Business Immigration

Business immigration for investors & entrepreneurs

Obtaining permission to work in Germany as an investor/entrepreneur can be a complicated process and requires a profound working knowledge of different visa options available for you. Entrepreneurs / Investors from non-EU countries, who manage the company in Germany as self-employed persons, have the possibility to apply residence permit for their company management in Germany according to § 21 Residence Act.

Our legal firm focuses on assisting entrepreneurs, business owners and investors to attain their immigration goals. We help clients from all over the world in coming to Germany and establishing new businesses, acquiring existing businesses and making investments in a manner that enables our clients to obtain an applicable visa.

There are various types of Immigration by Investment visas you can apply for. We cover all different types, including International Startup Entrepreneurs, Turkish Citizenship by Investment and Golden Visa.

§ 21 Self-employment (Residence Act)

(1) A foreigner may be granted a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment, if

  • an economic interest or a regional need applies,
  • the activity is expected to have positive effects on the economy and
  • personal capital on the part of the foreigner or a loan undertaking is available to realise the business idea.

The assessment of the conditions under sentence 1 depends in particular on the sustainability of the underlying business idea, the business experience of the foreigner, the amount of invested capital, the impact on employment and training situation and the contribution to innovation and research.

(2) …

Establishing or Expanding your Business in Germany: The Business Plan

Is a business plan important?


When applying for a business investment visa (§ 21 Residence Act), expanding or starting a business in Germany, a business plan can be crucial. This is especially the case with smaller businesses that have lower revenues or lower numbers of employees. New businesses are also entities for which foreigners Authority, Consular Officers and e.g. Chamber of Commerce expect a detailed business plan laying out the growth strategy of the firm in Germany.

The business plan is your opportunity to explain your business concept to the immigration authorities who will make a decision on your visa case. We believe part of our success rate with permit residence self-employed business visa is, in part, attributable to the time and focus we spend working with clients, understanding their business and formulating their business plans.

The residence permit for self-employed persons is limited, usually up to three years. If the investment project has been successful (and success and livelihood continue to be ensured), an (unlimited) settlement permit residence can be applied for after three years.

For the development of your entrepreneurial concept you can rely on our experience. We will create a customized concept based on your business idea and advise you throughout the process.

Germany well-known as the world’s startup center

As the second highest population of international migrants worldwide (the US rank first), with more than 16 million people having an immigration background (first and second generation, including mixed heritage and ethnic German repatriates and their descendants), of whom about seven million are foreign residents with no German citizenship, Germany is host of many international startups founded by international entrepreneurs which rate the excellent general conditions in Germany. Almost 10 % of those startup founders and 22 % of their employees come from non-German countries.

Germany has been considered as one of the most interesting places for investment worldwide. US investors in particular have their eye on the German startup scene, and the amounts being invested are rising fast. Recently, the trend for investing in Germany between Chinese as well as other Asian and entrepreneurs from the Middle East has been increasing. In 2015, just short of 3.1 billion euros were invested in German startups, almost five times as much as in 2013, and almost twice as much as in 2014.

Company Foundation by Foreigners

Any entrepreneur who wishes to start a business in Germany – irrespective of nationality or place of residence – has a right to realize his or her business idea. There are generally no limiting restrictions in establishment of new companies for non-German nationals and no specific legislation for foreign entrepreneurs.

The formalities and the required documents and preconditions for establishing the new business in Germany varies depending on the form of the company and the appropriate legal form for each individual business to enter in the official register.

For more information about the conditions and formalities get in touch with our authorized German lawyers to help you in the registration procedure and to receive customized service for your business, liabilities of shareholders, terms of taxation and other regulations.

We are a multilingual, international and interdisciplinary team. For questions or to set up an initial call, call us or send an email via our Contact form.