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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Foreign investors are generally subject to the same conditions as German investors and there are no administrative controls specifically for foreign investments in Germany, and no specific key laws or regulatory authorities that govern foreign investment. Regulated industries (such as pharmaceuticals, military products, radioactive substances and so on) are subject to special controls.
Acquisition of Holdings

Foreign investors may have a majority holding in the capital of a local company.

Under the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of Economics can prohibit or restrict the direct or indirect acquisition of at least 10% of the voting rights in a German company. There are two areas of review:

  • Sector-specific review, e.g. defense sector
  • Cross-sectoral review, pursuant public order or public security in sensitive sector such as critical infrastructure and software for energy, IT and health sector
Obligation to Declare
Germany Trade & Invest (the agency responsible for the promotion of foreign investment) provides information about necessary authorisations or declarations.
The most recent changes to the German Foreign Investment Act (the GFI Act) were adopted by the German parliament on 17 June 2020 and came into force on 16 July 2020, when the GFI Act was published in the Federal Law Gazette.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Investments must be governed by the policies and the procedures specific to the sector.

Private share sales are usually subject to the following closing conditions/conditions precedent:

  • Merger control clearance by the Federal Cartel Office or the European Commission.
  • Foreign investment control clearance by the Ministry of Economics and Technology.


Under the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of Economics can prohibit or restrict the direct or indirect acquisition of at least 10% of the voting rights in a German company. There are two areas of review:
-    Sector-specific review, e.g. defense sector.
-    Cross-sectoral review, pursuant public order or public security in sensitive sector such as critical infrastructure and software for energy, IT and health sector.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) 
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Bundesausschreibungsblatt, Tenders official body (in German)
Tenders Info, Tenders in Germany
Ted - Tenders Electronic Daily, Business opportunities in EU
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Investment Guide to Germany (GTAI)

Find out more about Investment Service Providers in Germany on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Actualitzacions: May 2022

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