Letters from an expat:
I started looking at how I might just get together with a few friends and start an informal group, and just do some hacking (no not hacking in the Hollywood sense, but the playful use of technology) together.
It turns out that in Germany it's not that simple!
The problem is, that as soon as more than one person joins together in a common endeavor, you automatically become part of a default corporate body known as a GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts). The killer here is that all members can be held financially accountable for all other members actions as part of the group!
Wow! This is really crazy stuff! You don't need to constitute the body by any other means than simply getting together - however informally - to do stuff and then you become accountable for the actions of your fellows.
It is only possible to escape this kind of accountability, by forming a state registered club (eingetragene Verein). The state makes this pretty cheap to do. But then you need a club constitution, yearly meetings, club presidents and treasurers and all the stuff that I'm heartily sick of. uugh!
Oh my poor anarchist heart