achieve it as a non-profit organisation, we will support you in matters concerning the founding of the non-profit organisation and ensure that the applicable paperwork requirements are fulfilled and will provide insight into the management structures which should be in place in your organisation.

Our lawyers use our offices in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Aachen as well as our facilities in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart to provide assistance nationwide. We deal with regional, national and global clients and provide our legal counsel in English as well as German. Contact us now to start a productive partnership.

Contract Law: Analysis, Drafting and Negotiating

Regardless of how big or small the non-profit is, it is vital to have expert assistance with contracts and contract law matters. Our legal team will analyse your current contracts, assess their terms and conditions and draft any new contracts. There can be extensive legal requirements for contracts under German law, and for this reason, there are many advantages of working alongside a German contract lawyer.

Preparing contracts which follow the necessary legal elements are necessary to avoid costly legal disputes from happening. Our lawyers will analyse all forms of contracts from purchase agreements, bills of sale, insurance policies, rental agreements and mortgages.

The advantage of our full-service model is that our clients receive comprehensive legal service from one source. When dealing with the complexities and variety of contracts that a non-profit organisation has to contend with, consolidating all of those legal requirements under one roof is a major advantage. Contact us now to start a productive partnership.


Employment Law & Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs)

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our certified experts in the field of German employment law will advise your non-profit organisation on all matters that arise. Our legal team will design employment contracts, advise your organisation on best-practice policies to adopt, counsel on termination of contracts and represent the organisation in legal disputes. As experienced attorneys, our lawyers advise companies and organisations of all sizes, and together we will develop creative solutions tailored to your organisation’s characteristics and goals.

Our employment lawyers, Dr. Thomas Bichat and Mr. Jens Schmidt, are both certified specialists in the field of employment law. To gain this title (“Fachanwalt für Arbeitsrecht”), some additional requirements need to be achieved. For a lawyer to gain this status, they need to demonstrate to the Bar association that they have obtained the required practical experience and specialist theoretical knowledge in the field. Getting the necessary standard of expertise to become a certified specialist is an arduous process. Therefore, it is easy to see why our employment law services are much sought-after by clients. Contact us today to work with experts in their field.

German Non-Profit Organisations Law (NPO Law)

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers advise non-profit organisations on how to establish themselves in Germany. Deciding on whether your body should take the form of an association (Verein), foundation (Stiftung) or a German charitable Limited Liability Company will impact how the body needs to be established. Our law firm advises non-profit organisations on management structures, organises the bureaucracy involved with setting up the body and supports the daily running of the body in Germany.

Our lawyers advise on all matters of compliance, can be relied upon in the event of needing to restructure, and will be on hand for resolving any unexpected issues which may arise.

Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark Law

Protecting your intellectual property is vital when establishing your non-profit organisation in Germany. A recognisable brand is essential when launching a new organisation or establishing a pre-existing group in a new market. Not protecting your copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property leaves your group open to scammers and others who aim to exploit your organisation’s reputation.

Our intellectual property lawyers work with companies and groups of all sizes in their dealings with German intellectual property law and are here to advise you on your rights. Should disputes arise over the trademarks or copyright arise, our team will look for a solution that fits your organisation’s demands. Often, such issues can occur due to misunderstandings, and warning letters and other cost-effective methods can resolve the matter. However, if the case does require litigation to resolve, our lawyers will advise your group throughout the entire process.

Allow our experts to assess your intellectual property and advise your group on the protection requirements for the intellectual property involved. Our lawyers will take the required steps and actions to ensure that those protections are put in place.

Media Law, Press Law & Defamation

A misleading media story or narrative concerning your organisation can cause enormous damage to it. Reputational damage is particularly damaging to non-profit organisations. It can impact the number of people donating to the cause, negatively influence volunteers and employees, and it can lead to potential donors looking towards other groups instead. There are strong laws in place for defamation in Germany, and there are sanctions available for damaging untrue media stories.

Additionally, with the growth of social media, it is also strongly advisable to know your organisation’s rights concerning malicious comments or damaging content produced online. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our team is ready to advise you on these matters and more.

Under German law, defamation is found and defined under § 187 StGB. This section describes it as a person who provides an “untrue fact” commits this action knowing that it is untrue (“despite knowing better”). This offence refers to an “untrue fact” and is therefore not an offence that concerns a person’s opinion of another individual, but it concerns a claim of action on the part of the potential victim.

Untrue claims of tax issues or about the organisation’s work can therefore be challenged in court. Our lawyers will advise your organisation and prepare it for the legal actions to take should they be necessary.

Whistleblowing and Compliance

For non-profit organisations maintaining a good reputation can be vital. Allegations of corruption, illegal activity or poor standards can result in losing the support of those who are interested in your cause. For this reason, it is vital to have secure, confidential, effective and suitable internal grievance mechanisms. Without such systems, employees, and those involved with the organisation, may be forced to go public upon uncovering challenging information.

Expert legal advice regarding industry standards, requirements under German law and how to maintain such systems is of the utmost importance. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers advise both companies and whistleblowers regarding their options under German law.

Locations & Office Times

Mo – Fr: 09:00 – 19:00
24h Contact: 0221 93295960
Appointments made by telephone only.