A representation of the cost structure of a GmbH


The information provided is based on our own experience and does not constitute legal advice, tax advice or other legally statutory advice.

If you decide on the legal form of a GmbH, the question always arises as to what costs you have to reckon with. In the following, the various costs incurred are explained and roughly quantified.


Commercial Register150€-
Commercial Office30€-
Transparency Register-20€ / Jahr
Trade Association->50€ / Jahr
Business Liability Insurance-400-1.000€ / Jahr
Tax Consultant-2.500€ / Jahr
Business Bank Account-120€ / Jahr

Roughly speaking, the operation of the GmbH costs around €300 per month and you should reckon with around €600 in one-off start-up costs.

The first months

First of all, 25,000 euros sounds like a very high amount. In the first few months the company faces a lot of costs and it is not uncommon to see €5,000 to €10,000 in additional operating costs in the first 2 months. In the consulting area in particular, there are often travel and accommodation costs, IT equipment has to be purchased or a mobile phone contract has to be concluded allowing you to register with Amazon Business with your new mobile phone number. Invoices are usually only settled 20-30 days after the customer has issued the invoice. The first income can be expected in the 3rd month of business activity at the earliest.

Founding of the GmbH


The incorporation must be notarized. This service costs around €350. These costs are borne by the founders and are not operating expenses of the GmbH. In the formation protocol, it can and should be agreed whether and to what extent the GmbH will bear the formation costs of the founders.

Commercial Regiter

The commercial register automatically sends an invoice for around €150. This invoice is to be reconciled by the founders, not by the business account of the GmbH.

Commercial Office

A processing fee of approx. €30 is due for the business registration. This notification of fees is sent together with the confirmation of registration and can easily be overlooked, which can then lead to corresponding overdue fines.

Transparency Register

Entry in the transparency register and ongoing assurance of correctness are required by law. A fee of around €20 per year is due for this service.


According to GmbH law, liability is limited to the share capital. This amounts to €25,000 and must be deposited when the company is founded for free use of the organisation. If the capital is used up, the shareholders are personally liable for the shortfall up to the specified limit of €25,000.

The deposit can also initially be made with only €12,500. In this case, at least 20% of the determined company profit must be contributed annually as deposit capital until the sum of €25,000 is reached.

This amount does not represent any costs for the GmbH, but private costs for founders.

Administrative Expenses

Trade Association

The GmbH must register with the competent trade association and, if necessary, insure itself. A 1-person GmbH is free of charge in most cases, but this must also be registered, otherwise there is a risk of a fine of up to €25,000. This entry should be made immediately after the notarial certification.

The cost of insurance depends on the risk class of the business purpose and the income of the employees. For example, if only a mini-jobber (€520/month) is to be employed, the minimum amount is approx. €50/year is due.

Tax Consultancy

The annual commercial balance sheet and tax balance sheet is drawn up and published by a tax consultant. Especially in the early days, countless questions arise as to what needs to be booked and how, or whether certain topics are business expenses or not. The various depreciation options can also be optimized very well by a tax consultant. This results in operating costs of around €2,500 per year. It is common for tax consultants to demand monthly deductions. In case of of bankruptcy, the closure of the company must be accompanied by the tax office, hence the request for upfront payment.

Operting Expenses

Business Liability Insurance

Such insurance is not required by law, but is recommended. In the case of consulting services in particular, clients often insist on the existence of business liability insurance. In addition, the lack of such insurance is evaluated as a possible indication in the context of the check for bogus self-employment.

The costs for this depend on the insured services and the company. As a rough guide for a company with annual sales of up to €100,000, you should calculate between €400-1,000 per year.


Bank Account Maintenance Fees

Most banks only offer paid business accounts. The monthly basic costs and the included bookings vary greatly and the number of bookings in particular can become a cost driver. You should also check any required credit cards and access for tax consultants or auditors before signing the contract.

Depending on the desired package, between 10 and 100 euros are due per month.



This part should not be neglected in financial planning. The payment of the agreed salaries and wages is not voluntary and must be made within the agreed deadlines and in full. When founding, you as the owner and shareholder can waive the payment of your salary to secure your business assets. As soon as the finances have stabilized, you can then start paying the salary by means of a shareholder resolution and an addendum to your employment contract.



The determined profit is taxable and, unlike partnerships, there is no tax exemption for a GmbH. Even if the assessment rates differ depending on the municipality, you can count on around 30% taxation of the profit.