The e. V. is the most common legal form for non-profit projects in Germany. It needs at least seven founding members to be established and can finance itself through membership fees without having to build up assets. This does not make decision-making any easier, as many decisions are made by the general meeting.

An alternative to the e. V. is the gGmbH, the limited liability company. This can be founded by an individual, and its members are shareholders, which means that decision-making is much more centralized than with an association. It can also be made by a shareholder all by himself. There is no “association bureaucracy” and one has everything in hand. However, the gGmbH does not have the same access to funding as an association through membership fees and instead relies on other sources of income such as donations or grants.