Start-up subsidy; application

If you receive unemployment benefit 1 and would like to start a business, you can receive financial support for this under certain conditions.


The start-up subsidy is intended to support you in securing your livelihood and social security after starting your own business. You can only receive a start-up grant if you intend to pursue your self-employment on a full-time basis.

Before you apply for the start-up subsidy, you must be registered as unemployed and receive unemployment benefits; an immediate transition from employment to subsidized self-employment is not possible.

If you are not still entitled to unemployment benefits for at least 150 days until you start self-employment, 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 your livelihood plus a monthly lump sum of EUR 300.00 for social security.
  • Phase 2: 9 months subsidy in the amount of 300.00 EUR per month.

The extent to which a subsidy is possible must be decided on an individual basis. There is no legal entitlement to the start-up subsidy.

If you have fulfilled the requirements for the standard old-age pension, you cannot be subsidized (anymore). Incidentally, the start-up grant is not subject to income tax.

You can apply for the subsidy in addition to other subsidies for starting a business.


  • You receive unemployment benefits from an employment agency.
  • You still have a residual claim to unemployment benefits of at least 150 days when you start your self-employed activity.
  • You can provide evidence of the knowledge and skills required to carry out the self-employed activity.
  • You can present the positive opinion of an expert body on the viability of the business start-up. 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 for drawing the standard old-age pension.


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

  • Make an appointment for a consultation at the Employment Agency. You can do this by phone 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.
  • Afterwards, an expert body must positively assess your start-up project. You are free to choose the expert body. Expert bodies for the preparation of expert opinions are in particular:
    • Chambers of Industry and Commerce,
    • Chambers of crafts,
    • guilds,
    • professional chambers,
    • trade associations or
    • credit institutions.
  • The employment agency will also check whether you meet the professional requirements for carrying out the intended self-employed activity.
  • Your employment agency will provide you with an application form, which you must complete and submit together with all documents.
  • The Employment Agency will initially grant the start-up subsidy for 6 months.
  • In order to receive the reduced grant for a further 9 months, you will need to apply again and prove that you have actually carried out the self-employed activity and that it is 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 counseling session, your contact person will provide you with the application and other forms in the BA's eServices portal. You will find the documents in your profile in the section "Cash benefits and other benefits".
  • You obtain the opinion of the expert body and prepare all other documents.
  • You submit the application for the start-up grant phase 1 online by accessing the BA's eServices portal and selecting the "Start-up grant phase 1" process in your profile. There you have the option of uploading and submitting the application and the other documents.
  • After a successful check, you will find the approval notice in your profile in the "Notice filing" area, provided 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 the information and the application form for the start-up grant phase 2 in good time.

Special notes

Before you become self-employed, please contact your health and pension insurance provider to find out about your insurance obligations and the options for continued insurance.

As a self-employed person or self-employed person, you can also apply to become liable for insurance in the unemployment insurance.

Processing time

Provided all required documents are complete, processing your application usually takes between a few days and 12 weeks. (1 to 12 weeks)

Required documents

  • Erforderliche Unterlage/n

    • Nachweis über Ihre Kenntnisse und Fähigkeiten für die Ausübung der selbständigen Tätigkeit (beispielsweise Qualifikationsnachweise, Berufserfahrung oder Teilnahme an Maßnahmen zur Vorbereitung der Existenzgründung).

    Wenn Sie ein erlaubnispflichtiges Gewerbe oder eine erlaubnispflichtige selbständige Tätigkeit ausüben möchten, brauchen Sie zusätzlich:

    • die Erlaubnis zur Ausübung des jeweiligen Gewerbes oder der selbständigen Tätigkeit
    • bei Handwerksberufen oder handwerksnahen Berufen:
      • die Bestätigung über die Eintragung in die Handwerksrolle bei der Handwerkskammer

    Außerdem müssen Sie eine Stellungnahme einer fachkundigen Stelle zur Tragfähigkeit der Existenzgründung einreichen. Dafür brauchen Sie:

    • eine Beschreibung des Existenzgründungsvorhabens zur Erläuterung der Geschäftsidee (Businessplan),
    • Ihren Lebenslauf (einschließlich Befähigungsnachweise),
    • einen Kapitalbedarfs- und Finanzierungsplan,
    • eine Umsatz- und Rentabilitätsvorschau

Online procedures

  • Gründungszuschuss beantragen

    Following an interview, your placement specialist will provide you with the application and other forms in your profile in the "Cash and other benefits" section. You can then apply for financial assistance for the start-up phase online.


  • In principle, no costs are incurred. However, depending on your choice of expert body, you may incur costs for certifying the viability of your business start-up. You must bear these costs yourself.


  • Opposition


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