Start-up money; application

If you receive unemployment benefit (ALG) II and you want to become self-employed or take up an activity that is subject to social insurance contributions, you can receive start-up money under certain conditions.


The introductory allowance is intended to provide you with a financial incentive if your income is initially no higher, or barely higher, than your previous cash benefits from the basic income support scheme.

Start-up money is granted to you as a non-deductible subsidy.

The amount of the allowance can be determined by each job center on the basis of the legal criteria and is usually around 50 percent of the standard rate for unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV). The calculation of the amount takes into account, among other things, the duration of your unemployment and the size of your needs group. Therefore, the amount of the starter allowance varies depending on the individual case.

For special groups of people, your job center can also make a flat-rate assessment. This facilitates equal decisions in similarly situated cases and concerns in particular:

  • Long-term unemployed,
  • single parents,
  • migrants,
  • older people,
  • people with health problems,
  • women in partner need groups.

You can receive starter money for a maximum of 24 months.

Your job center alone decides whether and how much you can receive. This means that you have no legal entitlement to it.


  • You will receive unemployment benefit (ALG) II before starting your new job. Unemployment is not a prerequisite for this.
  • You must submit the application to your job center before you actually start working.
  • Your new self-employment or your new job is suitable for overcoming your need for assistance in the long term.
  • The introductory allowance is necessary for your integration into the general labor market.
  • Your gainful employment comprises at least 15 hours per week.

Additional requirements for self-employment/starting a business:

  • Positive assessment by the job center of
    • Your personal suitability,
    • the economic viability of your self-employed activity


In order to receive the introductory allowance, you should first arrange a counseling interview at your responsible job center:

  • Contact the responsible job center and make an appointment for an interview.
  • In the case of employment subject to social insurance contributions, you can also apply for the introductory allowance online.
  • The integration specialist will record your data and check whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • The counselor will make a discretionary decision on this basis.
  • You will receive a decision by mail or online stating whether your application has been approved or rejected.
  • If your application is approved, the Jobcenter will transfer the amount to your account monthly in advance.

Processing time

Average 4 weeks.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    In case of self-employment/start-up:

    • Application for funding
    • Curriculum vitae, if applicable including necessary certificates of qualification
    • Meaningful description of the business start-up project explaining the business idea (business concept/business plan).
    • Capital requirements and financing plan
    • Turnover and profitability forecast (expected turnover and costs) for the next 3 years.
    • If necessary, a statement from an external third party or an expert body on the viability of your company.
      • Competent authorities are: Chambers, trade associations, credit institutes, start-up initiatives
    • Proof that you are self-employed, e.g. by means of your business registration, notification to the tax office or confirmation of the change from a sideline business to a main business.
    • If applicable, further proof, for example, of your
      • Accident insurance or
      • Business liability insurance or
      • Entry in the register of craftsmen

    In the case of employment subject to social insurance contributions:

    • Application for subsidy
    • Copy of your employment contract


  • Fee: none


Social benefits; filing an appeal

  • Objection
  • administrative court action

Status: 21.10.2022

Responsible for editing: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
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