Competition Register/Corruption Register

As specialized lawyers for criminal law, we have been advising companies and corporate officers for many years on issues relating to corruption registers or the new Competition Register (WRegG)! We are tried and tested and have the necessary expertise. You can find the most important information here:

Substantial risks are often unknown to companies

Many companies are simply not aware - or these often only realize when it is already (almost) too late - that after a conviction or final decision, considerable - and sometimes existence-destroying - disadvantages can threaten companies as well as company managers personally.

Very important: These massive risks exist not only in the case of convictions for criminal offenses from within a company, but already when only certain fines are imposed, e.g. under the Administrative Offenses Act (OWiG) or relevant special laws. Even lawyers who are not specialized in white-collar criminal law are often unaware of these risks.

Addressed here are primarily legal and factual consequences from the so-called competition register or various "corruption registers" at the state level.

Certain fines and criminal offenses lead to "procurement blocks" and de facto prevent the awarding of contracts by the public sector

An entry in the nationwide competition register under the WReGG can often mean the exclusion of companies from public contract awards.

So-called "corruption registers" of varying design have already existed for some time at the level of the federal states. In the case of convictions, in particular for corruption offenses (but not only), the company concerned and the convicted persons were entered in the register, which in fact often led to exclusion from public procurement (often enough also destroying the company's existence).

The Competition Register, which is now kept by the Federal Cartel Office, now standardizes the legal situation across all German states.

The basic aim of the Competition Register Act is to enable (public) contracting authorities to check whether companies or persons responsible for companies as natural persons must or can be excluded from the award of public contracts on account of certain economic offences or economic crimes (economic criminal law) or certain fines (protection of fair competition). It should be noted that for planned contracts of more than 30,000 EUR, a check in the competition register is even legally obligatory for the contracting authority.

Although an entry in the competition register does not necessarily lead to the exclusion of the company from the award of the contract, in purely factual terms or in practice, however, in the vast majority of cases this will lead to the exclusion of the company, which is also borne out by our experience with the previous "corruption registers" at the level of the federal states.

Incidentally, administrative authorities and public prosecutors are obliged to report convictions, sanctions and decisions relevant to registration to the Competition Register (Federal Cartel Office) in a timely manner.

Entry in the competition register: Which criminal offenses or fines lead to exclusion from public contract awards?

An entry of the company is not only made in the case of corruption offenses attributable to the company (§§ 331 ff. StGB incl. foreign bribery) or corresponding convictions or penalty orders. Rather, there is a "colorful bouquet" of criminal offenses or offenses that lead to registration. Particularly relevant in practice are

  • Fraud (§§ 263 ff StGB)
  • Tax evasion (§ 370 AO)
  • Subsidy fraud (§ 264 StGB)
  • Withholding and embezzlement of social security contributions (§ 266a StGB)
  • Corruption offenses such as granting benefits and bribery, including foreign bribery (§ 333, 334, 335, 335 a StGB)
  • Money laundering (e.g. § 261 StGB)
  • Terrorism financing
  • Creation of criminal organizations
  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Infringements of antitrust laws
  • Restrictions of competition according to § 123 GWB.

Long ago, however, not only offenses from the economic criminal law are concerned. Entry reason in the competition register are namely also numerous norms from the labor criminal law or labor law, for example, violations of

  • the Act to Combat Clandestine Employment (SchwarzArbG)
  • the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG), e.g. § 21 MiLoG
  • the Employee Posting Act (AEntG), e.g. § 23
  • Irregularities in the promotion of employment (§ 404 SGB III)
  • Hiring out employees, see §§ 15, 15 a,16 AÜG
  • certain fine decisions according to §§ 30, 130 OWiG.

Your specialized lawyers in relation to competition register / corruption register: Our goal is the prevention of registration or premature cancellation

Lawyers who are not familiar with the above-mentioned topics or who have no practical experience can neither assess the particular risk situation for companies at an early stage, nor can they mitigate or exclude it.

As experienced lawyers specializing in criminal law and defense attorneys, we are familiar with the consequences of register law, also with regard to competition registers and corruption registers; therefore, we defend accused persons and affected companies with foresight even before or during criminal proceedings, also with regard to problems arising from register law.

Together with the accused or the company concerned, we not only formulate criminal defense objectives, but also try to avoid risks with regard to the competition register (or the corruption register) from the outset. If the company is nevertheless entered in the competition register, we help the companies to reverse the entry (deletion from the register) or to significantly shorten the period of registration for the company (early deletion). At a very early stage, in the event of impending entries, we provide advice and recommendations (for example in the areas of compliance, internal investigations, sanctioning of employees, the company organization, etc.) as to how the registration period can be effectively and promisingly reduced and early deletion achieved. The aim is to prevent registration or early cancellation of the company's entry in the competition register.

Our lawyers have many years of tried and tested experience in advising companies with regard to the competition register or the corruption register. We have been able to save numerous companies from being entered in the corruption register or to achieve a significantly premature deletion from the register.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in this regard.