I want to hire someone in Germany but don’t want him/her on my payroll

What you need in this case is an "Employer of Record" or PEO (Professional Employment Organization). A local company will employ the employee on your behalf, and put the employee at your disposition.

Please note that in many countries this effectively means, that the employee will be hired by a staffing company. Special rules apply in some countries since staffing is often highly regulated.



  • The local company will be legally liable for the employee (although their contract will ensure that any final costs – for instance in a termination case – are paid by you, the client).
  • It is easier to offer local extra insurances, pension benefits etc. These would be difficult for an employer, who is only registered in Germany, to offer. Before you offer benefits though, check whether these are required in the local labor market.
  • If there are disputes involving the employee it is the local firm's job to manage this – even if you end up paying the bill.
  • You may find that the local employment company is "tougher", less generous than you would be in its treatment of employees – especially when employees are terminated. So you save money.



  • The authorities may still say that your company is really an employer and that there is a permanent establishment. In practice your firm is less liable to this approach however.
  • The EMPLOYEE may be disappointed at getting a job offer from a company he has never heard of rather than your company. As a matter of fact, in Germany employees do not like working for staffing companies and may refuse to do so. In a tight recruitment market this might matter. 
  • This solution will on an ongoing basis be the most costly.
  • It may take your management some time to adjust to the employee not being "their" employee. Some benefits, such as stock options, are not possible under this arrangement.
  • In Germany the maximum allowable leasing of an employee is 18 months. After that, the employee has to either move on to a different staffing company and be leased out to you once more or he has to be employed. 

Talk to us about employing someone in Germany

We can guide you through the necessary steps to employing people in Germany and offer help and guidance along the way

+49 (0) 2173 / 2039568