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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a start-up grant


The start-up grant is intended to support you in securing your livelihood and social security after setting up a business. You can only receive a start-up grant if you want to pursue your self-employment full-time.

Before you apply for the start-up grant, you must be registered as unemployed and receive unemployment benefit, a direct transition from employment to subsidised self-employment is not possible.

If you are not entitled to unemployment benefit for at least 150 days before you become self-employed, you cannot receive a start-up grant.

The start-up grant can be paid in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1: 6 months start-up grant in the amount of the last unemployment benefit received to secure subsistence plus a monthly lump sum of EUR 300.00 for social security
  • Phase 2: 9 months subsidy of EUR 300.00 per month

The extent to which funding is possible must be decided individually. There is no legal entitlement to the start-up grant.

If you have fulfilled the requirements for the standard old-age pension, you can no longer be funded. By the way, the start-up grant is not subject to income tax.

You can apply for the grant in addition to other subsidies for business start-ups.

You must apply for the start-up grant at the Employment Agency:

  • Make an appointment for a consultation with the Employment Agency. You can do this by telephone via the employee hotline or online on the website of the Federal Employment Agency.
  • Your advisor will discuss with you what financial assistance is available for start-ups and what requirements you must meet.
  • After that, an expert body must positively assess your start-up project. You are free to choose the competent position. Competent bodies for the preparation of expert opinions are in particular:
    • Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
    • chambers of crafts,
    • Guilds
    • professional chambers,
    • professional associations or
    • Credit institutions.
  • The Employment Agency also checks whether you meet the professional requirements for exercising your intended self-employed activity.
  • Your employment agency will provide you with an application form, which you will fill out and submit together with all documents.
  • The Employment Agency initially approves the start-up grant for 6 months.
  • In order to receive the reduced subsidy for another 9 months, you must submit a new application and prove that you have actually carried out the self-employed activity and that it is to be expected that you will be able to support yourself after the end of the grant.

If you would like to apply for the start-up grant online:

  • Following the consultation, your contact person will provide you with the application and other forms in the BA's eServices portal. You can find the documents in your profile in the section "Cash benefits and other benefits".
  • They shall obtain the opinion of the competent body and prepare all other documents.
  • You submit the application for start-up grant phase 1 online by calling up the BA's eServices portal and selecting the "Start-up grant phase 1" process in your profile. There you have the opportunity to upload and submit the application and other documents.
  • After successful verification, you will find the approval notice in your profile in the "Bescheidablage" area, provided that you have agreed to online delivery.
  • You will receive the start-up grant for 6 months.
  • Following phase 1, you can apply for the start-up grant for phase 2. In your profile you will find all information as well as the application form for the start-up grant phase 2 in good time.

You can find the department of the Federal Employment Agency responsible for you via the service finder.

  • You receive unemployment benefit from an employment agency.
  • You still have a residual entitlement to unemployment benefit of at least 150 days when you start self-employment.
  • You can demonstrate knowledge and skills to carry out self-employment.
  • You can show the positive opinion of an expert body on the viability of business start-ups. Expert bodies are, for example, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Chamber of Crafts or banks.
  • You have not yet reached the required age to receive the standard old-age pension.  
  • Proof of your knowledge and skills for self-employment (e.g. proof of qualifications, professional experience or participation in pre-business start-up measures).

If you would like to carry out a business or self-employment subject to authorisation, you also need:

  • the permission to exercise the respective trade or self-employed activity
  • in the case of craft trades or trade-related occupations:
    • confirmation of entry in the Register of Craftsmen at the Chamber of Crafts

You must also submit an opinion from a competent body on the viability of setting up a business. For this you need:

  • a description of the business start-up project to explain the business idea (business plan),
  • your curriculum vitae (including qualifications),
  • a capital requirements and financing plan,
  • A sales and profitability forecast

In principle, there are no costs. However, depending on your choice of competent body, you may incur costs for certifying the viability of your business start-up. You have to bear these costs yourself.

You must submit the application before you start self-employment.

Forms available: Yes
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: Yes (to meet the deadline)
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: Yes

Before you become self-employed, please contact your health and pension insurance provider for information on your insurance obligations and the possibilities of continued insurance.

As a self-employed person, you can also apply to be subject to compulsory unemployment insurance.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

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