Germany is one of the most attractive places for foreign direct
investment. The reasons are abundant: A large market in the
middle of Europe, well-connected to its neighbors and markets
around the world, top-notch research institutions, a high level of
industrial production, world leading manufacturing companies,
full employment, economic and political stability.
However, doing business in Germany is no simple task. The
World Bank’s “ease of doing business” ranking puts Germany
in 15th place overall, but as low as 107th place when it comes
to starting a business and 72nd place in terms of paying taxes.
The confusing mixture of competences of regional, federal, and
European authorities adds to the German gift for bureaucracy.
Numerous legislative changes have taken effect since we last
issued this guide in 2011.
Particularly noteworthy are the Act
on the Modifcation and Simplifcation of Business Taxation
and of the Tax Law on Travel Expenses (Gesetz zur Änderung
und Vereinfachung der Unternehmensbesteuerung und des
steuerlichen Reisekostenrechts), the 2015 Tax Amendment Act
(Steueränderungsgesetz 2015), and the Accounting Directive
Implementation Act (Bilanzrichtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz).