Legal & Tax Support

Keep the overview: AHKs advise and support a wide range of tax and legal issues abroad

© Claudia Kempf für DIHK DEinternational GmbH

Our offers at a glance

Legal and tax information

When conducting business globally, knowledge of the legal situation in the other country is essential. The AHKs provide reliable information on the legal situation in your target company, ranging from labour law to administrative law. When it comes to the cross border movement of goods and services between Germany and partner countries, it is also important to clarify questions regarding tax regulations in third countries time and again.

  • Import and export issues
  • Contract and corporate law
  • Customs and commercial law
  • Labour and social law
  • Insolvency law
  • Taxation law (e.g. income, corporate and sales tax)

Company foundation

Companies can choose from several different types of market entry. This can entail the founding of a company or a subsidiary, or else it can mean entering into a joint venture. The selection of the legal format of the company is essential, as are the conditions that required this selection. Questions regarding whether or not a local presence is needed, or whether a company requires local representatives or shareholders, are regularly included in these deliberations.

Your advantages from founding a company with the AHK:

  • Support of your company throughout the entire founding process
  • Consultation on selecting a company format
  • Support during negotiations and contract design
  • Simplifying registration and approval procedures
  • Assistance regarding visa and labour law questions

Debt collection

Poor payment practices on the part of customers represent a particularly serious problem for smaller firms that compete directly with large companies. Longstanding experience with debt collection procedures has shown that out-of-court approaches often provide creditors with faster and less costly results. Civil court proceedings are frequently time-consuming and costly.

“On-site” debt collection also provides an advantage by quickly eliminating misunderstandings based on divergent business concepts or commercial customs. This can help prevent sustained disruptions of longstanding business relationships.

The AHKs take on arbitration services within the framework of bilateral facilitation efforts in the following cases:

  • Payment delays and difficulties
  • Defective merchandise shipments
  • Difficulties arising from cooperative agreements
  • Similar cases in which support without a lawyer and through a neutral agency can lead to success in avoiding or ending a conflict


Within the framework of its “arbitration” service, the AHKs support internationally active companies in having their conflicts with business partners and customers settled through a private court. In this service, the AHKs generally act as arbitration institutions and as the agency coordinating the procedure. They support you in selecting the arbitrator and provide administrative support during the arbitration procedure.

The company arbitration process provides you with the following advantages compared with a court case:

  • Arbitrators are determined by the parties involved
  • Comparatively low costs
  • Normally briefer duration
  • Free selection of the language used
  • Free selection of the applicable legal system

Business mediation

With the help of business mediation, the AHKs support internationally active companies in resolving their conflicts with business partners and customers out of court. The mediation involves the conflict parties voluntarily and with the assistance of an impartial third party (the mediator) attempting to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the conflict. The AHKs contact the opposing side in order to persuade them to participate in the procedure.

The AHKs always appoint experienced mediators to handle the dispute. Compared to a court procedure, this allows for a rapid clarification with low costs and it also facilitates the continuation of the business relationship.

The AHKs provide you with the following advantages when it comes to business mediation:

  • Resolving conflicts throughout your entire business abroad in accordance with uniform AHK procedures and standards
  • Independent of the language and location of the business partner
  • Internal network promotion and further development of the service through the “International Mediation Centre of the Chambers of Commerce Abroad”

Tax representation

Companies have the opportunity to let themselves be represented on tax matters abroad in certain cases by a so-called tax representative. By doing so, companies that do not maintain a subsidiary in the export country can save the administrative expenses of maintaining their own tax registration in third countries with all the disclosure duties this entails. The appointment of a tax representative is voluntary in some countries and mandatory in others.

The services provided by the AHKs include:

  • Factual assessments
  • Registration for sales tax
  • Preparing sales tax declarations
  • Handling mandatory reports (e.g. Intrastat)

Sales tax reimbursement

The AHKs support you in the following areas:

  • Examining the conditions for reimbursement
  • Filing and preliminary review
  • Making contact with local authorities