1. Strong: A dynamic economy
Significant spending power, an innovative climate, its location at the heart of a dense transport network right in the centre of Europe and highly skilled workers – all of these are benefits of Germany as a business location.
Science and research with a practical orientation and well-trained qualified professionals have generated an excellent environment for innovation – and as a result, Germany is a European leader with 67,899 patent applications in 2016. Thanks to the highest absolute European spending power in 2012 of 1.6 billion euros, it is easy for new ideas to find a market.
Many of these are generated by what is known as the Mittelstand. The Mittelstand is formed of the scores of small and medium-sized companies which are characteristic for Germany’s economy.
The German infrastructure will also make it easy for you to set up your own business. More than 230,000 km of roads, 37,000 km of railways and a modern telecommunications network will take you, your ideas and your products to your destination.
2. Stable: A good home for your ideas
As an entrepreneur in Germany, you can expect a stable political and economic environment for your ideas. And what’s more: three pieces of legislation will protect you from having your ideas stolen.
Inventions, company logos and concepts: your intellectual property is protected in Germany. Copyright, patent law and trademark law are designed to safeguard what is probably your most valuable asset.
Economic policy has also been focusing on protecting excellent ideas: Competition law, for example, ensures that your competitors cannot make false claims about your products in order to attract customers for themselves.
Germany not only safeguards the freedom of competition, but also the freedom of its citizens. The basis for this is the free democratic basic order: the people elect their representatives, and the separation of powers prevents abuse of power.
All of this is why the German economy is so stable: between 2007 and 2011, the number of Mittelstand employees increased by about 2.5 million – despite the economic crisis.
3. Open-minded: Your cultural background will help you attract international customers
You’re not just an expert in your field. As opposed to most Germans, you’re also very much familiar with the culture of your home country. That is certainly an advantage.
Germany is a country of immigration. In 2016 alone, more than 1.5 million people relocated to Germany from abroad – and the number is growing. Often, these immigrants have particular requirements and desires, and you may be more familiar with them than most Germans. Maybe this could be the starting point of a business idea?
Your knowledge of language and culture might be the key to international business partnerships. More than 20 percent of Mittelstand companies are already active in international markets. Maybe you’ve already had contact with one of these companies. Use them to set up your own business.
4. Helpful: You will receive professional support and funding
Once you have come up with a business idea, it can serve as the most important basis for your own company. There are numerous information centres offering comprehensive advice on starting up your own business, what the best approach is and where you can obtain funding.
All German states have professional information centres for entrepreneurs in the making – and advice is free. There is also a huge choice in startup initiatives. These will help you find suitable networks and will assist you in questions related to funding and others. Government support programs may provide funding, too. For an overview, click here.
You can also obtain valuable advice from other international entrepreneurs, whom you might meet in startup networks or at information centres.
5. Diverse: Become part of a diverse society
If you decide to set up your business in Germany, you will decide in favour of a country offering a high quality of life. In addition, Germany’s culture, the diversity of its people, and its friendliness make it attractive, too.
More than 10 million people from other countries call Germany their home. This co-existence of various cultures and religions has given rise to a lively, international arts and culture scene. A high quality of life and a stable democracy also contribute to peaceful coexistence in Germany.
Family plays an important role, too: More than eight million families live in Germany. Policy-makers and companies take their interests very seriously. That way, parents have many ways of reconciling work and family life. From the age of one, children in Germany are generally entitled to a place in childcare, for example.