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GmbH or AG – what are the differences?

GmbH or AG – what are the differences?

Many foreign entrepreneurs establish a subsidiary in Germany, frequently choosing a Kapitalgesellschaft (company) for liability and tax reasons. The most familiar forms of company in German law are the Aktiengesellschaft (AG), or public limited company and the Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH), or limited liability company. Both are autonomous legal ... Read More »

Dutch civil-law notary cannot execute a deed under German law

Dutch civil-law notary cannot execute a deed under German law

On the basis of two rulings by the German Bundesgerichtshof from 1981 and 1989, the belief arose that deeds under German law can be executed by civil-law notaries not practising in Germany. In particular, it would be possible to transfer shares in German companies or incorporate legal entities under German ... Read More »

Online traders take note: the EU Commission’s online dispute resolution platform

Online traders take note: the EU Commission’s online dispute resolution platform

Online dispute resolution platform Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes has directly applied in all EU Member States, including Germany, since January 2016. The Regulation applies only to online trade with consumers by companies headquartered in Europe (i.e. not in Switzerland, China or the USA). ... Read More »

Negotiated contract clause and General Terms and Conditions of Business

Negotiated contract clause and General Terms and Conditions of Business

National legal systems routinely contain special provisions to be used for evaluating General Terms and Conditions of Business (GTC), and German law is no exception. Clauses that qualify as general terms and conditions of business are automatically subject to this rigorous scrutiny. If they do not withstand scrutiny, they are ... Read More »

The termination agreement – Key aspects under German labour law

The termination agreement – Key aspects under German labour law

There are many reasons why, in individual cases, the parties to an employment contract wish to part company or one party unilaterally terminates the employment relationship. One possible reason is the avoidance of dismissal proceedings, which entail risks for both parties. Alternatively, the parties may wish to quickly and smoothly ... Read More »

Company practice

Company practice

No entitlement to paid smoking breaks based on company practice (Higher Labor Court Nuremberg, decision of August 05, 2015 – 2 Sa 132/15) In many firms employers allow for working time to be broken up without requiring employees to work extra hours or reducing the claim to remuneration accordingly. No ... Read More »

Termination Without Notice

Termination Without Notice

Secret conversation recording as retrospective grounds for termination without notice (Higher Labor Court Hamburg, decision dated July 22, 2015 – 6 Sa 77/14) If at the point of receiving notification of extraordinary termination there are other objective reasons for termination, which do not come to the attention of the employer ... Read More »

Industrial Disputes

Industrial Disputes

Compensation of third-party companies in the event of a strike (Federal Labor Court, decision dated August 25, 2015 – 1 AZR 754/13) Third-party companies are often affected by strikes. In its ruling from August 25, 2015 the Federal Labor Court decided that airlines affected by an air traffic controller strike ... Read More »

No more safe harbors!

No more safe harbors!

The European Court of Justice has annulled the Safe Harbor Program (European Court of Justice, decision dated October 06, 2015 – C 362/14) It is now apparent since the ruling of the European Court of Justice dated October 06, 2015 (C 362/14): The Safe Harbor Program is invalid. The European ... Read More »

Dismissal for operational reasons

Dismissal for operational reasons

Obligation to offer continued employment to part-time staff on fixed-term full-time jobs (Federal Labor Court, decision dated March 26, 2015 – 2 AZR 417/14) The plaintiff had been in the employment of the defendant since 2008, most recently as Head of “Public and Media Relations”, on a 75 % working time ... Read More »

Office staff for the Works Council

Office staff for the Works Council

No typist without necessity (Higher Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg, decision dated August 14, 2015 – 3 TaBV 417/15) Under Section 40 (2) of the Works Council Constitution Act (BetrVG) the works council is entitled to receive from the employer office staff for meetings, consultation hours and day-to-day managements – but ... Read More »

Running sweepstakes on Facebook & Co. in Germany –  risks and side effects

Running sweepstakes on Facebook & Co. in Germany – risks and side effects

When running sweepstakes and other promotion activities on Facebook or Twitter it is essential to be aware of local law pitfalls arising in connection with terms and conditions. Guidelines issued by Facebook & Co. in regard to the realization of promotion activities (e.g. the “Facebook Pages Terms”) do not cover ... Read More »

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