Purchase of a plot of land in Germany only before a German notary public

By DR. RODOLFO DOLCE | 02.02.2021

A property located in Germany can only be effectively recorded in the presence of the parties to the purchase before a German notary. The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) (decision of 13.2.2020, V ZB 3/16) ruled that the formal requirement of section 925 (1) sentence 1 BGB mandatorily requires the participation of a German notary. European law considerations would not change this. The restriction on the freedom of services was also proportionate. Parties residing abroad who wanted to transfer a German property could also turn to a German consular official.

The BGH reminds in this context that this strictness of form does not also apply to the transfer of shares in a GmbH pursuant to § 15 (3) GmbHG. As reported several times in this newsletter, such a transfer can also be recorded before a Swiss notary or also - provided the relevant formal requirements are observed by an Italian notary - in Italy.

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