The formation of a registered association occurs in two steps, firstly with the foundation meeting and then later the entry into the register of associations.

During the foundation meeting, the articles of association are established and signed, the executive board is selected and a foundation protocol, including attendance list, is recorded. The articles of association are often adopted from other associations of similar purpose. Additionally, professional and umbrella organizations provide legally sound model charter samples.

Many judicial officers at the local courts are friendly and, upon request, can check the articles in advance, in order to spare the association's board complaints at a later time. However, there is no obligation of the local court here. Even more important is the preliminary presentation of the articles of association to the responsible tax authorities, provided the recognition of the association is intended to be nonprofit.


1. The founding act consists of the determination of the articles by a minimum of at least seven people (in principle, adults) as founding members that are then required to sign the agreed upon the articles of association. The transcript of the articles of association must contain the date of establishment.

Then, in accordance with the articles of association, the election of the first executive board takes place, whereby every executive post provided for in the articles of association is to be filled.

The foundation course of events and the election of the board is to be recorded in a protocol that is then to be signed by the responsible members (secretary, etc.) according to the articles of association.

2. The articles of association must at least regulate the following minimum content:

a)  Name of the association, which must be different from the names of other associations present in the same municipality,
b)  Declaration, that the association shall be listed in the register of associations,
c)  Seat of the association,
d)  Association's purpose,
e)  Provisions on entry and resignation of members,
f)   Provisions for, if and which membership dues are to be paid,
g)  Provisions for the formation and composition of the executive board,
h)  Provisions on the condition and form of convening the general assembly meeting,
i)    Provisions for the recording of the resolutions of the general assembly meeting.

Above and beyond that, the articles of association of a board containing multiple people should always regulate whether each board member has sole representation or how many executive board members jointly represent the association (as a rule: two executive board members jointly). If the term of the executive board members is set in the articles of association, it is advisable to stipulate in them that the board remains in office even after the expiration of the office term until the time of the new election.

3. The association is to be registered by the executive board members in authorized numbers, in the register of associations, kept at the district court. The signatures of the board members (not the signatories of the articles of association) are to be certified by a notary.

The application must include:

  • The articles of association signed by at least seven members, in copy,
  • The certification of the appointment of the executive board, therefore generally the foundation protocol, in copy.


Notary fees cannot be levied or negotiated at the will of the notary; they are strictly regulated by law. Decisive is the Court and Notary Fees Act that applies throughout federal territory. Therefore, the same fees are always charged by each notary for the same notarial activity.

The notarization fees are based on the so-called commercial value, and in the founding of an association thus according to the association’s assets. In the above-mentioned fees, the costs for consultation and draft creation as well as changes are included. In addition, there are usually some additional small expenses for copies, postage and telephone as well as the statutory value-added tax.

As long as the assets of the association – as usually the case – are nominal, the notary sets the cost calculation to an adjustment value of 5,000.00 EUR. The notary fees for the formation of an association are thus commonly amount to a net amount of 65.00 EUR.