Initially, only two non-German players were allowed in each squad in the Bundesliga. This was increased to three in 1992. In the 2006/07 season, the limits on foreign players were lifted following an agreement between the league association and the DFB.

Then, as now however, each club in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 must have a minimum of twelve licensed German players under contract. The UEFA Local Player Regulation was also introduced to promote the development of young players. Since the 2008/09 season, a minimum of eight players in each club must have been trained locally, and four by a club or association in Germany.