For business cases that need to be approved within 2023: All documents (including subsequently amended documents) must be submitted on 26.11.2023 latest. The processing time for entries submitted later than 26.11.2023 takes 28 working days.
You are or you are going to be unemployed and want to start from unemployment into self-employment? Do you need financial support?
Then the start-up grant by the Employment Agency could provide the best way to realize your business plan!
Prerequisite for the start-up grant is a business plan including a financial and liquidity plan that has to be checked by an expert agency on its commercial viability (CHECKLIST).
Do you need a certificate of commercial viability?
The IFB is an expert agency that can deliver the necessary professional opinion for a business start-up. Please send your business plan for an expert opinion by mail or email to email@example.com. The fee is 119, – Euro. The processing time is 21 working days, from dispatch of the IFB acknowledgment and can be extended up to 28 working days.
Documents required for the expert opinion (see CHECKLIST here):
- Curriculum vitae
- Certificates and references
- Business Plan
- Financial and liquidity plan
- For the concept approval the following forms from the employment agency are required:
- request of the expert opinion on the sustainability of the planned start-up (in accordance with § 93 SGB III)
- expert opinion on the sustainability of the planned start-up (in accordance with § 93 Subsection 2 Nr. 2SGB III)
If you have any question about preparing the business plan, we can give you further advice in advance via individual counselling. So please keep in mind that the individual consultation must take place before submitting your documents for the expert opinion regarding the start-up grant. Therefore, register here: Eventcalendar
- There is no entitlement to a positive certificate of commercial viability.
- The Employment Agency decides whether the start-up grant is awarded.
The following requirements must be fulfilled to receive the start-up grant:
- You have to be officially recognized as unemployed by the employment agency at least for one day and you have to be entitled to unemployment compensation I. If you start your business right after employment you will be excluded from any start-up grants.
- By the time of your planned start-up you should have at least 150 days of your unemployment compensation left. Please pay attention to the correct calculation of your remaining time of unemployment compensation.
- Your planned business has to be your main occupation that requires you to work at least 15 hours per week.
- You have to prove your personal and professional skills at the Employment Agency. In case of doubt, the participation in seminars and in measures such as an extensive appraisal and competence check can be required.
- To ensure that your freelance activity will be economically viable in the long run, a business plan needs to be created that is acknowledged by an expert who has certified its commercial viability and sustainability of the planned start-up.
- Important: The request for approval of the start-up grant has to be made before the start of your business.
Duration and amount of the start-up grant
Even if all the conditions are met for the start-up grant, the entrepreneur has no legal claim to it. The start-up grant is a discretionary benefit! The official in charge will decide to grant the start-up allowance. A criterion for granting a start-up allowance is the current labour market situation. This means that the permanent placement in the labour market has priority.
The time period for which the start-up grant can be granted basically consists of two parts:
In the first six months the amount payed as start-up grant is as high as your entitlement to unemployment benefit I plus 300 Euros for social security expenses.
A reduced start-up grant may be extended upon application for further nine months: In this case, 300 Euros will be paid for social security expenses.
Application / blocking time
If a blocking time was imposed, you may apply for the start-up grant within the blocking time. The start-up grant will be paid after this blocking time, however, in full length.
Please note: There are employment agencies that permit only “preparatory actions” with regard to the start-up during the blocking period. In this case during this time you cannot accept any orders by clients.
Employment entry benefit
Recipients of unemployment benefit II who wish to become professionally independent are not entitled to the start-up grant. Instead, they can receive an employment entry benefit that is ancillary to the unemployment benefit II (§ 29 SGB II). This initial financial support can be applied for either at the employment agency or at the local municipal authority.
The case manager who can best assess the individual’s personal situation of the job seeker may authorize the employment entry benefit in form of a flexible grant if it deems advisable.
The case manager decides about the amount of the entry money. Criteria are the duration of unemployment, the size of the ‘community in need’ (family) of the job seeker, the previous standard benefit and the future level of total income.
Again, the entrepreneur has no legal claim to the entry benefit.