In Germany, tourists can normally get by with English without any problems. Even some jobs in international corporations do not require you to speak any German. However, if you are setting up your own business, a sound knowledge of German is very important. Even as you prepare your business, you will find that many official documents are available in German only. Similarly, your customers and business partners will expect to be able to contact you in the local language.
If your German isn’t good enough yet, you should make sure to take a language course before you set up your business. Some advanced courses have a special focus on the business world. If you know the most important German terms, this will help you particularly in the startup phase. In the beginning, you may still find that it is difficult to understand contracts and other formal texts straightaway. That’s why for important meetings, it may be helpful to bring along a German-speaking friend or acquaintance.
BMWi Overview no. 58: Where can I find a suitable German course?
BMWi GründerZeiten no. 1: Existenzgründung in Deutschland (setting up a business in Germany)
Here, you will find a concise overview of information on setting up your own business (PDF) (English, German)
BMWi Startup guide for Germany
Services available to entrepreneurs (English)
Recognition in Germany
Find out about procedures for having your professional qualifications recognised (English, German, Spanish)
BMWi GründerZeiten no. 3: Existenzgründungen durch Frauen (women startups)
BMWi GründerZeiten no. 10: Gründungen durch Migranten (migrant startups)
Comprehensive information on the topic of “migrant startups” (PDF) (German)
BMWi GründerZeiten no. 18: Existenzgründungen im Handwerk (setting up a craft business)
Comprehensive information on setting up a craft business(PDF) (German)