Where to start

Are you interested in starting a business in Hamburg? You can contact this go-to resource for business development in Hamburg to answer your questions and get started.


We are the one-stop agency for national and international investment in Hamburg as well as the central partner of Hamburg’s business sector on all topics relating to business development. We offer a wide range of services for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. We promote Hamburg as a business location on both national and international levels.


International companies planning to engage in business operations in Germany are faced with a number of questions.

We have specialists to provide you with answers to all these questions and will direct you to external experts as required. As early as possible get in touch with your nearest representative office or the our team in Hamburg. Obtaining detailed information from our specialists, e.g. regarding visas, will simplify all subsequent steps.

Visa for Business Trip to Hamburg

A visa is generally required for citizens of non-EU countries travelling to Germany on business. Visas must be applied for at your German embassy or consulate. To obtain a visa, you will need a letter of invitation from us or from another company based in Hamburg.

Health Insurance for Your Stay in Germany

Proof of health insurance coverage in Germany is required for obtaining a visa. You can take out health insurance in your home country.

Accommodation in Hamburg

Whether you will book hotel accommodation or rent an apartment for your stay in Hamburg will, of course, depend on the duration of your business trip. We will gladly make a reservation for you.

Necessary Documents for Establishing a Company

Which documents are required depends on whether the company is to be established by an individual or a legal entity.


  • Passport
  • Nominal capital for a GmbH (25,000 EUR plus fees)

Legal entity:

  • Original copy and certified translation of parent company’s entry in the commercial register
  • Letter of intent from the owners (shareholders) documenting the decision to establish a company in Hamburg, and stating the name of the designated managing director
  • Possibly power of attorney for an individual to subscribe to the share capital of the new company if not all of the shareholders can be present
  • Nominal capital for a GmbH (25,000 EUR plus fees)

Persons Involved in Establishing a Company (partly optional)

If you are setting up a company in Germany, even the consultancy provided by Hamburg Invest cannot replace the work of a number of specialists. The following may be involved:


  • Information on legal requirements of business operations in Germany/ Hamburg
  • Drafting of company’s articles of association
  • Search for an admissible company name
  • Drafting of managing director’s contract
  • Lawyer’s address as preliminary business address

Tax advisor

  • Information on commercial and tax laws
  • Filing an opening balance sheet
  • Concluding a consultancy agreement, if required

Notary public

  • Notarization of the articles of association
  • Submission to Hamburg commercial register


  • Opening a business account for the new company
  • Depositing nominal capital

We will make the appointments for these meetings.


Stefan Matz, Head of International Business 

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Home Country Support

Companies wishing to enter a foreign market can actively seek out support by the embassy or consulate of their home country in another city. Staff members are ready to help you begin.

Another source of support and information is the bilateral chamber of commerce of your home country. The chamber may assist your company in several ways, including consulting services regarding market research, trade-show assistance, background verification, preparation of market entry plans and business referral services.

Find your Embassy / Consulate or Chamber of commerce for this city.