How to do business in NRW: Establishing a Company

Dependent Branch Office

A dependent branch office (unselbständige Zweigniederlassung) is a subordinate department of the head office company and does not have any autonomy from it. It focuses on maintaining contacts and initiating business in Germany.

The dependent branch office is not able to independently participate in the general business transactions of the head office. It performs support and implementation-related tasks without having any individual business discretion and is entirely dependent on the head office. 

Invoices have to be made out in the name of the head office company. An individual company name cannot be used.

Registration of the Dependent Branch Office

As a dependent branch office displays no autonomy vis-à-vis the head office of the company, it is not entered in the commercial register. The only formal requirement for a dependent branch office is registration with the local trade office, for which certain documentation on the foreign company is also necessary.

For more information on how to register a business in Germany please refer to the following page: