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GT-HD – Our English language consulting services

Law on tax incentives for R&D (ForschungszulagenGesetz, FZulG)

  • The law on tax incentives for R&D offers tax breaks covering eligible research expenditure by companies subject to taxation in Germany – regardless of size, legal form, and industry.

  • R&D projects are eligible for tax breaks if they fall into one or more of the following categories: basic research, industrial research, experimental development.

  • Limits on eligible expenses are generous: companies can log up to €15 million R&D costs in total, and up to €4 million per year. Successful projects are eligible for a tax rebate equalling 25% of approved R&D expenses within the above limits.

  • Claiming the rebate is a two-stage process and requires an application to the Certification Office for the Research Allowance (Bescheinigungsstelle Forschungszulage, BSFZ). This must describe the R&D project in accordance with the legal requirements.

  • If the BSFZ application is approved, the tax rebate can be claimed at the responsible tax office (Finanzamt). The rebate is realised either by deducting the amount granted from profit or - in the case of companies that do not achieve profits – via a payment.

The road to BSFZ success – Frascati criteria

  • To qualify for support, your project must represent a ‘defined R&D activity’.

  • The Certification Office for the Research Allowance (BSFZ) assesses five criteria:

1. NOVELTY: the project must be novel or aimed at gaining new knowledge
2. CREATIVITY: inventive, based on original, non-obvious concepts and hypotheses
3. RISK: the final outcome of the project must be uncertain
4. SYSTEMATIC: must be doable in a systematic way i.e. follow a plan, be budgetable
5.TRANSFERABLE: results must be transferable/reproducible.

GTHD’s offer & what it involves

GTHD has a long track record of successfully managing the presentation of risk-prone R&D projects to grant-giving organisations. GTHD will draw on this experience to support your success during your application.

Is BSFZ for me/ my company?

Consider the following questions, designed to give you an initial indication whether BSFZ might benefit you and your company:

  1. What is the aim of my project? Which problem/s does it seek to solve?

  2. Does my project innovate? Do I need to come up with something new to make it work, or modify existing technology so it fits a novel purpose/enables new functionality?

  3. What is new / creative about the solution we are seeking and/or about the way we are trying to get there?

  4. What steps are necessary to implement the project? Which methods are used?

  5. What insights and knowledge are generated, in the end result and along the way?

  6. What are the risks? Is the outcome in doubt? If so why? How can risks be mitigated?


Does your project have potential to qualify for BSFZ support, or do you think it might? Great! We would love to hear from you.

GTHD’s offer: how it works in practice

A short initial conversation can help you decide whether you want to proceed. If you do, we would be more than happy to tailor an offer to fit your needs and your profile. At that point, we would ask you to provide the following documents (on the basis of a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement, if desired):

  1. Project outline, descriptions, milestones, reviews etc. to assess whether the project satisfies the Frascati R&D criteria

  2.  Budgeting, expenses, overview of project staff

  3.  If applicable: Project-related expenses/contract research expenditures

  4.  If applicable: documents detailing previous/other public funding supporting the project

  5.  Brief overview of corporate finance and strategic direction

GTHD’s approach

Law on tax FZulG
GT-HD your partner

GT-HD – Your partner for innovation management & funding

We are passionate about helping our clients translate research and development into commercial success. Our team  incorporates a wide range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves on client focus, delivering tailor-made solutions for your success.

German rules and regulations around research grants and innovation funding can be daunting, especially when seen from across the language barrier. At GT-HD, we have deep intercultural and language competence. Leading team members have worked in the US and the UK as well as in Germany, across a broad spectrum of industries and holding both private and public sector roles:

Dr Henning Grunwald

  • 20+ years experience in HE and R&D funding, fundraising, grant application & management

  • Assistant (Academic Strategy) to the President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

  • Deputy Director of the Max Kade Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

  • Associate Professor and Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge University, UK


Kai Grunwald

  • Attorney, partner at Weitnauer

  • Specializing in the financing of technology companies

  • Serial entrepreneur in the life sciences







Winfried März, PhD

  • Specialist for laboratory medicine

  • Active Investor / Business Angel

  • Independent scientific advisor in various international Committees

Markus Neth

  • Management consultant since 1995

  • Focus: Development of product and process innovations with a focus on market entry and product leadership

  • "Certified Master" Management Canvas and accredited consultant at BAFA

years on the market
Mio. € was acquired for projects
High-tech projects successfully supported

> 15

> 20

> 100

Would you like to find out more?

We are happy to help! Give us a call or write to us

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