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Sectors

A start-up can involve meeting various requirements, depending on the sector in which you wish to start your business. Particular formalities or prerequisites often have to be observed. Someone who wants to open a gastronomy business will have to address different issues to a veterinary surgeon or tech start-up. In the overview below, we want to give you initial guidance on what you need to consider within the different sectors. We also want to direct you to the right contact points.

DIGITAL AND HIGH-TECH SECTOR

The digital sector with IT as a crossover technology is closely linked to the high-tech sectors, particularly in the areas of automation, biotech/pharma, new materials and environmental and energy technologies. They drive innovation and make a huge contribution to maintaining international competitiveness in Bavaria. Research and development are the key areas of focus and this is where most investments are made. Research departments of large corporations often have close links with start-ups and universities in order to continue to drive forward the latest innovations in materials and technologies.

What is often lacking at large companies is the agility and the tempo with which start-ups can drive forward innovations. Start-ups in particular will find the ideal conditions within Bavaria’s ecosystem to develop B2B solutions for industrial customers.

Starting a technology-oriented or knowledge-based company requires special expertise. Matters relating to validation of new developments, patent and IP rights, finance and networking/cooperation play a particularly important role here. Find out in good time how and whether you can protect a process, product or service.

If you want to start a technology-oriented business, support tailored to the specific needs of the sector is available to you (in the pre-start-up, start-up and expansion phases).

Find out more about these support services and take advantage of the advice available:

THE LIBERAL PROFESSIONS

The liberal professions embrace services with a particular professional quality that are provided in a personal, autonomous and professionally independent manner and are in the interests of the contracting party and the general public. They are divided into two groups – traditional and ‘new’ liberal professions. The traditional liberal professionals include doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, auditors, artists, architects and engineering consultants. New liberal professionals include IT and media consultants as well as educating professions.

There are often special arrangements in place for the practice of and thus also the admission to the individual liberal professions in order to safeguard and maintain their special professional quality. These either take the form of legal regulations or a set of binding rules governed by the relevant professional chamber (Berufskammer). You generally need a degree and often also require an entrance examination as well as membership of one of the professional chambers (Berufskammer). For ‘new’ liberal professionals, it is frequently necessary to undergo an assessment conducted by the fiscal authorities.

Unlike self-employed tradespeople, liberal professionals are not liable to pay business tax. Some liberal professions have their own legal forms and state fee schedules. Financiers from external profession are not allowed to own a stake in companies that fall within the liberal professions.

In the following video you can find out more about the important difference between a liberal professional and a trade.

If you would like to turn your idea into reality as a liberal professional and find out more about the special requirements of the liberal professions, then you should especially seek advice from the institutions that have specific experience and expertise in dealing with the liberal professions:

TRADE

The trade in goods and services in the retail and wholesale sectors is one of the biggest economic sectors of all in Bavaria. No other sector is quite as diverse as the trade sector; it embraces every business from the small shop to the online trader and the big department store. That is what makes it so appealing.

The state makes no real demands on those who wish to start a trading business. You can simply open a trading enterprise with a business registration. However, that shouldn’t mislead you into underestimating the challenges of the undertaking.

Since there are very few access barriers, the competition is particularly fierce. If you want to be successful, you should come up with answers to the following questions: what products do you wish to sell? Who is your target group? Where will you source the goods? Via which channels (physical store, e-commerce platforms, online shop) do you wish to reach your customers? And not least: how will you convince your customers to buy from you rather than the competition? How can you set yourself apart from the competition? What additional benefits can you offer?

Finally, you must bear in mind that you have to comply with numerous legal requirements. As a food trader, for example, you must observe the legislation governing food.

If you wish to open a trading enterprise, then contact the trade experts to find out about the most important support options available and the requirements that need to be met.

CRAFTS AND TRADES

Crafts and trades stand in contrast to industrial mass production and are characterised by their sheer diversity and economic dynamism. With their special skills and flexibility, craft/trade businesses are often important partners in their role as suppliers and service providers to industry, SMEs and trading enterprises. Individual products and solutions are the domain and strength of the crafts and trades, especially in Bavaria. In the B2B sector in particular, the crafts and trades are able to build on the healthy economic structure here. The consumer-oriented trades benefit from the high purchasing power and quality of life as well as high-quality leisure facilities and tourist attractions. The crafts and trades are very open to new technologies as a result of their structure. In many businesses, digitalisation is already an inherent part of their corporate strategy.

When starting a craft/trade business, your qualification will be the key to setting your course. There are different ways of founding a craft/trade business depending on the qualification. This is legally regulated in the Handwerksordnung (‘Crafts and Trades Code’), which specifies, for example, whether you can start your own business with or without a Meisterbrief (‘master craftsman’s certificate’). According to the Code, 41 activities that are ‘hazardous and require intensive training’ require registration – in other words, a Meisterbrief is needed to start the business. There may be exceptions for long-standing tradespeople under certain circumstances. In all other crafts and trades, you can start a business without the need for a Meisterbrief. These are known as so-called licence-free trades and trade-like businesses.

Once you are ready to start your own craft/trade business and wish to find out about all of the support options available to help you with your plans, the business advisors at the Bavarian Chambers of Crafts or the state’s professional associations for crafts and trades in particular will be able to offer you expert help and advice.

INDUSTRY

The most important branches of industry in Bavaria include mechanical engineering and vehicle manufacturing, the electronics industry, environmental technology and the production of food in the processing industry. The companies have high innovation potential and very good conditions in Bavaria for achieving a strong market position.

Bavaria offers industry a wide range of research institutions, a highly developed technology transfer system and first-class business-oriented infrastructure to help it to continue to develop. For industry, the opportunities for growth – including for start-ups – lie in digital networking and automation against the backdrop of Industry 4.0. As key technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT) in combination with big data especially create numerous application fields and possibilities for new products in the processing industry.

In the area of plant construction and mechanical engineering, companies are frequently founded as a result of innovations involving newly or further developed plant/machinery. There are also big opportunities in the supplier sector in particular, whether in the area of vehicle manufacturing, mechanical engineering or the construction industry. As a company founder, you must pay particular attention here in relation to price negotiations and costs that you do not become too dependent on (a few) major customers to the detriment of your profit. In the field of environmental technology, the big potential lies in cutting the cost of energy and raw materials by developing new technologies and in-house products in order to comply with new legal requirements in the area of climate protection, for example.

Unlike craft/trade businesses or service companies, a large amount of capital is needed to start an industrial company. Initial investment in machinery and the advance financing of materials, staff and third-party services in particular require considerable funds.

If you wish to start an industrial company with your business idea, special contacts from industrial organisations are on hand to assist you.

THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

The cultural and creative industries can be divided into eleven sub-markets: architecture, books, performing arts, design, film, art, music, press, radio/television, software/games and advertising. It is clear to see that the cultural and creative industries embrace a highly diverse and colourful world. Liberal professionals and small businesses are primarily active in the cultural and creative industries. As such, start-ups can typically be found here. However, it is not always easy to gain a foothold in the cultural and creative industries.

The requirements and issues can differ enormously depending on the sub-market or sector, so it is all the more important to find the right contacts and obtain information on the kind of support available as early as possible.

One of these contact points is the Bavarian Centre for the Cultural and Creative Industries (known as bayernkreativ). At bayernkreativ you will find advice and information tailored to your needs. The specialists advise those interested in starting a business across the entire spectrum of the cultural and creative industries. Even if you are already established in the sector or are working in the cultural and creative industries as a sideline or as part of a project, you can still take advantage of the support provided by bayernkreativ.

You can discuss the fundamental focus of your business with the industry experts from bayernkreativ or equally talk about the chances of success for new project ideas. The related events are held on a regular basis in all regions of Bavaria. The individual one-hour advisory session is free of charge.

TOURISM

The tourism industry includes all companies that provide touristic services, such as hotels, bars and restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, tourism offices, organisers of leisure activities and transport businesses. Due to the popularity of Bavaria as a tourist destination, there are many opportunities for business start-ups and successions throughout the state. The hotel and hospitality industry is especially present all over Bavaria. This particularly applies to the rural areas with greater structural weaknesses, because it is often precisely these areas that possess a great deal of dynamism when it comes to leisure activities and tourist attractions.

Most of the companies in the tourism industry are SMEs. They are subject to different licencing requirements, depending on the sub-sector. If you wish to run a guest house, you generally need a licence. You will also have to consider other predominantly legal matters at an early stage, depending on your business model. There will be many legal issues relating to liability that need to be addressed for organisers of leisure activities and transport businesses. If you want to use the footpath or a public space, it may well be that you require a special usage permit from the highways department.

If your business idea is in the tourism industry, you will particularly find all the information you need on starting and financing your vision at the special tourism contact points in Bavaria.