Your founding process
Your Founding Process

In Good Hands Right from the Beginning

Many global players have selected Hessen as their “home base” in Europe. Why? It is the ideal location to develop new markets, reach their existing clients and build a new customer base.  Throughout Germany. Throughout Europe. Worldwide.

Let our experts at Hessen Trade & Invest be your partners along the way – ALL the way! We will provide relevant location factors, access to cutting edge technology, and help you to establish connections to expert partners in the region. HTAI will advise and support your project team from conceptualization to the day you proudly “turn the lights on” at your new office.

10 Steps for Your Market Succes


Contact us

Contact an advisor at Hessen Trade & Invest as early as possible to obtain quick and unbureau- cratic support from your initial inquiry to the opening of your business venture.

We are the central point of contact for inter- national investors who wish to locate or invest in Hessen. We support them in cooperation with our partners at the regional and local level and assist them every step of their way to Hessen.

Advisory Service


Visa for a business trip to Germany

Entrepreneurs and citizens of many non-EU countries require a visa for business trips to Germany; however, there are exceptions for several countries. Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and some other coun- tries may enter and stay in Germany without a visa for up to 90 days.

Citizens of all other countries require a Schengen or a German national visa for entry into Germany. For short-term stays in Germany (stays not exceeding 90 days within any 180-day period), a Schengen visa is required to travel to Germany.

Read more about the Schengen visa in our investor guideline below and here:


Health insurance for your stay in Germany

A visa will only be issued if you can prove that you have health insurance coverage in Germany. You can purchase health insurance in your own country. Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 valid for the entire Schengen area.


Documents needed to set up a company

Anyone can establish a business in Germany – irrespective of nationality or place of residence.

There is no specific investment legislation in Germany, nor is there a minimum percentage of German shareholders required for foreign entrepreneurs. Foreign investors can choose the most suitable legal company form as a corporation or partnership or conduct business via a Germany-based branch office. Either way, establishment procedures are straightforward with well-defined steps.

If you want to know more about the documents needed, have a look at our investor guideline below.


Experts assisting in setting up the company

When setting up a company in Germany, the support provided by our team of consultants cannot fully eliminate the need for additional experts – some of them are optional but often advisable.

  • Lawyer / Attorney
  • Tax consultant
  • Notary public
  • Bank
  • Personnel consultants/recruitment agencies


Searching for business premises

A registered business address is required for conducting commercial operations in Germany. Options for business premises in Hessen are the following:

  • Office space
  • Office space in a business center
  • Screening and selection
  • Commercial premises/space
  • Home office

Your advisor can support you to find the right premises in close cooperation with economic development partners at regional and city levels.


Company registration

After the location decision has been made, the new German corporation has to be registered. All companies carrying out commercial business operations are obligated to incorporate at the public commercial register (Handelsregister) which provides legally relevant information about merchants and commercial companies. The commercial register is managed by the district court where it can be viewed by the public free of charge. Additionally, all business operators must notify the trade office (Gewerbe-/ Ordnungsamt) of the town in which the business operation is located. A business license or permit is not necessary in the majority of cases, but only in some sectors.


Funding schemes

Foreign companies aiming to set up office in Hessen can obtain funding under certain circumstances. Incentive systems are available but always The team of funding experts WI Bank Hessen is prepared to provide you with information relating to your individual funding prerequisites. We can help you to get in touch.


Residence permit and settlement permit

Entrepreneurs from non-EU countries require a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or a settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) if they want to run a business in Germany in person or if they are employed in Germany. A residence permit is always limited in time, a settlement permit is unlimited. A settlement permit will usually be issued if a non-EU citizen has been in possession of a residence permit for at least five years. Both residence and settlement permit are always issued for a specific purpose, usually for the purpose of selfemployment or for the purpose of taking up employment in Germany.

Find more information: Coming to Germany (


Commencing business operations

Congratulations! You are now ready to commence your business operatons in Hessen. We recommend considering some aspects, such as implementing a marketing concept, searching for business partners and adapting your business plan.

If you want to know more, have a look at our Investor Guideline.

Investor Guideline

10 steps for your successful settlement

Investor Guideline for the German State of Hessen

Investor Guideline for the German State of Hessen

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Your Consultants

You want to find out more about your opportunities in Hessen? Speak to us!

Dr. David Eckensberger

Dr. David Eckensberger

Head of Department International Affairs


International Affairs

+49 611 95017 8326

Jonas Winkler

Jonas Winkler

Director Location Marketing & Investor Services


International Affairs

+49 611 95017 8641

Andreas Damrau

Andreas Damrau

Director Investor Services | RCEP Area


International Affairs

+49 611 95017 8346