One-stop shop for advice on tax and legal matters
We provide assistance for:
German and International Companies,
Freelancers and Private Individuals,
German and other Nationals,
Artists and Sportspersons.
For some, it's an inconvenient task they are obliged to carry out while for others it forms the basis for company management.
If you view accounting as a cumbersome task the tax office forces you to do, we'll help reduce your personal involvement in this mandatory exercise to a minimum. An individual agreement will be reached on quite what this minimum constitutes, depending on both your own personal dislikes and available costs.
Once your business activities reach a certain level of complexity, accounting becomes a basis for all owners of a business. Here too, our aim will be to design the cooperation to make it is as effective as possible. Depending on their wishes and the possibilities open to our clients, this cooperation may range from processing an ordered collection of receipts or journals already in electronic form to in-house monitoring of accounting that clients carry out by themselves for the most part.
Where bookkeeping is key to management of the company, besides an accompanying consultation, we can also offer our clients a sophisticated range of tools for management control and analysis. As well as standard evaluations, depending on the individual agreement, this may include:
graphical representation of the profit situation and cost structure
comparisons of previous years or multiple periods
detailed representation of open items
key figure analyses as an early warning system or as part of a company comparison
evaluations tailored to individual needs
cost centre accounting
contribution margin accounting
Annual Financial Statements
Besides determining profits in the form of annual financial statements for company managers obliged to keep accounts, we can also draw up net income accounts as a simplified way of ascertaining profits for freelancers and smaller companies.
Profit ascertainment is more than just a tool for determining taxable income for the financial authorities. Besides fulfilling the minimum legal requirements, they can illustrate a company's financial and profit situation for company managers and any interested third parties (e.g. lenders of capital).
We offer the following services in this area:
graphical representation of the most important balance sheet items and profit and loss items
detailed explanations of the individual items in a balance report
analysis of key figures for internal and external company comparisons
industry-specific company comparisons
Advice on Tax Declarations
Let us take over the obligatory task of drawing up tax declarations of all types for you. Declarations like this are difficult to complete for everyday tax-paying citizens without the relevant training - at least not without running the risk of paying unnecessary tax out of ignorance of current taxation law. Suitable advice is indispensable both for individuals drawing an income and commercial businesses.
Tax Planning Consultations
We also offer tax planning consultation as a non-compulsory service within the permissible margins of the legal framework. Depending on available room to manoeuvre, we will help you minimize your taxation load by planning within the framework of the legal possibilities as far as legal limitations allow. Due to ever changing laws and legal practice, these limitations are in a constant state of flux and, even for experts, only clearly definable with a great deal of effort.
Optimal planning also includes, among others matters, choosing the suitable legal form. Thorough consideration should always be given to choice of legal form when founding a company. During the various phases of a company's existence too however, a change in legal form may be of benefit for various reasons. We will highlight any advantages and disadvantages of changing legal forms in terms of taxation law. In case of any necessary contract planning, tax-consultants and lawyers our partnership work hand-in-hand.
Fiscal Offences Law
We will help you defend your rights in cases where financial authorities have deemed legal limitations to be exceeded.
In cases where proceedings are being led by the public prosecution service, tax-consultants and lawyers of our partnership will work hand-in-hand.
Where uncertainty exists about the legality of a taxation-related matter, we will help you clarify the issue and highlight possible ways of returning to legality.
During the various phases of a company's existence, various requirements for advice on taxation and general business matters may arise to varying degrees.
In particular, this is required for:
ascertaining the prerequisites for founding a company
choosing the most suitable legal form
drawing up a company concept
advice on funding
An established company may find itself in a state of crisis that endangers its existence for a variety of reasons. Like at business start-up, a business consultation is particularly useful in such cases:
ascertaining the cause(s) of a company crisis
analysis of weaknesses
outlining a recovery concept
monitoring the recovery
Ongoing Business Consultation:
making decisions - purchasing, rental, leasing
return on investment for a property acquisition
financing plans/profit plans for the granting of a credit
International Taxation Law
We can highlight obstacles and options when it comes to German and international taxation law for German nationals with outbound activities and foreign nationals with inbound activities:
For foreign companies already with existing business relations in Germany or those looking to do business here, we can demonstrate which legal form will obtain the most beneficial taxation results:
Direct business with no national base
Setting up a permanent establishment (dependent part of head office)
Participation in or foundation of a partnership
Subsidiary (foundation of an independent capital company)
Besides optimising taxation, other factors will generally play a key role in the choice of legal form, in particular:
Limitation of liability
Change of shareholders
Restrictions on capital transactions
Ideally, advice should be obtained jointly from both a tax consultant and lawyers in such cases.
For domestic companies with existing business relations abroad or planning to enter a market abroad, the same essentially applies as for inbound cases. Repatriation of profits obtained abroad is of particular interest here.
Ideally we cooperate with tax consultants and lawyers of our clients or recommend our own foreign co-operation partners.
For nationals who work for an employer in another country, it is important to avoid double taxation both abroad and at home, or at least to minimise this. As a rule, it is important to clarify the extent to which foreign taxation will be due and whether or to what degree this can be credited to German tax or else is exempt from taxation by the German fiscal authorities.
For foreign nationals earning their living in Germany, it is also important to avoid double taxation both here and abroad, or at least to minimize this. As a rule, it is important to clarify whether German taxation claims are accounted for or whether a separate income tax assessment would provide a better result.
Artists and Sportspersons
When performing or competing, such individuals are often subject to a tax deduction at source, usually by the event organiser. This preliminary deduction can be avoided or at least added on to the tax deducted later on.
The rise in globalisation inevitably goes hand-in-hand with the worldwide distribution of assets. Family relationships are at the same time increasingly no longer restricted to one nation meaning that, in case of an inheritance, at least two states are entitled to claim taxation on the sum.
Avoiding or reducing profit taxes (income tax, commercial tax and corporate tax) is regulated by around 100 treaties in Germany designed to prevent double taxation. At present however, there are only six double taxation agreements in place for inheritance tax (Denmark, Greece, France, Sweden, Switzerland, USA).
Since inheritances may lead to considerable assets being transferred, double taxation can often have disastrous consequences for tangible assets. Careful planning is therefore highly recommended in this sensitive area.
Accurate, on-time payroll accounting for staff members is one of the most sensitive areas within a company. As well as the ever changing tax law norms, a knowledge of social security law, which is likewise often subject to amendment, is essential. For this reason we offer payroll accounting as an additional service. We can also handle accounting of wages for the construction industry, an area which poses considerable problems.
Foundation of Companies and Changes to Corporate Form
We can provide comprehensive support for both German and non-German nationals when founding new companies in Germany:
We will identify the most appropriate legal form, which will depend on various aspects such as the size of the company, finance, the flexibility desired for restructuring, internal organisation and staff participation, matters of liability and, last but not least, taxation.
In addition, we will draw up and check the required contracts i.e. for company agreements, managing partnership agreements, employment contracts, rental, purchasing and sales contacts as well as any General Terms and Conditions required.
We can even handle administrative aspects of the foundation process and deal with authorities for you. In such cases we will represent you as far as possible at the Tax Office, Trade Office, the Commercial Registry or else – where persons not resident in Germany are involved – to foreign authorities.
For existing companies, we can advise on any possibilities for optimising legal and taxation matters by changing to a different legal form or restructuring. Conversions or restructuring of his type is often recommended where there are changes to the size, setup or liability risks or in case of changes to existing laws, for instance when new company forms are launched.
Liquidation and Insolvency
Legal and taxation issues will arise when your own company or that of a business partner encounters economic difficulties.
In such cases we can advise about whether your own company should be liquidated or whether, to prevent personal liability of managing partners for instance, it would be better to register the company bankrupt. In crises like these, a minefield of legal issues need to be clarified e.g. how to handle shareholder loans that replace own capital or whether restructuring might prevent comprehensive liquidation or insolvency.
In case of actual bankruptcy of business partners or where there is a threat of this, we will help you to salvage what you can.
We will draw up and check employment contracts for you and advise in case of cancellations of contract or resignations.
Over and above this we will advise on the possibility of the supply of temporary workers and any problems that might occur with this and apply for the required approvals.
Social Security Law (fictitious Self-Employment)
The question of social insurance obligations will often arise – especially with regard to the activities of managing directors and family members.
A similar problem is the frequent question of whether freelancers really are freelance (e.g. if they work mainly for one employer) – which, at least in the judgement of Social Security, they often are not.
If this issue is dealt with incorrectly, it can lead to retrospective payment demands that may put your existence at risk (in case of fictitious self-employment).
These problems can usually be avoided by the prompt checking and appropriate clauses in employment contracts.
In suitable cases, a status determination process should be carried out for social security purposes.
Contract Law and Terms and Conditions
We design and check, for instance, company agreements, management agreements, employment contracts, rental, purchase or sales contracts.
In addition, we will check and draw up General Terms and Conditions and assist you in implementing your own general terms and conditions over those of your contract partners.
When handling contacts, we will help you to enforce or fend off claims for fulfilment, claims for damages, reductions etc.
In the area of competition law we can help you for instance if you receive a warning due to apparent infringements of copyright law or with competition protection clauses.
These days nearly all companies are international operations in some way or another.
The question therefore arises as to whether German or foreign jurisdiction is applicable to a matter and whether German or foreign courts are responsible.
We will help you to clarify such questions and to influence these issues for your own interest using suitable contract clauses.
Enforcement of Payments
We will help you to enforce claims against defaulting debtors as quickly as possible for the least possible costs e.g. using a dunning procedure.
We can also assist you when it comes to individual law with all contract-related issues: e.g.
if you want to have a contract checked by a lawyer before you sign it;
if you have signed a contract but wish to withdraw from this or revoke it;
if you have signed a contract and the other party is not meeting its obligations.
Real Estate Law
We will assist you for instance
when purchasing and selling real estate;
if you require a credit and wish (or are obliged) to lay down a land charge or mortgage on your land plot or residence;
if you wish to lease or rent apartments and want to use a contract for this or have it checked;
if you – as a tenant either of commercial or residential property - have problems with your landlord or tenants (due to increases in rent, renovations, accounting, defects, cosmetic repairs).
Matters of legal taxation are at least as important in property law as matters of judicial law. This is where our one-stop for legal and taxation advice will prove its value.
As well as advice on individual questions, we provide comprehensive consultation and representation in case of
Separation or divorce with handling of divorce effects,
Right of contact and access,
Compensation for increase in value,
Pension rights adjustment.
We can also offer you, in the area of family law, a joint consultation on legal and taxation issues - the latter being equally important for maintenance, pension rights and adjustment and compensation for increase in value.
In such cases, it is important a consultation takes place as early as possible:
How can a sensible solution be reached promptly to prevent disputes about custody and access rights placing unnecessary strains on the children?
What is the best way to prevent, right from the outset, assets depreciating after separation to reduce maintenance claims or claims for increased compensation? What business and taxation design options are permissible to prevent excessively high payments?
A joint legal and taxation consultation is important in such cases in order to set the correct course early on.
How can an amicable solution be found to all matters in a nuptial agreement prior to divorce so that the divorce is merely one short appointment with no disputed points?
In every case we will be guided first and foremost by your own requirements: we can handle matters as fairly as possible and act in the interest of all parties or else consistently represent the interests of one party.
We can provide you with advice on legal and taxation matters when putting together your will:
Ensure you obtain advice early on in order to exploit all the options for making your ideas of how your inheritance should be dealt with a reality:
Are certain individuals to be particularly safeguarded?
Who is entitled to a statutory share, what does this mean and how can we influence the statutory share?
How can the succession and the taxation burden be deliberately influenced using sensible endowments during your lifetime so you can still profit from your estate yourself?
How can taxation benefits be attained (maximising tax exempt amounts by contributions subject to a condition subsequent, endowment in due time while alive for repeated exploitation of tax exempt amounts)?
Entrepreneurial wills are a particularly complex topic. With these it is important to ensure that the company can continue to exist even in case of inheritance and does not have to be ruined due to compensation payments to fellow heirs or those entitled to statutory shares or due to excessive inheritance tax burdens.Securing the long-term existence of the company by means of a sound nuptial agreement and by appropriate clauses in the company contract is however just as important as an entrepreneurial will.
Another important topic is the increasing number of international inheritance cases i.e. inheritance cases with a foreign basis, either because the deceased or at least one of the heirs lives abroad or where at least a part of the estate is located abroad. In such cases checks need to be made and there is a need to consider which inheritance jurisdiction is applicable, what sorts of consequences this has (there is no entitlement to statutory share in many foreign jurisdictions for instance) and the extent to which you can use your own influence e.g. by selecting the applicable jurisdiction. Taking into account taxation aspects is equally important in this context, too. The threat of double taxation looms more frequently than one might imagine with international inheritance cases and this can have fatal consequences for finances.
Besides setting up a will, we will assist you in handling legal and taxation matters with inheritance cases here too. As sad as the death of a close person is, there is nonetheless much to be considered and done:
Accepting or renouncing the inheritance;
Bringing to bear liability restrictions;
Applying for a certificate of inheritance;
Contact with fellow heirs, entitlement to statutory shares, legatees and will executors where applicable;
Enforcement and defence of rights to information and payment;
Submission of inheritance tax declaration.
Our notary will provide you with advice when founding, restructuring or registering changes within companies and certify the necessary contracts, declarations and registrations.
The notary will design and certify e.g.
real estate and property purchasing contracts,
property development contracts and
creation of land charges and mortgages.
Both sides will in particular receive advice about the risks and appropriate collateral options, cancellation or continuity of charges, warranties for defects, transfer of ownership, entitlements and encumbrances, breakdown of development costs or surveying requirements when purchasing subareas.
Our notary will advise you on matters relating to your final will and testament, in particular on making a will or an inheritance contract and taking into account legal and taxation aspects (right to statutory share, crediting of endowments, multiple utilisation of tax exempt amounts, avoiding double taxation in cases with a foreign basis).
He will also support you when handling your estate e.g. by negotiating and applying for an inheritance certificate, accepting or renouncing an inheritance.
In the area of family law, our notary in particular certifies nuptial agreements, agreements on the effects of divorce and maintenance declarations.