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SMEs in Germany struggle to find successors for management
Last Updated: 2019-01-04 10:14 | Xinhua
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany have problems in finding successors for their management, a study by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) published on Thursday shows.

Among the older entrepreneurs surveyed, 47 percent of them had not found a successor to run their company. However, 70 percent of potential successors surveyed had not found the right company to take over.

Both of the numbers are record figures since the study was first conducted in 2007.

A record number of 6,674 senior entrepreneurs in Germany have contacted their responsible chamber of industry and commerce for advice on company succession in 2017.

According to the study, "unresolved issues in the application of the new inheritance tax law" are causing great uncertainty among entrepreneurs. Every fourth potential successor surveyed said that the uncertainty concerning the new inheritance tax right makes family-internal business successions more difficult.

The shortage of skilled workers in Germany and increasing bureaucracy are also causing dissatisfaction among German entrepreneurs. Almost every fifth senior entrepreneur would not want to become self-employed under current circumstances.

In 2017, nearly every fourth woman could imagine to acquire or inherit a company, the biggest share so far in the DIHK study. However, this number would still lie clearly under the portion of women, who are interested in a business startup instead of a takeover. 40 percent of women surveyed could imagine starting their own business.

The German industry association DIHK is demanding to implement the inheritance tax law in a "practical" way, as well as to reduce bureaucracy so that company successions can be better managed.

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