Each entity carrying on a trade or business in Germany must register with the
local registry court (trade register) for the town of its seat or of its principal
place of business. Branches in other towns must also be registered if the branch
effectively trades independently, but not if it solely supports, and is dependent
on, the activities of the main company. The same distinction applies to German
branches or other establishments of foreign companies. A German subsidiary,
as a legal entity, must be registered in at least one trade register.
The trade registers are open to public inspection. The publicly accessible file for
each company includes the basic rights of representation (the personal details
of the directors and their respective powers), and a copy of the statutes.