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Apply for a start-up allowance

The start-up allowance is intended to provide you with a financial incentive if your income is initially not or hardly higher than your previous cash benefits from basic security.

Entry allowance is granted to you as a non-creditable grant.

The amount of funding can be determined by each job centre on the basis of the legal criteria and amounts to a maximum of 50 percent of the standard rate of the citizens' allowance. When calculating the amount, the duration of your unemployment and the size of your community of need are taken into account, among other things. Therefore, the amount of the entry fee varies depending on the individual case.

For special groups of people, your Jobcenter can also make a flat-rate assessment. This makes it easier to make the same decisions in similar cases and applies in particular:

  • Term unemployed
  • Single parent
  • migrants,
  • Elder
  • Persons with health impairments,
  • Women in Partner Communities of Need.

You can receive start-up money for a maximum of 24 months.

Whether and to what extent you can receive an entry-level allowance is decided solely by your Jobcenter. That is, you have no legal claim to it.

Process flow

In order to receive the entry-level allowance, you should first arrange a consultation at your local job centre:

  • Contact the responsible job centre and make an appointment.
  • In the case of employment subject to social security contributions, you can also apply for an entry-level allowance online.
  • The integration specialist will record your data and check whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • The advisor makes a discretionary decision on this basis.
  • You will receive a notification by post or online with the approval or rejection of your application.
  • If your application is approved, the Jobcenter will transfer the amount to your account each month in advance.


  • You will receive a citizen's allowance before you start your new job. Unemployment is not a prerequisite.
  • You must submit the application to your Jobcenter before you actually start working.
  • Your new self-employment or your new employment is suitable for overcoming your need for help in the future.
  • The entry allowance is necessary for your integration into the general labour market.
  • They work at least 15 hours per week.
  • Additional requirements for self-employment/business start-ups:
  • Positive assessment of the Jobcenter about
    • Your personal suitability,
  • the economic viability of your self-employment

Which documents are required?

In the case of self-employment/business start-ups:

  • Application for funding
  • Curriculum vitae, including, if applicable, any necessary qualifications
  • Meaningful description of the business start-up project to explain the business idea (business concept/business plan)
  • Capital Requirements and Financing Plan
  • Revenue and profitability forecast (expected revenue and costs) for the next 3 years
  • If applicable, an opinion from an external third party or an expert body on the viability of your business
    • Competent bodies are: chambers, professional associations, credit institutions, start-up initiatives
  • Proof that you are self-employed, for example through your business registration, notification to the tax office or confirmation of the change from a secondary business to a main business
  • if applicable, further evidence, e.g. of your
    • Accident insurance or
    • Business liability or
    • Entry in the Register of Craftsmen

In the case of employment subject to social security contributions:

  • Application for funding
  • Copy of your employment contract

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

You must not have started working when you apply for an entry-level allowance. This applies both to the commencement of employment subject to social security contributions and to your self-employment.


  • Contradiction
  • Administrative court action

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Arbeit
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes


Telephone: 05931 44-0
responsible for:

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)