BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany plans to let thousands of small businesses that used European Union freedoms to register under British rules to convert to German companies after Britain leaves the bloc.
The law, a draft of which was seen by Reuters, illustrates the detailed preparations Berlin is making for Brexit.
Another law planned by Berlin will allow British citizens to keep their original citizenship when they become Germans for as long as a post-Brexit transition period may last, unlike non-EU citizens, who must surrender their original passport.
The law on company registrations affects about 10,000 small businesses in Germany which chose to register as British limited companies rather than their equivalents under German law because of the lower capital requirements.
Under current regulations, these businesses would have to become German limited liability companies (GmbH), forcing them to increase their capital stock to 25,000 euros. Under the new law, no more capital will be needed when the firms change to register as German companies.
“We want to help these companies make the necessary preparations,” Justice Minister Katarina Barley said about the law, which is due to be adopted at a Wednesday cabinet meeting.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has often told audiences that the level of detailed preparation Brexit will require has taken everyone by surprise, giving as an example last year the difficulty of taking family pets on holiday after Britain’s exit, when months of quarantine would become necessary.
At the same time, Germany’s 16 regions must update legislation to allow English native-language teachers to keep their jobs. Under current law, civil servants must be EU citizens. This will no longer apply to schoolteachers from Britain after it leaves.
(This version of the story corrects spelling of name in sixth paragraph)
(Reporting by Hans-Edzar Busemann, writing by Thomas Escritt)