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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for benefits for the integration of selfemployed persons


You can get the funding if you

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

The aim is that you can make a living 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 buy material assets that you need for your work, you can get a loan or a grant from your job center. Material 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 increase 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.

Financial support for the purchase of tangible goods is usually provided as a loan. In individual cases, grants of up to EUR 5,000 are possible, loans even beyond. A combination of both is possible. The loans and grants are paid out in monthly installments or as a total amount, depending on the purpose. 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 assets already 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 (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. This means that you have no legal claim to it.

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

  • To do this, first make an appointment with your local job centre.
  • 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 your need for help, and what kind of support is suitable for you.
  • Loans and grants for the purchase of equipment:
    • Your integration specialist will hand you the application form or activate the online application process for you. It is important that you submit the application – online or in writing – for the funding before you purchase the material goods.
    • The job centre will examine your application and the attached documents.
    • The job centre assesses your personal suitability for the specific self-employed activity and the economic viability of your company. This includes forecasting whether you will be able to earn a living through self-employment within a reasonable period of time.
    • You will receive a written or digital notification from the responsible job centre as to whether your application will be approved.
    • After positive feedback, you can make the purchases.
    • You will then need to submit evidence proving what you spent the funds on
    • for example, purchase contracts, receipts or bank statements.
  • Consulting 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 information.

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
    • They work in their own name and on their own account, and
    • They bear the economic risk of their activity (entrepreneurial risk).
  • Self-employment must be your main profession, which means
    • You work independently for at least 15 hours per week and
    • You can support yourself wholly or in a significant part of your income within a reasonable period of time.
  • They must be personally suitable for successfully carrying out self-employment. To do this, you must prove that you have the knowledge and skills you need for self-employment, 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-employed activity must be proven by an expert opinion. Expert bodies can be chambers, trade associations or start-up initiatives. Your job centre will tell you the competent body responsible for you in your region. Usually, you will have to submit detailed documents there (see "required documents" above).
  • The material assets you want to purchase must be appropriate and necessary for your work.
  • Other sources of financing are eliminated, for example special federal and state programs, local economic development or microcredits.
  • The funding must comply with EU state aid rules (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 requested funding:

  • Expert opinion confirming that your self-employment is economically viable
  • De minimis statement (EU state aid rules)
  • 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 operational investments
  • If applicable, contractual documents such as articles of association or rental agreement
  • At least 2 rejections from banks where you have made loan requests
  • Other individual documents that the job centre can request

There is no deadline. Prior application required / deadlines are set by the respective job center (for example, deadlines for submitting documents).

Forms available: Yes
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: Yes

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

No authority found