Feeds Topics Living Abroad How to Register an NGO in Germany

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  • #3395

    Deborah Etim

    In order to qualify to register as a Non-profit organisation (gGmbH) in Germany, your organisation must perform a charitable function; defined as pursuing a non-commercial, beneficent, or religious function. Before a new company may be registered into the commercial register, its purpose must be stated in its articles of organisation and authorised by the appropriate tax office (Finanzamt).

    Features/requirements of an NGO in Germany

    • Articles of association; registration into the business register; confirmation by the tax office

    • At least 25.000 euros in capital is required, half of which must be in a bank account at the time of registration

    • For organisations with more than 500 workers, governance should include a managing director(who must be at least 18 years old), major shareholders, and a supervisory board. The organization is then to be registered with the local court (Amtsgericht).

    • If the association’s work is entirely in the realm of tax-privileged charitable work, you can apply to the tax office (Finanzamt) for recognition as a charity. Taxation: Corporation tax, solidarity surcharge, and trade tax are not applicable; VAT is typically lowered.

    • A minimum of 25.000 euros in startup capital. Before the business may be formed, half of this amount (12.500 euros) must be deposited into the firm’s bank account. This sum can include cash as well as goods such as real estate, automobiles, and machinery.

    • Non-profit limited businesses must typically make their profit and loss statements and balance sheets public, as well as adhere to double-entry accounting requirements

    Before being filed to the business register by a notary, everything is examined by the tax office to ensure that it conforms with the rules governing Non-profit organisations. When this is done, you can then proceed to register your business. The steps are listed below.

    Steps to registering your business (as non-Profit)

    • Before you can register a business in Germany, you must first possess a residence permit to show that you have the right to stay there for a long time.

    • Some professions and occupations in Germany are protected, so you may have to go through some extra hoops before you can establish your company and start trading. Check here to see if your organisation falls into this category.

    • You may proceed to registering with the German Commercial Register (handelregister) The registration fee varies depending on the legal structure of the business, ranging from €200 for a sole proprietorship to 500 euros for a public liability company.

    You can go on to register your business with your local trade office (Gewerbeamt) after you have your Handelsregister number and any licenses or permissions you may require. You need:

    • A valid photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, is required (not a driving license)

    • Certificate of registration (Meldebescheinigung)

    • A visa or a residency permit that allows you to work for yourself

    • Handeslregister number (if applicable)

    • Proof of your qualifications, as well as any needed permissions or licenses

    • The registration cost is at most €70

    Once you’ve registered your organisation, information about it will be sent to the tax office (Finanzamt), the local Employers’ Liability Insurance Association (Berufsgenossenschaft), and, depending on the sort of business you register, the District Court (Amtsgericht). For this you need:

    • Tax ID

    • Description of your company activity

    • Information about your German bank accounts (both personal and business, if you have one)

    • Profit and expenditure projections

    • Estimated revenue Registrations in the Commercial Register with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts

    The process may seem long but it is worth it in the end because you get to conduct your activities in Germany with no hitches because you have been recognised by the relevant authority bodies. Check here for laws governing Non Governmental organisations in Germany.

  • How to Register an NGO in Germany

    Michael updated 2 years, 6 months ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • Michael

    July 17, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks for the information, @deborahetim . It’s really insightful.

    Please help me here; am confused a bit – is there a difference between an NGO and a non-profit Organisation or are they the same?

    • Deborah Etim

      July 19, 2021 at 8:27 pm

      Oh, they are the same. The terms are used interchangeably.

      • buse küçük

        November 9, 2021 at 9:36 am

        Hi, first of all, this 25.000€ is for an NGO? Isnt it a bit much because it is already a non-profit organization.

        • Michael

          November 9, 2021 at 1:02 pm

          I think so too, and this amount is also the amount that is charged to regular companies, e.g. GmbH – you need to have 25K EUR in capital, in which at least 12.5K EUR has to be deposited in the bank.
          I believe the gain for NGO is that they are not taxed.

          • buse küçük

            November 9, 2021 at 1:41 pm

            It is a little irrational since it is something like a charity. How we could have so much money we are here to support people in need maybe

          • Michael

            November 9, 2021 at 5:40 pm

            I think it is mainly to indirectly screen and not have many people or nuisances applying for NGO – not all may be sincere.

      • buse küçük

        November 9, 2021 at 11:23 am

        By the way, thank you for this great information!

      • Michael

        November 9, 2021 at 12:59 pm

        But NGOs are allowed to make profit, aren’t they?

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