Company establishment and German visa
For most of the activities in the formation phase of a company, a Schengen business visa is sufficient. It enables its holder to stay in Germany for up to 90 days, during which time all fundamental establishment activities can be performed.
Setting up a company in Germany using a Schengen visa does not alone warrant residence permit issue at a later date. If necessary, a residence permit for self-employment or employment should be applied for in due time. A residence permit must also be applied for if the proceedings for setting up a company exceed 90 days.
Company Management On-Site (self-employed)
Entrepreneurs from non-EU countries managing a company on-site in Germany in a self-employed capacity require a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment. This permit may be granted if the planned business is expected to have a positive economic effect and has secure financing in place. An individual assessment of the intended business project is then made, taking into account, e.g.: the viability of the underlying business idea, the foreigner’s entrepreneurial experience, the level of capital investment, and whether an economic interest or regional need regarding the intended business activity exists. A residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is limited in time for up to three years. A settlement permit (permanent) can be granted after three years if the entrepreneurship project has been successfully realized and has stable income prospects.
Who is considered self-employed?
– Entrepreneurs including freelance professions
– Partners in a partnership
– Majority shareholders of a GmbH who are also managing directors of the GmbH firm