Support for start-ups: Anyone establishing a company should take the time to get advice!

So you have a great idea and want to become an entrepreneur on its basis? We can help you navigate the various steps that will get you to your goal. Forming a company involves a great deal of legwork and planning, but we can show you how to do it correctly. From registering with the proper parties to submitting the right applications to locating sources of financing – we will be at your side to guide you all along the way. We will also help you prepare the necessary paperwork, set up a business plan, and work out the appropriate financing strategy.

  • Preparation of documents;
  • Advice on available subsidies;
  • Assistance with each step of the company formation;
  • Help in locating and applying for financing;
  • Start-up consulting fees are eligible for public grants;
  • Help in preparing the business plan and financing plan.

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Start-Up Coaching in Germany

As an entrepreneur forming a start-up company, you can take advantage of the support provided by the Kreditanstalt for Wiederaufbau (KfW, the government-owned development bank) under the aegis of its program Gründungscoaching Deutschland (Start-Up Coaching in Germany). You can apply with the program at any time within five years of forming your start-up company. This involves filling out an online form, selecting one of the advisors listed on the KfW consultant’s exchange (KfW-Beraterbörse) and submitting the application to the competent regional partner. Shortly thereafter, you will be invited to a meeting where you will have the opportunity to briefly pitch your concept and explain why you feel you need advice from a specialist.

As a general rule, KfW will reach a decision on your application within four weeks. Once you receive an official notice of KfW’s approval, you will be able to begin using the coaching services. KfW will assume up to 75% of the corresponding consulting fees. At the end of the coaching process – which may not last longer than one year – your only expense will be the balance of the fee plus the entire amount of value-added tax (unless you fall under the VAT- exemption for small businesses). Generally, KfW will remit the remainder of the consulting fees directly to the consultant.

Subsidies and financing

A wide range of grants and subsidies is available for start-ups in Germany. Gaining a perspective and understanding the pre-requisites that need to be met is an exceptionally complex undertaking. We have been working in this area for years and can confidently claim to be well versed in it. Invariably, the key is to scrupulously observe the respective guidelines and to comply with the requirements and rules they set forth. In many cases, this will be a laborious process, but it will ultimately pay off in the form of a non-repayable grant, a loan at favorable interest rates, or a financial investment by an external entity.

These grants come in a variety of types and programs. One frequently applied for by company founders is the start-up grant known as the “Gründungszuschuss.” This is applied for at the employment office (Arbeitsamt) by filling out the corresponding form. Additionally, a specific business concept needs to be submitted. This should include a business plan and financing plan. As a follow-up, you will have to have to obtain a Tragfähigkeitsbescheinigung (certification of economic viability) for your business concept from a competent body (“fachkundige Stelle”). This body may be an Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK, Chamber of Industry & Commerce), a Handwerkskammer (HWK, Chamber of Skilled Crafts), or a tax advisor or attorney, provided they have the requisite know-how in business administration.

Key steps in the formation process

Generally speaking, the process of forming a company is full of hurdles. A number of aspects need to be carefully considered right at the outset. To begin with, you should ask yourself, “am I really an entrepreneur at heart?” One salient characteristic of an entrepreneur is his independence as a self-employed worker, of course. The German word “selbständig” for this type of activity includes the words “selbst” (oneself) and “ständig” (constantly) and thus already implies what your role as an entrepreneur will demand of you: the ability to work hard and long hours while keeping a watchful eye on the welfare of your company. If you can embrace that concept, then the next step is to to flesh out your idea and prepare for the market.

You will also have to have a clear idea of the product you intend to sell. Who are your target customers? What does the market look like? What range of services will you be offering? How and where do you intend to generate your turnover? Another key decision is selecting the legal form of your company. Will your planned activity qualify you as a self-employed freelancer or will you have to register your business with the trade office? Which legal form is optimal for your situation? Many different legal forms are available. To select the right one for you, it is often advisable to consult a specialist attorney for corporate law.

Testimonials from some of our clients:

Christian S.

Thanks for your highly competent and extremely expeditious help in tackling the issues of my company!

Anton M.

My recommendation is definitely a heartfelt one! The service was invariably competent and sure-footed, right from our very first meeting regarding a dispute among managing directors all the way to the final closure!
I wholeheartedly recommend Ms. Kollmorgen and her law firm!

Andreas W.

Many thanks for your good advice in corporate law matters. This was a big help to me…

Maria K.

I received a telephone callback just hours after emailing my enquiry. And I got an appointment right for the following day.