Procedure descriptions

Chamber of auditors - Accreditation of an audit firm

To set up an audit firm (WPG), you have to be accredited by the Chamber of Auditors. The accreditation assumes that there is proof that the firm will be managed responsibly by auditors.

Both partnerships and corporations are possible options as a legal form for auditors when forming a company. European companies and forms of companies are permitted in accordance with German law, as well as in accordance with the law of other EU and EEA Member States. These are primarily:

  • General partnerships (OHG)
  • Partnership Companies (PartG)
  • Limited Commercial Partnership (KG)
  • Limited Liability Company (GmbH)
  • Public Limited Company (AG)
  • Commercial Partnership limited by Shares (KGaA)
  • European Company (SE)

Note: General partnerships and limited commercial partnerships can be accredited as auditing firms, if they have been registered in the Commercial Register as trading companies due to their trust activities.

To be able to exercise their profession, auditors have to be appointed by the Chamber of Auditors.

Responsible department

Chamber of Auditors



The prerequisites are:

The majority of the legal representation is made up of auditors or approved accountants in:

  • another Member State of the European Union (EU)

For example, legal representation includes:

  • members of the board of directors,
  • managing directors,
  • personally liable shareholders. This can also be:
    • auditing companies or
    • legal representatives of an auditing company or
    • an accountancy company registered in a different EU Member State
  • directors with management functions or
  • partners.

The following are also authorised in this respect:

  • certified general accountants
  • tax advisors
  • lawyers

In addition, persons with special capabilities can obtain this entitlement. For this purpose, they must be engaged in a profession which is comparable to that of an auditor. Expert auditors of a third country can obtain approval from the chamber of auditors to be a legal representative of auditing companies. The requirements in order to carry out the profession in the respective country must correspond to the applicable German laws. This also applies to lawyers, patent lawyers and tax advisors from a third country.

In addition to the regulations concerning legal representation, there are additional criteria which must be fulfilled in order to obtain recognition as an auditing company. For example regulations concerning

  • the permitted group of shareholders
  • the minimum capital and transferability
  • the taking out of professional indemnity insurance


The application for accreditation of the audit firm has to be submitted to the responsible authority.

The Chamber of Auditors will check your documents and will decide whether the company will be accredited as an audit firm. A certificate is issued for the accreditation as WPG.

Tip: Already before the notarisation of the company agreement or the articles of association, it is advisable to discuss matters both with the Chamber of Auditors and also with the local responsible Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK)), as both can be requested by the Registration Court to give a statement in the procedure for Registration in the Commercial Register.

Required documents

  • copy or certified copy (beglaubigte Kopie) of the company agreement or the articles of association
  • proof that sufficient professional indemnity insurance has been concluded (provisional cover note from the professional indemnity insurer)
  • in the cases of limited liability companies, public limited companies and commercial partnerships limited by shares: in addition to the above
    • proof of the share capital of the company (at least 25,000 euros for GmbH, at least 50,000 euros for AG and KGaA)
      If the company was formed by cash subscription, you have to provide evidence that the minimum capital was paid by presenting an original bank confirmation – it will be returned to you upon request.
    • if payment is by a contribution in kind: statutory report on non-cash contributions as provided for by §5 Para. 4 Cl. 2 of the law regarding limited liability companies (§ 5 Abs. 4 Satz 2 Gesetz betreffend die Gesellschaften mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbHG)) (this only refers to companies with the legal form GmbH)
    • in the case of already existing companies: (interim) financial statement, from which is apparent that the value of the individual intangible assets less the debts at least equals the statutory minimum amount of the share capital
  • declaration of each partner, that s/he does no hold shares in the audit firm for a third party
  • employment contracts of the partners working in the company (e.g. certified accountant, tax consultants, lawyers, tax agents), who do not have an executive position
    Auditors and EU annual account auditors do not have to present an employment contract.
  • confirmation from foreign professional associations regarding the registration or accreditation of the EU annual account auditors and EU audit firms

Note: In the case of audit firms with the legal form AG or KGaA, the shares have to be registered shares.


for the accreditation of an audit firm: Administrative fee of EUR 1.000

Issuing a certificate of exemption in accordance with § 28 Para. 2 and Para. 3 WiPrO (the legal representative is a certified accountant, tax consultant or lawyer, or an expert auditor from a third country) costs EUR 270,00.


The accredited company is obliged to include the description "Audit Firm" in the name and to use it for professional transactions.

All changes in the company agreement or the articles of association or in the person of the legal representative have to be notified without delay to the Chamber of Auditors. You have to attach a certified copy of the relevant document to the notification of change. If the change is registered in the Commercial Register or the register of partnerships, a certified copy of the registration has to be submitted subsequently.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsprüferkammer released it on 02.06.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.