After successfully completing his law degree and dissertation, Dr. jur. Heinz Anterist began working as a legal advisor in 1966 at the Anterist & Schneider forwarding company in Saarbrücken (Germany), which his grandfather had helped to found in 1917.
There he realised that the exporting companies that had their goods transported from Germany to neighbouring France needed not only logistics, but also a service provider to support them on the other side of the border by taking care of matters that were not part of their core competence, such as company formation, accounting, legal and tax advice or payroll accounting.
Heinz Anterist searched for a provider of such services, but without success. He therefore decided to set up a company himself that could provide this service. - The idea of InterGest was born and the company of the same name was founded in 1972 in Sarreguemines, France.
The name InterGest is derived from the French activity description "Gestion Internationale", translated as "international management".
From France, Heinz Anterist steadily opened up other countries for his customers by looking for competent local partners who wanted to join the InterGest network as franchisees.
In 2001, Heinz Anterist handed over the management of the company to his son Peter. Peter Anterist is also a lawyer and visiting professor at CUFE University in Beijing.
In 2006, Heinz Anterist was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the then Federal President Dr. Horst Köhler for the development of this company concept and the establishment of the worldwide InterGest organisation.
In order to spread the tasks of the group's expansion over several shoulders, InterGest Worldwide was founded in 2016 with the three general managers Prof. Peter Anterist, Nils Blunck (InterGest partner in Hungary) and Dr. Alberto Canova (InterGest partner in Italy) as the umbrella company.
The founder Heinz Anterist was chairman of the supervisory board of InterGest France S.A.S. and a licensed lawyer in Saarbrücken until his death in 2020.
Today, the InterGest Group operates with around 45 partners in over 50 countries. Nearly 750 employees work in the InterGest Group's offices worldwide, managing just over 1,700 branches of international companies in a fiduciary capacity.
ALL OVER THE WORLD
The INTERGEST FRANCHISE SYSTEM
TASK OF THE INTERGEST
All industrialised nations rely on exporting their goods and services to other countries. This necessity gives rise to commercial and administrative challenges that every entrepreneur willing to export must overcome, although the challenges can vary significantly in the respective export markets. This in turn requires entrepreneurs to thoroughly inform themselves about and adapt to the respective specific needs of the targeted new market.
InterGest sees its task as providing these companies with competent and reliable support for their export project so that the market entry is as successful as possible and can develop positively. This support ranges from the careful preparation of the export project through in-depth consultation to the establishment of a company in the export country and its administration.
All this is to be provided at manageable and balanced conditions.
In the period from 1986 to 2023, InterGest has established partner organisations in more than 50 countries to help foreign companies open up new markets according to the InterGest concept. A large number of today's approximately 1,500 global clients are so satisfied with InterGest's services that they request them in other countries as well.
The aim of the InterGest organisation is thus to offer a service package that has been tried and tested since 1972 in all major export countries in order to provide a valuable and useful service to the export industry.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERGEST
The InterGest idea was born in 1972 in Sarreguemines (France) and brought to life by the foundation of the "Institut International de Gestion Commerciale et Administrative". The company capital was 20,000 FF (French Francs), two employees looked after the first three clients. In 2023, InterGest manages about 1,500 branches worldwide and the entire InterGest organisation employs about 500 people.
Thus, the InterGest organisation can today provide an exporter with such a comprehensive and complete range of services that he can establish and build up a foreign market from his home desk without any investment of his own in buildings, offices, warehouses, vehicles, IT, etc., as well as without his own staff, and his total economic risk is not only precisely defined from the outset, but also easily bearable in its absolute amount - both by medium-sized and smaller companies.
The InterGest service is therefore the optimal way for SMEs to successfully enter foreign markets.
COMPETITION OF THE INTERGEST
As far as can be seen, the InterGest concept has not (yet) been successfully copied in its comprehensive form and unity, i.e. the InterGest network in over 50 countries providing the same service does not exist and therefore there is no direct competition.
But there are, of course, globally active companies that offer outsourcing of administration, financial accounting and payroll. However, these are usually not as broadly internationally positioned, i.e. not to be found in as many countries as the InterGest organisation. The crucial difference, however, is that these globally active companies operate their own branches abroad and their clients are therefore served by salaried managers, not by independent contractors. This is a serious difference!
As independent entrepreneurs, InterGest partners are interested in permanently exchanging information with their international colleagues from the InterGest network in order to keep their finger on the pulse. This proved particularly useful during the Corona pandemic.
The fact that the partners of the InterGest organisation have the same structures in their respective countries and provide services of the same quality is also a great advantage that InterGest customers greatly appreciate.
TASK OF THE INTERGEST FRANCHISE PARTNERS
The InterGest organisation thrives on the fact that it has found partners in over 50 countries who not only have professional competence but also local know-how. Moreover, they are all independent entrepreneurs who think and act as such, i.e. they know from their own experience how their respective country is structured, what the local market currently looks like, what developments can be expected, etc..
However, the most important task of the InterGest partners is not only to assist the export-oriented company in the foreign country to the best of their knowledge, but at the same time to ensure that this company is successful in the new market in the long term. Changes of any kind (legislation, regulations, customs duties, etc.) must not only be recognised and communicated in good time, but their opportunities and risks must also be weighed up and, if necessary, measures derived or recommended.
An InterGest franchise partner should be willing and able to coordinate their own expertise with that of others to create a comprehensive service package by assembling a local team of advisors including lawyers, tax advisors, financial experts, etc.
REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERGEST FRANCHISE PARTNERS
At the core of an InterGest national organisation should be a person who not only brings enthusiasm for the InterGest idea, but also has a good basic education, without which a broad spectrum of services such as InterGest's cannot be put together.
The complex interweaving of commercial, legal, fiscal, financial, organisational, logistical and mental challenges of the export business require a high level of sound basic knowledge, coupled with some professional practice as well as appropriate language skills.
Since a single person cannot perfectly master all special disciplines, he or she must be able to surround himself or herself with a carefully selected and coordinated external team of advisors and lead them in the interests of the InterGest client and his or her needs.
In principle, "only" an office with the usual basic equipment is required to carry out one's activities as an InterGest franchise partner. However, this should be suitable for representing InterGest.
Legal form of organisation
The legal structure of the various national organisations depends on the specific circumstances of each country.
In order to make the material incentive for the InterGest partners as great as possible, InterGest as franchisor basically assumes that each local InterGest organisation is run as a completely independent profit centre which is solely the responsibility of the respective InterGest partner, i.e. each InterGest partner is responsible for his own operating result. An InterGest partner should therefore be able to act as a successful entrepreneur.
INTERGEST FRANCHISE SYSTEM
The InterGest franchise system was created in order to preserve the basic idea and to be able to build a uniform worldwide structure that offers the same service in the same quality in all countries.
In order to preserve a basic interest of the franchisor, a franchise agreement with InterGest includes a minority shareholding of the franchisor in the foreign partner's company and sets a franchise or minimum fee.
In addition, the contract regulates, among other things, the worldwide acquisition and referral of customers among the InterGest partners.