Business Law Lawyer Germany – An overview of the Herfurtner law firm in Munich and Hamburg on the subject of commercial law.
Appointments possible in Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart.
Business law is the entirety of all legal norms relevant to the economy. Under this umbrella fall the economic constitutional law, the economic administrative law and the private economic law. The task of economic law is to regulate the relations of private economic actors among themselves and with the state.
The commercial law in Germany is standardized in numerous individual laws, so that it is not easy for non-lawyers to get an overview of the various legal norms relevant to the economy. It is therefore advisable to seek the help of a specialist lawyer in good time if you have any questions about commercial law.
Business Law Lawyer – Legal Regulations Germany
Important legal regulations from commercial law can be found in particular in the following laws
- German Civil Code (BGB)
- Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (EGBGB)
- General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)
- Product Liability Act (ProdHaftG)
- German Commercial Code (HGB)
- UN sales law (CISG)
- Law against unfair competition (UWG)
- German Stock Corporation Act (AktG)
- Cooperatives Act (GenG)
- Partnership Company Act (PartG)
- German Transformation Act (UmwG)
- Insolvency Code (InsO)
- German Banking Act (KWG)
- Securities Trading Act (WHG).
International Business Law
International economic relations are governed by international commercial law. Due to increasing globalisation, international economic law has an increasingly important role to play. For example, a company from Munich has more and more customers in neighbouring countries, or even worldwide. This means that international business law applies in addition to German business law and the question arises how to harmonize the different laws.
In many areas of international business law a certain standardization of legal norms has already taken place. Nevertheless, there are often cases of considerable divergences between the different national and international legal norms.
In principle, the norms of international and European law take precedence over the norms of German commercial law. Thus, the relationship between national and European law can be summarised as follows “European law breaks federal law”.
A company based in Munich must therefore not only observe the legal provisions applicable in Germany or Bavaria, but must also always orient itself to EU law.
In recent years, a large number of court decisions have been issued which should provide more clarity in international business law. However, this has only been achieved to a limited extent, so that many questions have remained unanswered and always require careful examination of individual cases.
Companies and entrepreneurs should therefore seek advice in business law from a specialist lawyer in good time in order to avoid taking unnecessary risks in international business transactions.
Private Business Law
Private commercial law is of particular importance for those involved in economic life. The term private commercial law is not defined by law. It generally refers to the rules governing the exchange of goods and services between producers, traders, companies and consumers. It covers the following areas in particular:
In private commercial law there are many different regulations on contracts –
- How do contracts come about?
- What types of contracts are there?
- What regulations can be contractually agreed upon?
- What happens if the contracting parties do not want to or cannot comply with the contractual agreements made?
Commercial law is a special private law for merchants and plays an important role in commercial law. It contains numerous special rules that take into account the special needs of merchants. In comparison to normal civil law, commercial law offers a high degree of private autonomy and less formal requirements when concluding various legal transactions, e.g. guarantees, promises of debt, acknowledgement of debt, etc.
Company Law & Commercial Law
Company law is another important area of business law and determines the rules for private law associations of persons which are founded to achieve a certain purpose. The German corporate law provides different forms of companies.
There is a “numerus clausus” of the corporate forms, as it is not possible to deviate from the forms provided by law. The provisions of company law can be found in many different laws – BGB, HGB, AktG, GmbHG, PartGG, GenG. The companies can be divided into two groups – partnerships and corporations.
Business Law & Partnerships
The partnerships include the partnership under civil law (GbR), the general partnership (OHG), the limited partnership (KG), the partnership, the dormant partnership and the European Economic Association (EEIG). Characteristic features of partnerships are, in particular, a relatively small number of members, the principle of self-organization (i.e. the partners themselves manage the business), close ties between the company and the partnership and personal liability of the partners.
The entities are legal persons and have full legal capacity. The entities include
- the stock corporation (AG)
- the limited liability company (GmbH)
- the entrepreneurial company (limited liability)
- the partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
- the European Company (SE)
- and the registered cooperative (eG).
Characteristic features of corporate bodies are a larger number of members, the principle of external bodies (management may be carried out by third parties outside the company), less close links between the shareholders and the company and the possibility of limiting liability to the company’s assets without personal liability of the shareholders.
Industrial property rights, copyright and competition law as sub-areas of commercial law
Industrial property rights, copyright and competition law are also part of private commercial law.
- Intellectual property – the protection of industrial property rights protects intellectual property in the industrial field. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Munich (DPMA) is the central authority in the field of industrial property protection in Germany and is responsible for the granting of patents under the Patent Act (PatG), the registration of utility models under the Utility Model Act (GebrMG) and designs under the Design Act (GeschmMG). The protection of trademarks, business designations and geographical indications is regulated in the Trademark Act (MarkenG).
- Copyright and industrial property rights are referred to as intellectual property rights and intellectual property rights respectively. Copyright law grants the author of works personal rights and rights of exploitation. Works of literature, science and art are protected (§ 2 UrhG).
- Competition law is designed to protect free competition. It protects the interests of competitors, consumers and other market participants as well as the general interest in undistorted competition. The law against unfair competition (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG) regulates which business activities are permissible. Furthermore, free competition is made possible and protected by cartel law by prohibiting practices that restrict competition. Antitrust law is regulated by the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB).
If you want to protect your rights effectively, it is best to consult a specialist lawyer. Inquiries can also be addressed directly to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Munich. However, it is advisable to seek legal advice first, as the enquiry unit of the Patent Office is not permitted to provide legal advice.
Insolvency Law & Commercial Law
Insolvency law plays an important role in German commercial law. On the one hand, it enables indebted companies and private individuals to continue to participate in legal transactions despite their debts under certain conditions and also to create a “new start”.
On the other hand, thanks to the provisions of insolvency law, creditors of indebted or insolvent debtors are protected and thus usually receive at least partial satisfaction of their claims.
Commercial Law – Current Developments and Important Information
Anyone interested in the current topics of business and commercial law should also regularly follow the information provided by the renowned media. The Wirtschaftswoche and the Handelsblatt are recommended. There, important legal changes and general trends are also discussed, so that it is easy to keep your finger on the pulse.
The lawyers of the Herfurtner law firm in Hamburg and Munich are available to answer your questions on business law throughout Germany and Europe.
Scoring & Rating
Scoring & Rating of companies – A negative score or bad rating can cause a lot of damage to companies and even lead to insolvency: Rising credit interest rates, cancellation of the credit line, delivery of goods only against prepayment, non-consideration of the company in public tenders, non-inclusion in the supplier list or even deletion from the supplier list . All these unpleasant surprises can be the result of negative business information or business information from a rating agency.
Poor scoring & rating of companies
Poor score values may be the result of credit checks by credit agencies and rating agencies and are by far not always justified; although “scoring” is regulated by law in Section 28b of the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSchG), there is a lack of both a legal definition of the term and a definition of “scientifically recognised mathematical-statistical methods” to be used for a proper assessment of the creditworthiness index.
In addition, no legal requirements are placed on the forecast accuracy of the result. This often leads to the stored data being incorrect or incomplete, the valuation methodology being non-transparent and, as a result, incorrect company valuations being prepared. The evaluating credit agencies and rating agencies regularly invoke their “business secrets” and the “freedom of expression” incumbent on them.
Poor score – Nevertheless, companies are not without rights as victims of incorrect company valuations. For example, you can successfully sue for injunctive relief if a credit check is based on outdated, incomplete or even incorrect information.
Furthermore, the submission of “value judgments” requires that they are based on a sound and accurate factual basis – this too is legally verifiable. In addition, the valuations have often been made in violation of data protection regulations – compliance with data protection can be legally verified and enforced for you; furthermore, claims for deletion or revocation, injunctive relief and, if applicable, damages may exist.
The explosiveness of the issue has also brought the European Union “onto the scene” and from this side the regulations relating to the organisation, content and transparency of ratings and company evaluations have been tightened. This is also positive and strengthens your legal position as an affected entrepreneur.
Poor scoring & rating – opportunities for companies
It may therefore be worthwhile for you as an entrepreneur to engage a specialist lawyer to examine and enforce possible claims. We would be happy to provide you with an initial assessment of your scoring problem free of charge and let you know what steps we can take for you and what costs you will incur.