Regulation of Crowdfunding in Germany

This paper is the national report for Germany prepared for the to the 20th General Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law 2018 and gives an overview of the regulation of crowdfunding in Germany and the typical design of crowdfunding campaigns under this legal framework. After a brief survey of market data, it delineates the classification of crowdfunding transactions in German contract law and their treatment under the applicable conflict of laws regime. It then turns to the relevant rules in prudential banking regulation and capital market law. It highlights disclosure requirements that flow from both contractual obligations of the initiators of campaigns vis-à-vis contributors and securities regulation (prospectus regime). After sketching the most important duties of the parties involved in crowdfunding, the report also looks at the key features of the respective transactions’ tax treatment.