How to find company information in Germany

Practical Guide

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How is it possible to access company information in Germany?

The Register Portal ( provides access to commercial, partnership and association registers. Although these registers are operated at a local level, the Register Portal provides centralized access to all registers in Germany.

The Company Register ( is the central platform providing access to company information required to be published.

Both registers displays information also on dissolved companies. They offer searches in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian, but the information and documents are only available in German.

Anyone can consult the Register Portal and the Company Register without having to prove any particular interest. The searches and downloads are – with very few exceptions – free of charge and do not require the opening of an account or registration.

What company information is publicly available in Germany?

On the Register Portal, you have access to the following company information, as far as applicable for the specific legal form: name, seat, business address, purpose of company, share capital, legal form, legal representatives including any authorized signatories, representation regulations, date of company contract/articles of association and amendments, registration court and number.

The contents of the register are made available in different formats, which can be saved (pdf) or printed out: (i) the current status with an overview of all valid entries, (ii) a chronological extract with all data after January 1, 2007, and (iii) a historical extract with all the data that were valid until January 1, 2007.

The Company Register not only contains information on the entries in the commercial register, register of partnerships, and register of associations, but also announcements from the accounting records and financial reports, company law notices, notices of insolvency courts, and capital market information.

Which company documents are available in Germany?

Apart from the information mentioned above, the Register Portal offers to call up documents submitted electronically to the registration court, such as list of shareholders, list of supervisory board members, company contract/articles of association and amendments, protocols of general meetings with resolutions, reports, etc. The display and download of these documents is free of charge.

The Company Register provides access to the following documents with respect to a specific company: Accounting documents and company reports; Publications and other information made available to the public pursuant to the German Securities Trading Act; Announcements on entries in the commercial register, register of cooperatives and register of partnerships; Announcements and publications from the German Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger); Notices of publications under capital market law; Announcements by the insolvency courts, announcements by authorities pursuant to the German Securities Trading Act and the German Capital Investment Act, and entries published in the shareholders' forum. For certain documents, a fee is charged.

What other company-related information is available in Germany?

You can find free information on trademarks (registrations/applications), patents, utility models and designs on the website of the German Patent and Trademark Office (“DPMA”) on, which also has an English version.

The Land Register Portal ( offers access to the local land registers. Access is subject to a fee and to the fulfillment of admission criteria. Only courts, public authorities, notaries and publicly appointed surveyors have an unrestricted right of retrieval. Banks and lawyers besides others are admitted to a restricted land register retrieval procedure. They have to present a legitimate interest for each access. Those are (i) enforcement measures (the existence of an enforcement title is required for this purpose), (ii) inspection on the basis of one's own right to the real property, (iii) an inspection with the written consent of the real estate owner or the owner of a right in rem to the property. The request for access requires the designation of a specific real estate.

In the Transparency Register ( the beneficial owners of companies have to be entered into. The transparency register aims to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Certain authorities are granted full access to the data in the transparency register as part of their duties. Obligated parties, on the other hand, are only permitted access on a case-by-case basis and within the scope of their due diligence obligations. Members of the public shall be granted limited access provided they demonstrate a legitimate interest in the access. Any access requires the opening of an account with an electronic identification.

Is it possible in Germany to obtain information on pending litigation against a company, its shareholders or legal representatives?

No, there is not such a possibility.

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