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.



  • 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

  • Required document/s

    • Proof of your knowledge and skills for self-employment (e.g. proof of qualifications, professional experience or participation in measures to prepare for setting up a business).

    If you wish to exercise a trade or self-employed activity that requires a permit, you will also need

    • a permit to exercise the respective trade or self-employed activity
    • for trades or trades-related professions:
      • confirmation of entry in the register of craftsmen at the Chamber of Crafts

    You must also submit a statement from an expert body on the viability of the business start-up. For this you need

    • a description of the business start-up project to explain the business idea (business plan),
    • your curriculum vitae (including proof of qualifications),
    • a capital requirement and financing plan,
    • a turnover and profitability forecast

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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