Torturing Startups with Tax Laws and Balance Sheets

By Claire Adamson |

Founding a startup in Berlin seems like a romantic business – a great idea soon becomes seed funding and a loft office. And then voila! You are hip and Ashton Kutcher has invested in your company. But it isn’t quite that simple: what about all the legal requirements, the tax regulations and the balance sheet?

Christoph Raethke of Berlin Startup Academy is continuing his series of events about the boring side of business with next week’s Quiz Show From Hell: Sued, Taxed and Quartered. Following on from the success of the Live Term Sheet Negotiation in May, Christoph aims to educate founders and entrepreneurs about the tax and legal requirements of setting up a startup.

The show, which will take place next Wednesday August 8 at BaseCamp, will be a fun way of looking at what many probably perceive as a pretty dry subject.

Two teams will be selected at random from the audience and will be given documentation to prepare for the evening’s quiz show format.  They will then be ‘tortured’ on stage (Christoph’s own words) with questions about Germany’s gnarly tax laws. Points will be given for every right answer and the winning team will recieve tickets to Campus Party Europe.

Christoph feels that there are not enough founders who are asking about this kind of topic, and are finding things out the hard way when it is too late. By bringing them to light in a fun way, he wants to make people aware that this is something they need to be thinking about: “That’s very relevant stuff, but few founders would even know to ask these questions.”

By selecting audience members at random to take part, Christoph hopes to weed out the party seekers and the serial networkers and just attract the people who are serious about starting a business. Feedback from the show in May suggested that many people were interested in startup events that offered more than just free drinks and a chance to network.

The Quiz Show from Hell will also feature talks from Christian Musfeldt of Osbourne Clarke, an international law firm dealing with startup law, and Daniel Frischkorn of Ecovis, an international tax agency. The tax topics will be discussed in German due to the nature of the terminology.