1. Introduction: Companies for Sale by Reason of Old Age in Germany

Old age is a natural part of every person’s life. But for small and medium-sized business owners in particular, this means ending their business life and looking for someone to take over the inheritance. In Germany, this process has triggered an expanding wave of demographic change and with it many new opportunities. Older business owners, in particular, are looking to transfer or sell their businesses when they no longer have the capacity to continue running them. This creates a great opportunity for entrepreneurs among both German citizens and immigrant communities.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in Germany’s economic structure. These enterprises provide a large share of employment in the national economy and contribute significantly to overall economic growth. However, as many business owners age, their ability to manage their businesses declines, leading to the need to transfer or sell their businesses. This is where companies for sale in Germany due to old age offer a great opportunity for new and ambitious entrepreneurs.

In this article, we examine the situation of companies for sale due to old age in Germany. First, we will look at the impact of the aging population and demographic changes on takeovers in Germany. We will then focus on the reasons for the observed decline in intra-family turnover. With statistics from the DIHK report, we will try to better understand the current situation in this regard. Finally, we will present our recommendations on how Turkish entrepreneurs can make the most of this situation. This article, although open to all, is specifically aimed at migrant entrepreneurs and will look at ways and opportunities to capitalize on companies for sale in Germany.

2. Demographic Changes and Corporate Takeovers

In Germany, demographic changes are triggering takeovers, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises. In recent years, the rapid increase in the proportion of elderly people in Germany has led to an increase in the number of companies for sale due to old age. According to forecasts by the Mittelstand Research Institute in Bonn (IfM Bonn), in the next 10 to 15 years many company owners will retire and have to hand over or sell their businesses.

This is also linked to changes in Germany’s demographic structure. The increase in the elderly population, the fact that they have more jobs than the young population, and the fact that it is time for them to retire have increased company takeovers. This presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs both among local and migrant communities.

In addition, as the majority of companies in Germany are family businesses, the decision of the owners to retire or leave the business often means that the company is transferred or sold. However, it has been observed that younger generations are reluctant to take over family businesses. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the desire of young people to forge their own path, the high responsibilities that come with taking over the family business, and often the necessity to modernize the business.

This suggests that takeovers in Germany will continue in the future. However, this situation offers many opportunities for new entrepreneurs. This is because taking over a company that is for sale can be an important opportunity for entrepreneurs, especially those who do not have enough capital to start their own businesses. Companies for sale in Germany due to old age should therefore be seen as a great opportunity for new entrepreneurs.

3. Decline in intra-family turnover and its causes

A recent trend is a noticeable decline in intra-family takeovers. This trend is observable both in Germany and worldwide. This is often associated with younger members of the company preferring to forge their own path rather than take over the family business. These changes in the world of work have contributed to the decline in family turnover.

First-generation business owners tend to pass on their business to their children. However, the tendency of younger generations to follow their own career paths, security, comfort and sometimes interest in different fields and the entrepreneurial spirit therein, has changed this trend. This is also linked to the fact that young people prefer to have a steady job or to start their own business and achieve their own success.

Moreover, the high risks and difficulties associated with taking over family businesses have also led to young people not choosing to take them over. These challenges can include elements such as modernizing the business, the complexity of business management and family conflicts.

As a result, the decline in intra-family takeovers in Germany has led to an increase in the number of companies for sale due to old age. However, this has created new opportunities for entrepreneurs. This decline in family business takeovers has created an environment of greater innovation and diversity among entrepreneurs and the business community at large. Moreover, these changes have led to the emergence of new forms of entrepreneurship and business models.

So, the decline in intra-family takeovers can be seen as an important change in the business world. However, this change offers new and exciting opportunities. By seizing these opportunities, entrepreneurs can establish new businesses, buy and expand existing businesses. It has also created an environment of greater diversity and innovation in business. These changes will shape the future of business in Germany and create new and exciting opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs.

4. DIHK Report and Statistics on Takeovers

According to the latest report by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), 17% of German companies face the prospect of being taken over in the next five years. The same report reveals that 38% of current business owners plan to retire within the next 10 years, and the vast majority of these companies are family businesses.

These statistics show that Germany’s business landscape is undergoing a significant change, as family turnover declines and business owners age. This could create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.

The DIHK report notes that the takeover process is often complex and time-consuming, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This process requires existing business owners to find a successor and properly manage the takeover process.

For this reason, owners of family businesses often plan to retire before they have enough time to hand over their companies. This can often lead to companies being sold at a low value, as potential buyers can often obtain a lower price during a quick sale process.

On the other hand, this could be a great opportunity for new and entrepreneurial-minded business people. Taking over existing businesses can avoid the risks of starting a new business and enable entrepreneurs to quickly build a profitable business.

All in all, the DIHK report and the statistics on company takeovers show that Germany’s business landscape is undergoing significant change and that this change is creating new opportunities. This is a factor that entrepreneurs and investors should take into account.

5. The Impact of the Corona Pandemic on Corporate Takeovers

As in the rest of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the business world in Germany. These effects have particularly affected takeovers and entrepreneurship.

First, the pandemic has caused business owners to postpone or completely change their takeover plans. This has created uncertainties for both owners planning to sell and entrepreneurs planning to buy. As noted in the 2022 report of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), due to the pandemic, there were half fewer takeover interest in 2021 than previously in the pre-Covid-19 pandemic period.

The pandemic has also affected the financial situation of many businesses, which has reduced their selling prices. However, the post-pandemic economic recovery could push business valuations higher again, making takeovers more attractive. This can be especially true for businesses that are financially sound and can manage the crisis well.

In addition, increased digitalization and flexible working arrangements during the pandemic have changed the structure and functioning of businesses. This can bring new perspectives to the creation of new business models and the takeover of existing businesses.

As a result, the impact of the pandemic is an important factor in determining the future of corporate takeovers. However, in the post-pandemic era, entrepreneurs and investors will need to take these uncertainties and changes into account and evaluate new opportunities.

6. Demographic and Economic Impacts of Corporate Takeovers

Germany’s aging population and economic structure play an important role in company takeovers. In Germany, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), there is a wave of turnover due to aging business owners.

In Germany, in old age, business owners often think about leaving their jobs and handing over their businesses. This offers new entrepreneurs and investors the opportunity to take over an existing and already operating business. Moreover, often these businesses can have valuable assets such as long-standing customer relationships, experienced employees and established business processes.

On the other hand, due to demographic changes, the number of potential business transferees is decreasing. As a result, business transfers can become more difficult and complex. This requires business owners to plan their succession plans well in advance and carefully.

Economic factors also affect takeovers. For example, during periods of economic recession, businesses are often worth less, which can make takeovers less attractive. However, during periods of economic growth, businesses are often more valuable, which can make takeovers more attractive.

In conclusion, demographic and economic influences play an important role in business transfers and both business owners and potential buyers should take these influences into account. Therefore, a business transfer should take into account not only the value of a business, but also the overall demographic and economic conditions. The successful takeover of a company depends on the financial condition of the business, trends in its industry and general economic conditions. Therefore, it is important for entrepreneurs considering a takeover to have a comprehensive understanding of the financial health and future potential of the business.

7. Planning the Takeover Process, Importance and Recommendations

The successful takeover of a company requires careful and advance planning. First, the handover process usually takes several years, so business owners should start planning for the handover as early as possible. This facilitates both the proper organization of the future management of the business and the retirement plans of the current owner.

Business owners should prepare their businesses for transfer in order to maximize the value of their companies and attract potential buyers. This may include steps such as improving the financial situation, streamlining and improving business processes and organizing the business structure.

It is also important that business transfers are structured to meet the personal and financial objectives of business owners. This includes the financing of the business transfer, the tax consequences and the pension plans of the business owner.

Business owners should consider seeking professional help when creating a succession plan. This can include lawyers, financial advisors, business brokers and other professionals. These professionals can help manage the complex aspects of the business transfer and best meet the owner’s objectives.

The DIHK recommends that an entrepreneur should start the takeover process at least three years in advance. During this time, the current owner prepares his business for the future transfer, researches potential buyers and organizes all the necessary documentation. The DIHK also recommends that the final stage of the process – i.e. the transfer – should have been completed at least one year in advance. During this time, every detail needs to be carefully considered so that the business can be properly transferred to the new owner.

8. Key and Miscellaneous Reasons for Takeovers

Takeovers can have various causes and there are several factors that influence this process. Here are some of the main reasons for company takeovers:

  • Aging and Retirement: Many business owners in Germany are aging and many are planning to retire in the next few years. These retiring business owners may be in the process of transferring their business to the next generation or to a new business owner.
  • Health Issues: Some business owners may have to give up their business due to unexpected health problems. These situations often require a quick turnover process and can be complicated by the health of the business owner.
  • Career Changes: Some business owners may choose to make changes in their career goals or areas of personal interest and after a certain level of fulfillment, which may require a business takeover. For example, a business owner may choose to pursue a new business opportunity, move into a new industry or switch to a completely different career.
  • Economic Factors: The economic situation can affect business transfers. For example, in times of economic recession, some business owners may choose to sell or transfer their business. On the other hand, when the economy is good, business owners can sell their business at a high price or have a larger pool of buyers.
  • Family Succession: Many family businesses plan to hand over their business to the next family member. However, such transfers can be complex and have a major impact on family dynamics, business processes and ownership structure.

There are various reasons behind company takeovers. Each of these reasons can affect the takeover process and it is important that business owners take these factors into account when planning the takeover process. Company succession due to old age is the most common in Germany, but other reasons also exist. These include the sudden death or illness of the business owner, the owner’s desire to focus on other projects, or necessary changes to the business. Each brings its own challenges and opportunities, so an entrepreneur should consider these factors when thinking about taking over a company.

9. Basic Forms, Methods and Alternatives of Corporate Takeovers

The takeover process can be carried out in various ways depending on the type of business, its size, ownership structure and various other factors. Here are some basic forms and methods of company takeovers:

  • Family Succession: Many family businesses plan to pass the business on to the next generation. This is usually done in the event that a successor is found to take over ownership and control of the business. However, such a transfer can complicate relationships between family members and business processes.
  • Sale to Employees A business owner can sell his business to his employees. This is usually accomplished through an Employee Ownership Plan, giving employees an ownership stake in the business.
  • Sale to an Outside Buyer: The business owner can sell his or her business to an outside buyer. This usually transfers ownership and control of the business to a completely new business owner.
  • Management Buyout: The management team of a business may choose to buy the business. This is usually carried out by the current management of the business, transferring ownership and control of the business.

Corporate takeovers are usually either intra-family takeovers or external takeovers. In intra-family transfers, a business owner transfers his or her business to family members. This is generally more common in family businesses. In external transfers, the owner transfers the business to a person or group outside the family. This usually happens when family members do not want to take over the business or the owner wants to sell the business to the highest bidder. In both cases, a complex negotiation process begins between the business owner and the potential buyer. It is important for entrepreneurs looking to take over a company to understand and effectively manage each stage of this process.

10. Company Transfers to Future Generations and Future Planning and Tips

Takeovers will continue to be an important issue in Germany. Demographic changes, economic factors and the decline in intra-family takeovers increase the likelihood of more takeovers in the coming years. This presents opportunities and challenges for both existing business owners and potential entrepreneurs.

For entrepreneurs considering a takeover, it is important to carefully prepare for the process and consider all factors. This includes understanding German labor laws, the tax system and the takeover process, as well as developing networks of potential buyers, funding sources and business owners.

For existing business owners, it is advisable to start the takeover process as early as possible and create a takeover plan. They also need to consider how to optimize their business to maximize the value of their company and attract potential buyers who can successfully take over the business.

Whether a migrant entrepreneur or a German citizen, a broad set of knowledge and skills is needed to evaluate and successfully take over companies for sale in Germany. But this is something that can be developed over time and with the right resources. Takeovers in Germany offer significant opportunities for both existing business owners and new entrepreneurs. To make the most of these opportunities, it is important to have the necessary knowledge and skills and to carefully plan each stage of the process.

11. The Difference Immigrant Entrepreneurs Will Make and Businesses Identify and Cultivate Entrepreneurial People in Advance

Germany has historically been a country of immigrants and this has had a marked impact on the world of work. Migrant entrepreneurs often bring different perspectives, skills and experiences, which makes them unique in the German job market. Germany’s population is diverse and multicultural, and this diversity has a significant impact on the economy and the world of work. In particular, immigrants living in Germany and actively participating in the business world are one of the most prominent examples of this diversity and dynamism.

Migrants often bring different cultures, skills and experiences. This diversity often offers new perspectives, different solutions and innovative ideas for businesses. Therefore, businesses in Germany can often benefit greatly from immigrants.

The diversity and innovation that immigrants bring to the German economy offers an expanded business acumen and new perspectives. Migrants from different cultures can identify new job opportunities in specific sectors or regions, which will bring dynamism and freshness to Germany’s overall business community. In addition, young and educated migrants bring critical skills in technology, finance and other advanced sectors, while offering a broader range of language and cultural competencies.

In particular, when businesses come up for sale, entrepreneurs with a migrant background can take advantage of this situation and start their own businesses or take over existing ones. This ensures business continuity and creates economic opportunities for migrant entrepreneurs.

However, to make the most of this opportunity, it is important for businesses to identify potential entrepreneurs in advance and groom them for takeovers. In this framework, the ability of companies and businesses to assess and absorb the migrant audience can be critical to their success. This includes both recruitment and talent management strategies, but also the creation of programs to identify and nurture entrepreneurial talent. Businesses can identify those among their employees with entrepreneurial traits and prepare them for takeovers by offering mentoring, training and experience.

However, more work is needed to fully exploit these opportunities and to fully integrate migrants into the German business community. This includes developing more policies and strategies for the inclusion of migrants in the workforce and increasing entrepreneurial opportunities, both at the business and government level.

Businesses can also consider potential buyers from outside the family. In this case, businesses need to be proactive in identifying potential buyers, building relationships with them and familiarizing them with the company culture and operations.

As a result, the immigrant community in Germany can offer innovative and dynamic solutions to the challenges posed by demographic changes and the ageing of companies that are for sale. It is an important strategy for business continuity for businesses to identify and train potential entrepreneurs for future transfers by evaluating this potential. But with the right knowledge, skills and resources, these opportunities can be made the most of and Germany’s business community can become even stronger and more diverse in the process.

12. The Difference for Turkish Entrepreneurs and How to Evaluate Companies for Sale

Turkish entrepreneurs represent an important group of people who can evaluate companies for sale in Germany. These entrepreneurs stand out both for their potential to play an active role in the global economy and to offer solutions to demographic changes.

  • Multicultural Wealth: Turkish entrepreneurs have the advantage of diverse cultural perspectives and a broad international network. This empowers businesses to compete in a globalized world and increases the likelihood of expansion into new markets. This diversity also makes it easier for the business to find new and creative solutions.
  • Innovation and Flexibility: Turkish entrepreneurs are generally good at adapting to rapid change and finding innovative solutions in their business processes. These characteristics can accelerate the growth and development of a business.
  • Dynamic Business Model: Entrepreneurs from Turkey often have dynamic business models and strategies. This enables the business to survive and grow in a fast-changing economy.

Turkish entrepreneurs can evaluate and buy companies for sale in Germany. However, careful planning and precautions are important in this process. They are therefore advised to follow the steps below before participating in the company takeover process:

  • Conduct a Diligent Review: You need to carefully evaluate the financial position, market position, customer base and other important factors of the business you plan to buy. It is also important to examine the future growth and profitability potential of the business.
  • Financial Planning: A company takeover usually requires a major financial commitment. Therefore, you need to be financially prepared for the purchase process and the subsequent operation of the business.
  • Legal and Tax Considerations:** A company takeover is a complex process with various legal and tax implications. Therefore, the assistance of a legal and tax advisor is essential in this process.
  • Cultural Adaptation: When a Turkish entrepreneur takes over a business in Germany, it is important to ensure cultural adaptation with the existing employees and customers of the business.

It is clear that Turkish entrepreneurs can evaluate and successfully manage companies for sale in Germany. However, this process requires careful planning and a strategic approach to be successful.

13. Conclusion

Companies in Germany that are up for sale due to old age offer a great opportunity for both local and migrant entrepreneurs. While the future of business takeovers is shaped by a number of factors, in this blog post we focus on: demographic changes, the decline in intra-family takeovers, the findings of the DIHK report and the demographic and economic influences on business takeovers.

In this context, the impact of the Corona pandemic on corporate takeovers is also quite evident. However, this is an advantage for entrepreneurs who have the ability to turn a crisis into an opportunity. Among these entrepreneurs, the immigrant community in Germany plays an important role. We also discussed the difference for Turkish entrepreneurs and how they can evaluate companies for sale.

Finally, there is a need for businesses in Germany to provide training and mentoring, especially to support and nurture migrant entrepreneurs. This approach can contribute to Germany’s economic growth and development while promoting diversity in the world of work. Such an approach would have a positive impact on both the German economy and trade relations with Turkey.

In short, companies for sale due to old age in Germany offer new opportunities for many entrepreneurs and also provide a platform where entrepreneurs from diverse communities can make unique contributions to the economy. This can help both Germany’s economy and these entrepreneurs’ own economies to grow and develop.

Why Boerberg?

All-round service for your Start-Up

Boerberg Consulting KG In the start-up package, you receive support from start to finish, starting with the Contract, through the Trade Office and up to the Tax Office.

Telephone Support

On-site service throughout Germany, many years of experience, effective business network


Efficient finalization of company establishment & resident permit affairs, direct representation at banks, account openings

Solution Oriented

Registration in the transparency register, residence visa and residence permit, full support in blue card processes, support at local investment banks