Professional practice company; application for admission by patent attorneys

Patent attorneys may join together to form professional practice companies for the purpose of joint professional practice.


Patent attorneys have a wide range of possibilities for professional cooperation. The institute of the professional practice society enables them to join forces with each other, but also with members of other professions. It is possible, for example, to join forces with lawyers, tax advisors, tax agents, auditors and certified accountants. An association with members of other liberal professions is also permissible under the conditions of Section 52c (1) sentence 1 number 4 of the Patent Attorney Regulations (PAO). Members of the patent attorney profession from other countries may also be included in professional practice companies if they would be entitled to establish themselves in Germany under the Law on the Activities of European Patent Attorneys in Germany or under Section 157 of the PAO.

Professional practice companies are free to choose their legal form: they can organize themselves in all legal forms that are permissible under German law. Commercial companies are also possible. In addition, European companies are permitted, as are companies that are permitted under the law of a member state of the European Union or a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

Professional practice companies in which patent attorneys hold the majority of the voting rights and in which the majority of the members of the management body are patent attorneys may call themselves "patent attorney companies".

In principle, professional practice companies must be licensed by the Chamber of Patent Attorneys. The Chamber of Patent Attorneys is a federal corporation under public law, which is supervised by the President of the German Patent and Trademark Office.

Admission by the Chamber of Patent Attorneys is not required:

  • Partnership companies mbB already admitted to a bar association as a professional practice company, which have one or more patent attorney partners and whose business purpose is the provision of advice and representation in legal matters,
  • partnerships in which there is no limitation of the liability of natural persons and to which only patent attorneys or members of a profession referred to in Section 52c (1) sentence 1 number 1 PAO belong as partners and as members of the management and supervisory bodies. However, these may voluntarily apply for admission.


A prerequisite for admission is that the shareholders and the members of the management and supervisory bodies belong to the professional groups specified in Sections 52b and 52c PAO. The professional practice company must have chosen a permissible legal form and must not be in financial collapse. It must also provide evidence that it has taken out professional liability insurance or submit a provisional confirmation of cover. The professional liability insurance must be taken out with an insurance company authorized to do business in Germany and must cover the liability risks for pecuniary loss arising from the provision of advice and representation pursuant to Section 3 PAO. It must be maintained for the duration of the activity.

After their admission, professional practice companies become members of the Chamber of Patent Attorneys.



Required documents

  • Application for admission of a professional practice company

  • current extract from the register, if the company is registered

  • Proof of conclusion of professional liability insurance or provisional confirmation of coverage

    A patent attorney company is obliged to take out professional liability insurance with an insurance company authorized to do business in Germany and to maintain it for the duration of the license. The minimum insurance amount is 2,500,000 euros for a single claim. The insurer's benefits for all damages caused within one insurance year may be limited to the amount of the minimum insurance sum multiplied by the number of partners and managing directors who are not partners. However, the maximum annual benefit must amount to at least four times the minimum sum insured (Section 52j PAO in conjunction with Section 45 PAO).

  • Membership certificates

    Membership certificates of the competent chambers or printouts from electronic membership directories or suitable proof of membership in a liberal profession within the meaning of § 1 PartGG in the case of non-patent attorney partners and members of management and supervisory bodies

  • Copy of identity cards of non-patent attorney partners and members of management and supervisory bodies

  • Proof of payment of the registration fee


  • The registration fee is 500 euros. For every ten additional shareholders, the fee increases by 200 euros.

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