In the third week of their stay in Germany as part of the MP in June of 2016, a visit to a globally renowned firm was planned for the Moldovan executives – the audit and consulting services company PwC, at the Berlin office. This visit was especially relevant to managers looking to found German branches or send staff to Germany, and the most interest was generated in the IT, construction and pharmaceutical sectors. PwC is the only one of the four major accounting firms that is active in every country in Middle and Eastern Europe as well as in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and it also has an office in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova. Ina Enache, an Operations Manager at the CEE Competence Center Berlin and herself originally from Moldova, was therefore even more enthusiastic about planning the programme for the Moldovan visitors.
In a highly modern office complex just a year old in the heart of Berlin with a view of the government district, the train station and the Spree River, a highly specialized team welcomed the managers from Moldova. Enache was there not only to present the PwC network, which is active globally in 157 countries, but she also provided information about the CEE Competence Center and grant programmes for foreign investors in Germany, such as KfW loans for start-ups.
Next, Tanya Galander, a lawyer and senior manager with the Russian Business Group, familiarized the visitors with the various German enterprise models and explained the differences between the different legal forms. She also described to the curious managers what they need to know when founding a company in Germany step by step. For example, the guests learned that of 50 percent of the company’s minimum capital must be paid by the time it is entered in the commercial register.
Xenia Barski, a lawyer and manager with the Russian Business Group, explained to the potential business founders the basics of German labor law, including minimum wage, employment protection, the statutory employee leave arrangements and the German social security contributions. The Moldovan executives learned that Germany does not offer any industry’s-specific exceptions here – unlike their home country, where for instance IT businesses are largely exempted from social security contributions for their employees. Barski also presented the EU blue card as one way to attain an EU residency permit for non-EU nationals.
Yekaterina Cherkasova, a tax advisor specialized in the Russian tax system and a manager with the Russian Business Group, concluded with an overview of the highly complex German taxation law, focusing on the taxes required to be paid by companies and their employees.
Thanks to the interdisciplinary and succinct information offered by PwC the managers from Moldova now know exactly what to consider when founding a company in Germany and can start making their plans more concrete.
By Franziska Schneider
AHP International GmbH & Co. KG, Heidelberg