The cost of founding

This post is part of a series in which we are sharing our experience of founding a company in Germany. We hope that it will help others working their way through the foundation process. Read the first post in the series for more details.

A real-life example of founding a limited company in Germany

One of the most frequent questions aspiring founders about founding a company is what it will all cost. There are many guides online that outline the cost, providing ranges depending on various variables(such as this one or this one). But sometimes it’s nice to see a specific example, so here’s ours. All values exclude VAT.


Operating Company (GmbH)

Holding Company 1 (GmbH)

Holding Company 2 (UG)

Key facts

2 shareholders, 2 directors, €25k equity

1 shareholder & director, €25k equity

1 shareholder & director, €11k equity

Legal costs

€500 Foundation Package (all three companies included)

Tax advisory

€0 — advice provided as part of ongoing service agreement for accounting and tax advice



€281 — documentation and registration based on standard template

€175 — documentation and registration based on standard template

Commercial Register




Accounting – Opening Balance Sheet




Chamber of commerce (IHK)




TV/Radio Licence

€0 – Shared offices with existing license

€0 — Office in a private home with no employees or company-owned vehicles

Filing a trademark is not necessarily part of company foundation. Not all businesses require trademark protection. However, since they are a cost that many new companies will incur, I thought I would include an overview here.

Trademark registration


German Trademark Registration with DPMA


International Trademark (Fee for local patent office DPMA)


International Trademark (World Intellectual Property Organisation )


Fee for international transfer of funds to WIPO


Read the other posts in this series:

Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers or tax advisors, to stay on the safe side consult an expert before doing anything 😉