Inspection of the Commercial Register
If you are looking for information about corporations (Private Limited Company – GmbH, Public Limited Company – AG), commercial partnerships (General Partnership – OHG, Limited commercial partnership – KG) or sole traders, you could find them in the Commercial Register.
The Commercial Register is a public directory. From now on it will be maintained electronically.
The Commercial Register gives information on the circumstances and legal relationships, which are significant for legal relations for companies that are registered there. In the Commercial Register there are e.g. names of persons who are authorised to represent a company in business.
It is possible to inspect the Commercial Register and the documents belonging to the Commercial Register for information purposes.
Note: Small businesses can be registered voluntarily and as a result of the registration are regarded as a trader.
- to maintain the Commercial Register: the Registration Court in whose district the subsidiary of the affected trader or the registered office of the affected company is located
- to register with the electronic data retrieval procedure of the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg: the local first-instance court (Amtsgericht) Hagen
Note: Registration Courts in Baden-Wuerttemberg are the local first-instance courts in Freiburg, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Ulm. The data of the relevant Registration Court is also transmitted to the other local first-instance courts for inspection and to issue printouts.
It is possible for you to inspect the Commercial Register during office hours at the offices of one of the four Registration Courts, in addition also at the offices of one of the former 49 Amtsgerichte which had a Registration Department.
There you can inspect the Register by means of a computer.
Tip: Instead of inspecting the Register at the local first-instance court, you can also take part in the electronic Register retrieval procedure. All companies registered in Germany can be found via a search function even without knowing their company registration number and where they are based. Part of the company name is sufficient as a search term. The contents of the Register is provided in various presentation forms as a PDF document and can be stored or printed. This means that you don¿t have to make your way to the local first-instance court and can retrieve the data electronically from your private computer. To do this however you have to register and charges are incurred.
for the inspection at court: no fee
for the online access procedure: 4.50 euros for each sheet from the register, when accessing submitted documents 1.50 euro for each accessed file.
Note: Researching companies and accessing publications on the portal of the register are free of charge. Charges will be incurred for all other accesses, you will be informed of these charges separately.
Release noteThe German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Justizministerium released it on 03.11.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.