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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for benefits for the integration of the self-employed


You can get the funding if you

  • Receive or be entitled to unemployment benefit II
  • would like to become self-employed (business start-up),
  • want to extend a previously minor self-employed activity to your main profession or
  • are already self-employed full-time.

The aim is that you can make a living yourself permanently within a reasonable period of time and no longer need unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV).

Financial support for the purchase of tangible goods

If you want to purchase material goods that you need for your work, you can get a loan or a grant from your job center. Tangible goods can be, for example:

  • Computer
  • Software
  • Telephone
  • Office furniture
  • Marketing measures (e.g. creation of a homepage)
  • Vehicles, machines, plants, tools
  • Deposit for commercial premises
  • Initial equipment and operationally necessary replenishment of your material, goods or spare parts warehouse.

No ongoing operating costs are covered, such as

  • wages and personnel costs,
  • Rent
  • telephone bills or
  • Maintenance costs.

You usually receive financial support for the purchase of material goods as a loan. In individual cases, grants of up to EUR 5,000 are possible, loans even beyond. A combination of both is possible. Depending on the intended use, the loans and grants are paid out in monthly installments or as a total amount. You have to repay the loan later, but not the grant.

You must apply for funding from the job centre before you make the purchase. It is not possible to grant a loan or grant for material goods that have already been purchased.

Free consultations and training for the self-employed

If you are already self-employed full-time, you can also be supported by

  • Advice to help you maintain or realign your self-employment (but tax and legal advice is not encouraged)
  • Training courses that provide you with entrepreneurial knowledge, for example in the areas of marketing, accounting, acquisition or project management.

Both are free of charge for you. For example, your job centre commissions your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts, private training providers, innovation, technology or start-up centres.

Your integration specialist will check and decide which of the aforementioned benefits you can receive. This also applies to the amount of a loan or grant. That is, you have no legal right to it.

You must apply for funding before you can receive financial support for purchases or take advantage of the consulting services.

  • To do this, first make an appointment with your responsible job center.
  • Your integration specialist will discuss with you whether self-employment can be a realistic strategy for you to integrate into the labour market and end the need for help and what kind of support is suitable for you.
  • Loans and grants for the purchase of tangible goods:
    • Your integration specialist will hand over the application form to you. It is important that you submit the application for funding before you purchase the material goods.
    • The job centre will check your application and the attached documents.
    • The job centre assesses your personal suitability for the specific self-employment and the economic viability of your company. This includes the prognosis of whether you can earn your living through self-employment within a reasonable period of time.
    • You will receive written notification from the responsible job centre as to whether your application has been approved.
    • After positive feedback, you can make the purchases.
    • You will then need to submit evidence proving what you spent the funds on, such as purchase contracts, receipts or bank statements.
  • Advice and training to impart knowledge and skills:
    • Your job centre commissions advice and training from external training providers. You can ask your job centre for more details.

In order to receive the benefits, the following conditions must be met:

  • You receive unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV).
  • You want to become self-employed or are already self-employed, which means
    • You work in your own name and for your own account and
    • They bear the economic risk of their activity (entrepreneurial risk).
  • Self-employment must be your main occupation, which means
    • You work at least 15 hours a week independently and
    • Within a reasonable period of time, you can make a living wholly or to a significant extent from your earned income.
  • You must be personally qualified to successfully pursue a self-employed activity. To do this, you must prove that you have the knowledge and skills you need to become self-employed, for example by:
    • Proof of your professional and entrepreneurial qualifications,
    • Professional experience or
    • participation in measures that prepare you for business start-ups.
  • Your self-employment must be economically viable, which means
    • Your business model must be developed and thought through in such a way that your business start-up can be successful in the long term
    • The viability of your self-employment must be proven by an expert opinion. Expert bodies can be chambers, professional associations or start-up initiatives. Your job centre will name the competent body for you in your region. Usually, you must submit detailed documents there (see point "Required documents" above).
  • The material goods you want to purchase must be appropriate and necessary for your work.
  • Other sources of funding are eliminated, such as special federal and state programs, local economic development or microcredit
  • The support must comply with EU state aid law (de minimis rule).

In order to receive funding, you must submit appropriate documents. Your integration specialist will inform you which of the following documents are necessary for the funding applied for:

  • Expert opinion confirming that your self-employment is economically viable
  • De minimis declaration (EU State aid law)
  • Capital requirements/financing plan
  • Business plan in text form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Tax registration/ business registration/ registration with the Chamber of Crafts
  • Certificate of participation in a start-up seminar
  • Offers of operationally necessary investments
  • If applicable, contract documents such as articles of association or lease agreement
  • At least 2 cancellations from banks where you have made credit inquiries
  • Other individual documents that the job centre can request

Prior application required / Deadlines are set by the respective job center (for example, deadlines for submitting documents)

If you have submitted your documents in full, the examination and decision and the issuance of the decision usually takes about 4 weeks.

Forms: yes
Online procedure possible: no
Written form required: yes
Personal appearance necessary: yes

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

No authority found