Whether you are planning a business start-up as a full-time or side job or a takeover, we can give you neutral, free advice on selecting the appropriate funds, support you in compiling a financial plan and filling out the application and, of course, help you prepare for meetings with banks. In order to facilitate your launch, we are, among other things, a cooperation partner of the State Institute for Business Promotion and the state ministries.
The Federal Employment Agency can provide funds to unemployed individuals who receive Arbeitslosengeld I (Unemployment Benefits I) and are interested in starting a business in the form of a start-up grant. The approval of the start-up grant is a matter of a discretionary benefit, to which there is no legal entitlement. Finding work still takes priority. The start-up grant can be approved for up to 15 months and consists of two phases. During the phase of basic funding, you will receive the amount of your previous entitlement to Unemployment Benefits I for a six-month period, plus a monthly lump sum of €300 to cover the social security contributions (even if these are possibly higher or lower). In order to receive subsequent development funding, another application must be submitted. You can apply to receive the lump sum of €300 for an additional nine months. The granting thereof is also a discretionary benefit.
The Job Centre of the Federal Employment Agency can provide unemployed persons who receive Arbeitslosengeld II (Unemployment Benefits II) and are interested in starting a business with funds in the form of an entry grant. The objective of this funding is to end reliance on benefits by helping the individual concerned into freelance employment. This entry grant is known as a discretionary provision. That means there is no legal entitlement to this benefit. The amount of funding that is made available is gauged by assessing the degree of dependency on the relevant individual, among other factors, and must therefore be requested individually at your Job Centre. As long as you are still receiving Unemployment Benefits II after the start-up (as supplements), your social security contributions are covered by this and you do not have to pay your own health insurance, compulsory long-term care or pension insurance fund contributions.
Incorporators who would like to apply for start-up grants or entry grants require a favourable statement from an expert agency regarding the viability of the start-up project. Expert agencies include, for example:
- Start-up centres
- Chambers of commerce and industry
- Trade associations
- Chambers of crafts
- Professional chambers
You can apply for start-up funding at your employment agency/job centre and compile your business plan. You then submit the documents relating to the statement to the expert agency. Said agency examines the submitted documents based on the viability of the business idea – i.e. the feasibility as well as the question of whether or not it can finance itself after the funding expires. Provided that you have received a favourable statement, you would then submit the application for funding, the statement and all other required documents to your employment agency/job centre. These institutions then decide whether or not you will receive funding.