Germany: Types Of Company
Limited Liability Company (GMBH)
The Limited Liability Company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) is the most common business structure. The share capital must be at least EUR25,000; half of this may be in contributions in kind but at least EUR12,500 must be in a bank account. One person can set up a Limited Liability Company and be its shareholder. Shareholders are liable up to the level of their invested capital. Once entered into the trade register, the Limited Liability Company becomes a legal entity and its name must refer to either the nature of the business or the name of one or more shareholders, followed by the letters GmbH. Shares of a GmbH are not traded on the stock exchange and are not certificated. Their ownership may be transferred through notarial documents.