From a legal point of view, our foundation is regarded as a non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH). Everyone has heard of limited liability companies (GmbH), after all, the GmbH is one of the most common forms of company for corporations in Germany. But how does this fit in with non-profit status? We explain what is behind the term gGmbH.
A limited liability company is only considered to be of public utility if it fulfils a public-interest purpose. As gGmbH we are selfless, directly and exclusively active for this purpose. This means that we do not pursue any economic goals of our own. Possible profits benefit our charitable purpose in full and may not be distributed to our shareholders. Remuneration of personnel is only permitted to an appropriate extent. Our employees even commit themselves on a purely voluntary basis and forgo a salary so that the funds flow directly into the projects.
Our charitable foundation purpose is clearly defined in our statutes and strictly audited by the tax office. All changes in the pursuit of goals must be communicated to the tax office for renewed approval. We are also subject to all the provisions of the German Commercial Code (HGB) such as accounting and balance sheet obligations.
The complexity of our foundation tasks requires these reasonable framework and action conditions. It is essential for us to ensure a consistent and efficient staffing of the management functions in order to ensure the consistent and efficient pursuit of the foundation’s objectives. The legal form of the gGmbH enables us to appoint a permanent management which is on the one hand closely connected with our foundation and our mission and on the other hand capable of managing all foundation activities professionally. To this end, we gladly comply with the strict conditions and commit ourselves to regular control by independent auditors and the tax office.