Law firm for startups in Frankfurt Germany

Advice for german founders, employees and investors

Our certified specialists, lawyers and tax advisors advise founders, investors and companies in Frankfurt Germany - from start-up to financing and all questions of company management to exit.

Topic collection for german startups Click here for our overview of all relevant legal topics specifically for startups in Germany.

An overview of our services for startups in Germany

Classic startup topics actually run through all legal areas of german business law - after all, these are basically young entrepreneurs who need to be just as trained in many areas of the law as medium-sized or large entrepreneurs in Germany - albeit often with a different focus and different problems.

When it comes to the need for legal advice that arises among founders of startups in Germany, it often makes sense to make a decision based on the respective phase and progress of the startup:

  • In the initial startup phase, it is often a matter of drafting the necessary founding documents and writing up internal agreements among the parties involved.
  • Once this has been clarified, the second phase is usually about financing and the respective conditions of investors.
  • Alongside this, but increasingly after funding has been obtained, the focus then often shifts to corporate management: employees need to be hired and german startups in particular often have to deal with participation agreements such as ESOPs and VSOPs. In addition, issues of data protection, german IT/IP law and german tax law are part of the day-to-day operations.
  • Finally, all startups in Germany sooner or later deal with a possible exit, i.e. the sale of the company as a whole or in parts, or a possible IPO.

Our certified specialists, attorneys and tax advisors are able to advise and support at all stages due to effective teamwork and a wide range of knowledge and experience, and our team in Frankfurt easily harmonizes with our other offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.

Foundation and financing - Topics in german corporate law

Our lawyers and certified specialists for german corporate law advise and support start-ups and investors in the following areas

Our lawyers and certified specialists do not shy away from contentious disputes in startups and provide advice and support in the following cases

  • Disputes in startups between founding shareholders and investors
  • Disputes among founding shareholders
  • Disputes among investors (lenders, venture capitalists, VC investors, growth capitalists)
  • Enforcement and defense of claims arising from management contracts, investment agreements and participation agreements
  • Complex shareholder resolutions and shareholder meetings
  • Exclusion and termination of managing directors and shareholders

Employees & Managers: Services in german labor law

Our lawyers and certified specialists advise and support start-ups and investors all over Germany in the following areas

  • Drafting, reviewing and terminating management contracts according to german corporate law
  • Drafting of employment contracts according to german labor law
  • Conception and design of alternative employment relationships
  • Advice on employee shareholdings, employee share ownership programs (investment company, ESOP, VSOP)
  • Representation in the event of termination, actions for protection against dismissal, termination agreements/contracts
Startup employees in Germany Here we highlight issues related to startups in Germany from the perspective of german employees rather than founders & investors.

Media, IT/IP and Data Privacy & Competition under german law

Our lawyers and certified specialists advise and assist startups and investors in Germany on

  • Protection of IP, trade secrets and know-how, including non-disclosure agreements NDAs
  • Trademarks, design, licenses and industrial property rights
  • Data protection compliant design of all business transactions (especially DSGVO)
  • Outsourcing and digitalization, especially Software as a Service (SaaS) models
  • Agile software development contracts, including care and maintenance contracts and service level agreements (SLA)
  • German competition law, warning letters and defense against warning letters in cases of anti-competitive behavior

Taxes in Germany: Services of our tax advisors & certified specialists for german tax law

We advise and assist with

  • Tax structuring of investment vehicles and holding companies in Germany
  • Company valuation
  • Optimization of taxation under german tax law
  • Cross-border tax issues
  • Ongoing tax advice (accounting, annual financial statements)
Company valuation of startups in Germany Getting the startup's valuation right is critical to the war effort - and involves a lot of specifics under german law.

T&C (AGB), franchise and distribution: operational business in Germany

Our lawyers and certified specialists advise and assist german startups and investors on

  • Contracts of the operational business
  • Supply contracts, general terms and conditions
  • Distribution contracts, especially franchises, classic commercial agency contracts

FAQ lawyer for startups in Frankfurt Germany

When do startups, founders and shareholders need a lawyer in Germany?

Startups, founders and shareholders in Germany should consult a lawyer at the latest (!) when expert advice is required:

  • For contracts which, due to their complexity, cannot simply be "read down",
  • When it comes to particularly serious decisions, e.g. when shareholders, new shareholders and investors join or leave the german company
  • When agreements, contracts are used several times, e.g. employment contracts, employee participation or data protection declarations
  • When the gut feeling says so

Our experience shows that often the way to a lawyer is shied away due to cost reasons. However, experience also shows that this usually becomes even more expensive.

Can legal fees be tax deductible in Germany?

Yes, under german tax law, a startup's legal fees are usually tax deductible as a business expense if the legal advice was provided in the "business interest". But shareholders can also usually deduct legal fees for tax purposes if they are related to their investment in Germany. Although the deduction cannot be made immediately, it can be made at the latest upon sale/exit. And an employee's legal fees are also deductible as income-related expenses if they are incurred in connection with a matter relating to german employment law.

How many lawyers for startups in Germany are there in Frankfurt?

The Frankfurt Bar Association has almost 20,000 members and is the second largest in Germany. Unfortunately, the statistics do not show how many of them also or exclusively handle mandates in german corporate law and especially in the startup sector. Note: The figures refer to 01.01.2021.

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