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Guide to help you selecting the location for the german office of your biotech company

If you find it hard to decide whether you should set up the German affiliate of your Biotech company in Berlin, Munich or the Cologne/Dusseldorf area, this simple guide may help you considers factors that matter for your company

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Guide to help you selecting the location for the german office of your biotech company

  1. 1. Guide to help you selecting the location for the German office of your Biotech company Instructions: Answer each of the following business questions and count the total score of A’s, B’s and C’s! 1 It is important for our company to have frequent interactions with our customers (physicians, patient advocates, health insurances) A: Strongly agree B: Somewhat agree C: Rather disagree 2 Our local operating company will make profits, so we are conscious of local corporate tax C: Strongly agree A: Somewhat agree B: Rather disagree 3 We expect frequent intercontinental traffic to and from our local office B: Strongly agree A: Somewhat agree C: Rather disagree 4 We are conscious of operating expenses – keeping real estate cost under control is important to us A: Strongly agree B: Somewhat agree C: Rather disagree 5 Headcount cost is a significant consideration for us. We need maximum profitability from the staff we employ B: Strongly agree A: Somewhat agree C: Rather disagree 6 We expect frequent interaction with political decision makers C: Strongly agree A: somewhat agree B: Rather disagree
  2. 2. Solution: Each A favors the location Cologne / Dusseldorf Each B favors the location Munich Each C favors the location Berlin Explanation: 1 Cologne and Dusseldorf are in the center of Germany’s biggest metropolitan area. 18 million people live in the state of North-Rhine-Westfalia, which is more than in all of former Eastern Germany and Berlin combined. The Munich and Berlin metropolitan areas have about 6 million inhabitants each. 2 The so-called “Gewerbesteuerhebesatz” is a factor to determine the corporate tax. It is imposed by the municipality. In Munich, this tax factor is highest (490%) – in Berlin, it’s 410% with Cologne and Dusseldorf in between. However, the small town of Monheim, located between Cologne and Dusseldorf, has emerged as a corporate tax haven like Zug in Switzerland, charging only 265%. 3 Munich has excellent flight connections and an award-winning airport. Dusseldorf has recently established an impressive range of long-haul connections to America and Asia whereas Berlin is struggling to complete the construction of its new airport which is already 4 years overdue. 4 Munich is notorious for the highest cost of living in Germany. Office rentals in a prestigious locations are at least 34 € per m². Prices in Berlin have recently skyrocketed but are still far below Munich. Premium locations in Berlin are available at € 24/m² and in Cologne at € 21/m². 5 Berlin may be the only capital city in the world where the average income is below the country’s average. Income in Berlin is 5% below the country average. Moreover, Berlin has just 9 public holidays due to its protestant heritage. The income in Dusseldorf is 7% above Germany’s average and there are 11 public holidays. In Munich, the income is 17% above country average and there are 13 public holidays. 6 To complete an AMNOG process requires at least 7 meetings with the G-BA and the governing body of Statutory Health insurances, both based in Berlin. The national regulatory agency BfArM is located in Bonn, close to Cologne. The Ministry of Health has offices in Berlin and Bonn, both have important functions with regard to the pharmaceutical industry.

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