Online formation of a GmbH for the first time in Germany

The first online formation of a GmbH took place in Germany today, on 1 August 2022. This online formation was authenticated in a video conference via the portal of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries. The founder was located in Berlin while the notary was in Munich. This formation marks the start of the notarial online procedure. "Today is a milestone in the digitisation of the notarial profession," says Prof. Dr. Jens Bormann, President of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries, welcoming the premiere. "The notary is going online, while the procedure remains simple and secure."


In addition to the formation of a limited liability company, also applications for the registration in the commercial register as well as the register of cooperatives and partnerships can now be made digitally. Anyone who is being appointed managing director, for example, or who wants to change the business address of their company no longer has to visit the notary on site but can conveniently carry out the certification in a video conference with the notary from anywhere. "All that is needed is a laptop or tablet as well as a smartphone with the cost-free notary app and a current identification document," explains Bormann. "The procedure is thus easily accessible."

At the same time the highest security and data protection requirements are ensured. An online authentication is only permitted via the video conference system of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries. All data are stored on German servers in encrypted form. "The confidentiality between the notary and the client remains guaranteed digitally as well", emphasises Bormann. The parties involved are identified by means of an electronic proof of identity of the highest security level, for example with the eID function of the German identity card. The system checks whether the identity document has been forged or stolen. "In this way, we prevent the formation of companies under false identities. This is an important contribution in the fight against money laundering, tax fraud and other types of crime", says Bormann.

In one year, the notarial online procedure’s scope of application will be expanded further: Beginning on 1 August 2023, it will also be possible to form a limited liability company with contributions made in kind, change the limited liability company's articles of association online and apply for registration in the register of associations online. Other procedures will still only be authenticated on site with physical presence of the parties. Bormann explains: "In real estate or inheritance and family law matters, most of the times, private persons without any specific prior knowledge are involved, who must be particularly protected. This can be guaranteed much better in physical presence of the parties. The pandemic in particular has highlighted for us all the difference between a personal interaction and a videoconference."

Apart from the notarial online procedure, the Federal Chamber of Notaries has successfully implemented a second major digitisation project this year with the setup of the Electronic Archive of Authentic Acts. Bormann comments: "The notaries are actively advancing digitisation with great commitment."

Further information on the notarial online procedure can be found at online-verfahren.notar.de.

Bild: Notar Jens Kirchner | Online-Gründung
Bild: Online-Gründung

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