An official website of the United States government

Getting Started in Germany
March 31, 2021

Doing Business With Germany

For American companies, the German market, Europe’s largest, is attractive in numerous sectors and is an important element of any comprehensive export strategy in Europe.

At Mission Germany, the U.S. Commercial Service, the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office and the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation work to promote the export of U.S. goods, services and technology in today’s global marketplace.

Please visit the trade.gov page on Germany for an overview of economic conditions and opportunities in the region.

I – Exporting to Germany

Getting Started

If you are considering doing business in Germany, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:

1. Visit Germany’s trade.gov page on Germany to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.

2. Contact Information and Links for Assistance:

  • Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Germany. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You
  • Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs)
    Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Make use of business matchmaking services:
    Whether you’re looking to make your first export sale or expand your business in this market, we offer the trade counseling, market intelligencebusiness matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy you need to connect with lucrative business opportunities.
II – Investing in Germany

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Germany.

1. Potential investors: Getting Started.

If you are considering investment in Germany, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:

2. Current Investors: Staying Connected

If you are a current U.S. investor in Germany, the U.S. Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy: if you are active in [insert country name here], let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses at the top of this page.
  • Add Commercial and Agricultural Specialists to your mailing lists: we are always happy to stay informed. Send emails to contact addresses at the top of this page.
  • Subscribe to Mission Germany’s Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise. Contact information is listed at the top of this page.

3. Working in Germany

In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.

Business Visas

For information on obtaining a visa to visit Germany, see information here.

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Germany.


The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found herehttp://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf (PDF 135kb)