I am a US citizen moving to Berlin, Germany at the end of this month, and I'll be employed full-time by a San Francisco Bay Area-based technology startup, helping them to establish a presence in the European market--essentially a head of operations role. I plan to stay in the region for 2-3 years.
My future employer does not currently have a German subsidiary or branch, and I expect to be paid by the US entity, at least in the near-term. When it comes time to build a team in the region (3-6 months down the line), the company will set up a subsidiary or branch as necessary.
I'll be able to provide all of the required residence permit application materials without issue, and my salary will be more than sufficient for living comfortably in Berlin.
My question is this: will it be possible for me to receive a residence permit if my employer has no German subsidiary, and if so, what sort of permit is the best to apply for? I don't believe that the company will be able to formally 'sponsor' me if there's no German entity, though I'll be able to provide proof of employment, salary, etc.
In terms of background, I have worked in San Francisco in technology for 7+ years, but I am not a software engineer--my background is in product management and partnerships. I have a 4-year college degree as well as a certification in data science from a bootcamp-ish organization.
I have reviewed this thread (Moving to Germany, working remotely for company in US. What sort of visa do I need to stay?) which was helpful but not directly relevant, because the asker was soon-to-be-married to an EU citizen.
Another note, not sure if meaningful: my girlfriend is making the move with me and has received a job offer from a German company that will be sponsoring her residence permit.