Foreigners inside a Company

Can Foreigners hold positions in German Companies?

As a foreigner may I open a company in Germany?

Are you wondering whether you as an alien may be a shareholder of a German company? You may worry no longer. It permissible that any non-German may be a shareholder and also its director. If you want to understand more on why being a foreigner is no issue for being a shareholder, just click this sentence.

Which nationalswill have a problem with the bank account. Being an Iranian, I first got rejected.

Banks are very, extremely careful to provide the following nationals with an account for their company. Some of our banking partners will – despite this ban – open a bank account when you have a permit outside of the countries listed below. As an example: A Russian cannot take over the bank account when he lives in Belarus. If he has a residence permit in Germany, this will generally work. However, for this example, you also have to consider that Russians on the list of restricted persons from the EU will never get an account. These nationalities are:

Countries A - G Countries H - R Countries S -Z



Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic









South Ossetia

Central African Republic



Democratic Republic of the Congo







North Korea



Northern Cyprus



Russian Federation

May I live and work in Germany and work as the shareholder of my company?

Well, a shareholder does not typically work for his company -- that's why directors exist. Shareholders have only assets with their shares. Therefore, you will never get a residence permit simply because you are a shareholder. We share information for business immigration on a different page.

May I live and work in Germany and work as the director of my company?

Yes, this is quite well imaginable. You will need a permit based on §21 I AufenthG. Typical exceptions to having such a permit will be that you already have an unrestricted work permit. You have an unrestricted work permit when your title reads like "Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet". We share information for business immigration on a different page.

Do I have to visit Germany to found? The thing is, I would need a visa to come, and getting one takes so awfully long.

You may visit Germany and it would be a pleasure to meet you in person. But this is not necessary when this is an inconvenience for you. For this reason, we developed a remote founding procedure. Check out for more information on remote founding here by clicking this sentence!

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