Munich tops just about every German business, economic strength and quality of living ranking, as well as university rankings, andeven though Berlin is still more hip, the start-up scene of the city is also amongst the liveliest of the country. This all combined makes Munich one of the most attractive places in Germany to start a new business at, to branch out an existing business, or to take a shot at freelancing for people from all over Europe and from overseas.
Setting up a business is fairly uncomplicated and easy if you come from one of the EU member states. As citizens of the EU with the right to freedom of movement, you have unrestricted access to the German labour market. You do not need a visa or a residence permit either to enter or work in Germany. The same applies if you come from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the USA may also enter Germany even without a visa and apply for a residence permit giving entitlement to work, and set up a business, before taking up employment. Only nationals of these countries can apply to their local foreign nationals’ registration authority after having already entered Germany. If you want to take up employment shortly after entering Germany, you are recommended to apply for the right kind of visa before doing so. Nationals of all other third-party states must apply for a visa from their local German mission abroad before travelling to Germany.
There are many ways in which you can begin working in Germany, whether as a self-employed (Gewerbetreibender) in a liberal profession (Freie Berufe), by founding a limited company (GmbH), a Mini-GmbH or any other legal form. In this post we won’t go into detail about the legal forms of businesses, taxes, insurances, etc., but just give some general information and tips.
The PSC is the central point of contact in the City of Munich for founders, entrepreneurs and businesses. The Point of Single Contact advises you on an array of topics, like:
- Founding a business in Munich: permits, business registration, business license, necessary requirements and approvals,
- Legal structures, formalities
- Opening a store / shop
- Possible business locations
- Import and export of goods
- Founding a restaurant / an eatery / a bar
... and many more questions on launching a business in the City of Munich.
The service free of charge is also available to entrepreneurs living abroad, who are about to found a business in Munich. The counselling services of the Point of Single Contact are provided in German and English language.
The Point of Single Contact also offers many other support measures. Within the City Administration of Munich, the PSC will provide guidance, for example:
- with the coordination of local government paperwork
- when you are looking for real estate and premises
- with identifying a suitable location.
They will also direct you to other places within the city where you can get more detailed information specific to the business field you’re interested in.
Other useful service offerings in English language include:
BayStartUP provides coaching to startups and young, fast-growing companies. It focuses on innovative, technology-oriented companies with strong growth prospects and scalable business models.
Existenzgruender.de, a website run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, supplies an array of tools and information for business startups, including a startup planning tool, a database of subsidy options and an expert forum.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria is the top address for people to turn to for consulting and information on entrepreneurial independence, and for professional help with all matters of business consolidation.