US Legal and Tax Advice in Germany
Your first contact for all US legal matters
Have you already started a business in the US? Are you planning on investing in the US? As a German law firm with German and American legal and tax advisors, WINHELLER knows the US – its market, its people and its culture. We also know what German companies and individuals need and want when establishing or growing a US venture. Whether you are starting an IT business in Silicon Valley, a restaurant in Colorado or a factory in Michigan, our US-licensed attorneys can provide you with advice and counsel on all aspects of US business, employment and visa law – in German or English and right here in Germany.
Have you considered the effect of your US business on your German taxes?
Often, a US business is established or expanded without considering the German tax implications. Unlike firms that only consider US tax implications, our US licensed attorneys work closely with our team of international tax attorneys and tax advisors. As needed, we can evaluate the tax implications of your US investments and help you make business decisions that will ensure optimal tax outcomes. For example, it can make a significant difference if you found a US Corporation or a US Limited Liability Company (LLC); and vesting ownership in a natural person in Germany, a partnership or a GmbH also has important tax implications.
We can guide you through the thicket of international tax laws and help you leverage the tax structures offered by the Double Taxation Convention between the US and Germany. We can also assist you with the drafting of intercompany agreements that satisfy international and national contract and tax laws (e.g. transfer pricing).
Selecting the right visa for your US project
Traveling to the US as an investor, founder or employee requires careful attention to the US immigration laws. Generally speaking, traveling to the US visa free (via ESTA-registration) is only possible if the traveler is going to engage in „Business“ (e.g. investment meetings, business meetings and contract negotiations). Activities that cannot be categorized as “business” count generally as employment and require a visa.
Careful preparation is key to any US travel plans. US officials regularly deny visa applications if the wrong visa type was selected. And, even if a visa is issued, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers have the power to independently evaluate an application for admission. As a result, a visa alone is no guarantee of admission into the US. Our experienced US-licensed attorneys can provide you and your company with all the support you need to select and apply for US visas.
We can also provide you with information regarding your visa waiver options (ESTA), Green Cards for certain categories of employment- and family-based immigrants, US citizenship (naturalization and renunciation), as well as applications to retain German citizenship. For an overview of the most common US visas, visit our (German) US visa website.
Learn more about German income taxation for individuals and business companies:
We are proud authors of the German chapters of the renowned LexisNexis Matthew Bender publication “Foreign Tax and Trade Briefs”, which covers the latest tax information for 128 countries including Germany. You can order your copy on www.lexisnexis.com.
Do you need relocation services for an employee who will be assigned to one of your US sites?
When preparing for an international assignment, it is especially important to prepare a legally sound secondment agreement. German Attorney Dr. Eric Uftring (Bar-certified employment attorney) can assist you with all aspects of secondment agreements, including labor law and tax implications.
Typical issues that must be clarified in a secondment agreement include responsibilities, managerial authorities, length of assignment, travel reimbursements, compensation for special costs, social security insurance, termination, relocations within the foreign country, early discontinuance of the secondment and vacation. When preparing the secondment agreement, there are many tools -- including choice of law – that can be used to ensure that the secondment is a success.
Do you need ongoing US legal support?
Companies usually engage multiple service providers, law firms or tax advisors to establish or expand their US business – or they turn to international law firms. We offer an easier solution: let WINHELLER be your strategic partner for all of your US business activities. We can support you every step of the way – from initial consideration of legal and tax issues related to the selection of a business form (e.g. LLC, Corporation or Partnership); to US visa applications; the drafting of articles of organization or incorporation; and the preparation of secondment agreements.
Our support does not end at the US border. Working together with our partner law firms throughout the US, our US-licensed, multilingual attorneys can support all of your US legal needs. We can help you comply with all of the local, state and federal laws related to your US business, including I-9 Compliance (federally mandated verification of the identity and work authorization of all US employees), compliance with anti-discrimination laws and regulations, avoidance of double taxation, customs compliance, extensions of work authorization and visas and even Green Card or US citizenship applications.
We can also assist with the preparation of contracts for your US business, including employment and sales agreements. In the event of a civil lawsuit or more complicated US legal matters –such as mergers and acquisitions, US immigration site visits or regulatory fines – we will put you in contact with our partner firms in the US who have extensive litigation experience.
Your attorneys for US legal matters
Are you interested in entering the US market? Would you like to establish a business or invest in the US? Do you have questions about US immigration, visa, employment, contract, tax or corporate law? We can help you with any questions related to your US business, regardless of the complexity. If our international legal team is unable to address your matter directly, we will put you in touch with one of our US partner firms.
Your attorneys for US legal matters are:
- Attorney Dr. H. Elizabeth Kroeger (Director of the US Desk)
- US Attorney Morgan Hangartner
- Attorney Phillipp von Raven.
We can provide you with a consultation and ongoing legal services in German and English. Get in touch! The easiest way to reach us is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+49 (0)69 / 76 75 77 80). Tell us more about your US business and we will offer a service package tailored to your particular needs.
Services for US companies doing business in Germany
In addition to serving German clients entering the US market, we regularly advise US-companies establishing or expanding a business in Germany. We can help you select the best legal form for your business, negotiate with investors, and develop policies and procedures to comply with German regulations. As your business grows we can continue to provide legal counsel regarding everything from customs compliance and tax advice to general German business and contract law.