Bus company in Germany

German self-employment residence permit
German self-employment residence permit
May 21, 2023
Starting a business in Germany
Starting a business in Germany
June 17, 2023
Bus company in Germany

Bus company in Germany

If you are interested in starting a bus company in Germany, read this article from Wise Business Group full of helpful tips for your self-employment. Here we will cover topics like legal forms, business plans, Costs, permits, and registrations required to establish a bus company in Germany and guide you to start a successful business.

Technical knowledge to start a bus company in Germany

Completion of training courses according to the Occupational Access Directive for Road Transport of Passengers (PBZugV) or equivalent qualification is required. There are also the following apprenticeships in bus transport in Germany:

  • Professional driver
  • Travel agency
  • Driving operations specialist

Having the right qualifications and documents to establish a business in Germany is not only required but is always recommended. For example, if you don’t have the necessary knowledge to start a business, you can participate in special start-up seminars that prepare you for self-employment in the future. You can also ask experienced consultants for guidance in this field.

Starting a business in Germany

With over ten years of experience, our consultants at Wise Business Group have guided numerous founders on the path to setting up their businesses in Germany. We are honored to answer your questions about registering and setting up a company in Germany in an online consultation session.

Occupational Access Directive for the Road Transport of Passengers (PBZugV) in Germany

This regulation determines the conditions that you must comply with as a driver in Germany to be allowed to transport passengers by road and to obtain a business license. These conditions include your reliability, financial ability, and professional competence.

Costs, financial plan, and business plan for establishing a bus company in Germany

Costs and financial plan for long-distance bus companies

Before spending any expenses, you should prepare a comprehensive financial plan. This plan should include all possible costs for starting your business, the most important of which are:

  • Establishment and start-up costs (such as administrative or notary costs)
  • Cost of vehicle purchase (purchase of at least one bus, workshop fee, and Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) if necessary)
  • Ongoing operating costs (costs of fuel, bus maintenance, marketing, renting the office and garage(s))
  • Costs related to insurance, taxes, and financial reserves

Business plan for establishing a bus company in Germany

Preparing a professional business plan is a must for starting any company in Germany. You should be able to present your business plan at the latest when you depend on external capital and deal with your project financing, Establishing a bus company.

A professional business plan in Germany should include the following:

Market analysis

How is the competition? Is there a competitor or competitors for your business? You must analyze your competitors and their services to identify gaps in their services or offerings. Then you will find products that you can probably offer yourself.

Target group

Whom are your customers going to be? Visitors to regional festivals and events or long-distance bus passengers who want to get from point A to B on the cheap without changing trains?

Range of services

You should tailor the services you offer to your target group. For example, older people want a comfortable route to a quiet destination, while young people may look for fun and entertainment on long trips.


How should you advertise your bus company in Germany? How much do you budget for advertising and marketing efforts?

Our team can help you prepare and write a professional business plan approved by the Immigration Department. Contact us to explain how to prepare a professional business plan to start self-employment in Germany.

Legal form suitable for a bus company in Germany

To realize your dream of owning a bus company in Germany, you must first know which legal form is suitable for your company. Common legal forms for start-ups in this industry are:

  • GmbH
  • UG
  • GbR
  • Sole proprietorship

Also, when choosing, you should pay attention to the fact that legal forms differ from each other in terms of taxation.

Which company is suitable for me and my business idea?

Are you still not sure which steps to take to start a bus company in Germany? Trust our consultants. They will guide you with several years of experience setting up hundreds of successful businesses in Germany.

Registration of a bus company in Germany

Commercial registration for a bus company in Germany

Entry into the commercial register is necessary for both the GmbH and UG legal forms in Germany. The commercial registry documents all entries related to merchants and makes them publicly available.

Business registration for bus transport in Germany

Regardless of the chosen legal form, you are required to register with the German Business Licensing Office. After the business registration, the tax office will automatically contact you for tax registration. Once the document review is complete, you will receive your tax number and can issue an invoice.

Bus company; A regulated business in Germany

The bus company in Germany is one of the companies that need supervision. It means you must submit a certificate of good conduct and an extract from the Central Trade Register from the responsible registrar to the regulatory authority to prove that you are reliable. Failure to obtain this business license usually makes starting a bus company impossible in Germany.

Requirements for obtaining a business license in Germany

Different departments have specific requirements to receive a business license, which you must comply with. In general, we can divide these requirements into three categories:

  • Technical requirements: You need to provide a certificate of education, training course, or other types of training as proof.
  • Practical requirements: These requirements are, for example, related to vehicle requirements or proof of your economic performance (SCHUFA information).
  • Personal reliability: It is mandatory to submit a certificate of good conduct, an excerpt from the central trade register, and an account clearance certificate from the tax office.

Registration of the bus company in the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

As a start-up business in Germany, you must register with the responsible Chamber of Commerce and Industry. After the business registration, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) will contact you automatically.

Professional associations for bus transportation

Social Accident Insurance Institutions (BGs) in Germany are responsible for statutory accident insurance for companies and their employees. In addition, as a small business owner in Germany, you must register with the trade association responsible for your industry. Bus companies are classified as tour operators. Therefore, the German Social Accident Insurance Institute for Commercial Transport, Postal Logistics and Telecommunications (BG Verkehr) is responsible for this area.

Federal associations for the bus company in Germany

Membership in the Federal bus transport associations in Germany is voluntary for the founder of a bus company, and we recommend it. German Travel Association e. V. (DRV) is responsible here.

Legal basis for a bus company in Germany

As a bus travel company in Germany, you should comply with the rules and regulations related to the proposed trips and vehicles. Bus traffic is strictly regulated. In the following, we point out some legal bases that you need to follow:

Passenger Transport Act (PBefG)

Transporting people with a fee is subject to the Passenger Transport Act (PBefG). It applies above all to special permits and regulations for different types of traffic.

Regulations for the activity of motor vehicle companies in passenger transportation (BOKraft)

BOKraft regulations regulate how passengers and drivers behave in the company and how to transport in detail. In addition, it determines how the vehicles (buses) should be equipped and what is allowed and what is not allowed in this regard.

Driving and rest times for bus and truck drivers in Germany

Driving and rest periods for drivers limit the time they can spend behind the wheel each day and set minimum rest periods for them. It prevents the driver from endangering his life and others due to fatigue.

  • Daily driving time: should not be more than 9 hours. Daily driving time can be increased up to 10 hours twice a week for a maximum.
  • Weekly driving time: it can be 56 hours for maximum.
  • Driving rest time: After 4.5 hours of driving, you should have 45 minutes of rest.
  • Daily rest time: 11 hours.

You can find the full text of this law on the IHK Berlin website.

Hiring employees in a bus company in Germany

To plan and organize properly and carry out the trips optimally, you need several qualified personnel for your bus company as professional drivers.

A bus company’s location in Germany

Unlike retail, you don’t need a great location to start a bus company in Germany. Since almost all transportation is booked online nowadays, having an attractive and user-friendly website is necessary.

Services and target group of a bus company in Germany

Depending on the bus model you choose, you can expand your range of services or specialize in it. For example, if you only buy a six-seater bus, your possible offers will be limited. Conversely, if you have multiple buses, you can use them for different purposes or design them to appeal to various audiences.

You must specify the target group of your bus company in Germany. Do you want to take the seniors to the entertainment areas or transport the young people to the fashionable places as a “party bus”? The target group and the services you can choose from are very diverse.

Suggested services for a bus company in Germany

  • Day trips to well-known areas in the region
  • Traveling to the nearest big city for shopping
  • Easy trips without changing trains to other parts of Germany
  • Weekend trips to rural areas with the purpose of rest and wellness for business owners
  • Walking trails and cycling tours for sports guests
  • Party trips to the most stylish and modern areas in big cities
  • Rides with coffee for the elderly
  • Travel on medium-length routes as a cheap alternative to the train (this type of travel can be done against the schedule of many buses over long distances and to drive as much as possible).

Proper marketing and advertising for a bus company in Germany

Whether you use buses for long distances or offer comprehensive transportation services, proper advertising is crucial for your business in Germany. As a transport company in Germany, it is necessary to have a clear, attractive, and informative website that attracts customers and presents your offers and services visually and elegantly. The customer should be able to book tickets for their travel through this website and be informed about promotions. You can also sign up for online tour sites or have a Facebook account. Traditional advertising as posters, leaflets, or flyers, can also be helpful.


Steps to Establishing a bus company in Germany

  • Participate in training courses related to transportation by bus. If you meet the requirements of the occupational access guidelines for road passenger transport, you will be able to operate.
  • Prepare a comprehensive financial plan and include all possible expenses in it.
  • Write a professional business plan that will help you finance the project.
  • Choose the appropriate legal form for your bus company.
  • Register your company with the Trade Licensing Department and, if necessary, enter the Commercial Register. Do the tax registration and get the business license.
  • Register your company in the relevant Chamber of Commerce and Industry, professional, and federal associations.
  • Comply with legal bases such as Passenger Transport Act, BOKraft Regulations, and drivers’ driving and rest times.
  • Determine the target group of your bus company and determine the proposed services according to it.
  • Hire several qualified personnel as professional drivers.
  • Create an attractive and user-friendly website and properly advertise your busines.

Starting a business and registering a company in Germany

If you plan to start your business in bus transportation in Germany, you can contact us. Our business consultants and lawyers at Wise Business Group are ready to answer your questions regarding the bus company’s establishment and registration in Germany. We help you successfully navigate the challenging path of self-employment in Germany.

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