NPOs, Foundations, Religious Institutions in Germany

NPOs, Foundations, Religious Institutions

Advisers to the Tertiary Sector

A significant focus of our activity is the law of nonprofit organizations. We advise tertiary sector organizations, which are nonprofit and those that are not nonprofit on all current legal and tax matters and assist companies, private persons, associations and public authorities with the establishment of nonprofit organizations. By the way, a growing number of clients interested in establishing such organizations come from abroad.

We consider ourselves an all-in-one service provider and offer comprehensive compliance advisory service in all legal areas relevant for organizations of the tertiary sector, in particular in nonprofit law, in the areas of sponsoring, donation law and the law of company cooperation, in labor law, contract and licensing law, in internet law as well as in corporate law, that is, above all, in association law, organization law, foundation law, cooperative law, in the law of charitable limited liability companies and transformation law. In addition, we provide fully comprehensive tax counseling services for NPOs including accounting and the required annual financial statement work.

NPOs, Foundations, Religious Institutions

Founders & Foundations

We advise foundations in all tax and legal matters on a wide range of topics. As experienced advisers, we assist benefactors from the initial preliminary considerations about establishing a foundation. We assist existing foundations with regard to compliance with all legal and tax guidelines in daily practice as well as in the clarification of complex detailed questions. In the event of disputes with the foundation authorities or the financial authorities, we are committed to represent the interests of our clients and as a general rule to bring the dispute to an out-of-court settlement, which is reasonable for all parties concerned. You can find detailed information on our services on our pages regarding German foundation law.

Nonprofit Limited Liability Companies

The legal form of the nonprofit GmbH (gGmbH, limited liability company), the nonprofit Aktiengesellschaft (gAG, stock corporation) and the nonprofit Unternehmergesellschaft (gUG, entrepreneurial company), which is enjoying increasing popularity, offer the opportunity to realize nonprofit projects under the professional management of a manager who is employed full-time and adequately compensated and at the same time to preclude the personal liability of the shareholder. We provide advice with respect to the different legal forms and complete all establishing formalities for you. We offer assistance to clients, who already pursue nonprofit objectives, for example, in the form of a registered society, in the question of whether a reorganization – for example, a change of form or a spin-off – into a (nonprofit or commercial) limited liability company makes sense. You can obtain further information on the pages regarding nonprofit statutory corporations.

Associations & Societies, Religious Communities

WINHELLER Attorneys at Law & Tax Advisors advise both professional and trade associations as well as nonprofit societies and associations from all conceivable sectors of society as well as religious communities of all persuasions. Regardless of whether it concerns a new establishment, tax questions, current activities, the topic of outsourcing, the protection against liability risks, restructuring measures from the standpoint of company law, the drafting of contracts or fundraising topics – thanks to our experience and expertise, a competent partner will be available to you. Numerous large associations and large societies use our comprehensive range of legal and tax support services.


The legal form of a cooperative is frequently overlooked in the consultancy practice as a suitable legal form for nonprofit projects. Also, the financial administration occasionally has difficulty recognizing cooperatives as nonprofit. Hence the legal form – like other corporately organized legal forms also – is not excluded per se from the circle of possible nonprofit organizations. On the contrary: An increasing number of new establishments in the tertiary sector, even if still at a low level, make use of the legal form of a cooperative. And deservedly so: The cooperative is flexible as concerns the change of the members participating in it. It offers an effective protection against personal liability and requires no minimum initial capital. In the meantime it is also recognized that a recognition as nonprofit is possible under the requirements under nonprofit law.

Your Attorney for Nonprofit Organizations in Germany

You can contact our lawyers for enquiries related to nonprofit organizations and the public sector in Germany by e-mail ( or by phone (+49 69 76 75 77 85 22).

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Or give us a call: +49 69 76 75 77 80