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flag Germany Germany: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung (GmbH) is a limited liability company
Number of partners: No minimum : one or more partners.
Capital (max/min): EUR 25,000 minimum with at least half fully paid up at the creation of the company.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed for all shareholders.
Aktiengesellschaft (AG) is a public limited company .
Number of partners: No minimum : one or more partners.
Capital (max/min): EUR 50,000 minimum with a quarter fully paid up at the creation of the company.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed for all shareholders.
Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG) is a general partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum: 2; no maximum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Their liability is joint and indefinite on the obligations and debts of the company.
Kommanditgesellschat (KG) is a limited joint-stock partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum: 2; no maximum.There are two types of partners, the active partners and the silent partners.
Capital (max/min): EUR 500
Shareholders and liability: The liability of the active partners is personal and indefinite.
The liability of the silent partners is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
The Competent Organization
The Common register portal of the German federal states.
Search a Company or a Financial Report
Handelsregister, Common register portal of the German federal states
Ebundesanzeiger, in German
 
Setting Up a Company Germany OECD
Procedures (number) 9.0 5.0
Time (days) 15.0 12.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Germany.
Judicial register of the federal states
Company Register

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The Active Population in Figures

201120122013
Labor force 43,670,00044,010,00044,200,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -59.80%59.60%
Men activity rate 66.80%66.70%66.50%
Women activity rate 53.10%52.90%53.00%

Source: UN - United Nations

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Manufacturing 22.0%
Health and Social Work 11.7%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 10.8%
Construction 6.5%
Education 5.9%
Transport and Storage 5.5%
Hotels and Restaurants 3.8%
Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry 2.2%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 0.9%
Households with Employed Persons 0.6%
Mining and Quarrying 0.3%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
Maximum 48 hours a week.
Retirement Age
67 years old
Working Contracts
The work contract is usually open ended with a trial period which may be up to 6 months. The contract may also be fixed term; it can be renewed 3 times maximum, and for a maximum duration of 2 years.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
Untill now no minimum wage exists. However, the Federal Government has agreed to introduce a statutory, country-wide minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour as of January 2015.
Besides that, some occupations have had, in practice, a minimum wage since July 2007: building work (EUR 8.40 EUR to 12.40 per hour), roofing (EUR 10 per hour), painting (EUR 7.15 to 10.73 per hour), demolition (EUR 8.80 to 11.60 per hour), cleaning (EUR 6.36 to 7.87 per hour), electricity (EUR 7.70 per hour for East Germany and EUR 9.20 per hour in West Germany), caregivers since 2010, and possible future minimum wage for temporary jobs.
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage of men: EUR 3,508 (source: ILO, 2011);
Gross average monthly wage of women: EUR 2,861 (source: ILO, 2011).
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 20.9 %
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 20.9%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Unions are strong in Germany, however, the eastern side is more union-orientated than the west. The overwhelming majority of trade union members are in eight unions grouped by industry or service sector. They are affiliates of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), which counted 6.3 million members in 2009. At the company level, works councils represent the interests of workers vis-à-vis their employers.
German labor unions are generally constructive in their cooperation with employers. Securing jobs is one of the German labor’s core objectives.
Since 2012, Germany experienced a considerable rise in the number of strike days, as labor unions became more insistent that employees should also benefit from Germany’s strong economic recovery.
Unions
DGB
Verdi
IG Metall
Unionization Rate
21%
Labor Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Agriculture
Deutscher Bauernverband
BOLW

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Last Updates: December 2014