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Applying for benefits for the integration of the self-employed

You can get the subsidy if you

  • Receive or be entitled to a citizen's allowance
  • would like to become self-employed (business start-up),
  • want to expand a previously marginal self-employed activity into your main occupation or
  • are already self-employed full-time.

The aim is for you to be able to earn your own living permanently within a reasonable period of time and no longer need a citizen's allowance.

Financial support for the purchase of material goods

If you want to purchase material goods that you need for your work, you can get a loan or a grant from your job center. Tangible goods can be, for example:

  • Computer
  • Software
  • Telephone
  • Office furniture
  • Marketing measures, e.g. creation of a homepage,
  • Vehicles, machines, plants, tools
  • Deposit for commercial premises
  • Initial equipment and operationally necessary replenishment of your material, goods or spare parts warehouse.

No ongoing operating costs are covered, such as

  • wages and personnel costs,
  • Rent
  • Telephone bills or
  • Maintenance costs.

You usually receive financial support for the purchase of tangible goods in the form of a loan. In individual cases, grants of up to EUR 5,000 are possible, and loans beyond that amount. A combination of both is possible. The loans and grants are paid out in monthly installments or as a total amount, depending on the intended use. You will have to repay the loan later, but not the grant.

You must apply for funding from the Jobcenter before you make the purchase. It is not possible to grant a loan or grant for tangible goods that have already been purchased.

Free consultations and training for the self-employed

If you are already self-employed, you can also be supported by:

  • Consultations that help you to maintain or realign your self-employment. However, tax and legal advice is not funded.
  • Training courses that provide you with entrepreneurial knowledge, for example in the areas of marketing, accounting, acquisition or project management.

Both are free of charge for you. For example, your job centre commissions your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts, private educational institutions, innovation, technology or start-up centres.

Which of the above-mentioned benefits you can receive will be checked and decided by your integration specialist. This also applies to the amount of a loan or grant. That is, you have no legal claim to it.

Process flow

You must apply for the subsidy before you can receive financial support for purchases or use the consulting services.

  • To do this, first make an appointment with your local job centre.
  • Your integration specialist will discuss with you whether self-employment can be a realistic strategy for you to integrate into the labour market and end your need for help, and what type of support is suitable for you.
  • Loans and grants for the purchase of tangible goods:
    • Your integration specialist will hand you the application form or activate the online application process for you. It is important that you submit the application – online or in writing for the funding before you purchase the material goods.
    • The Jobcenter will review your application and the attached documents.
    • The Jobcenter assesses your personal suitability for specific self-employment and the economic viability of your company. This includes the prognosis of whether you will be able to earn a living by becoming self-employed within a reasonable period of time.
    • You will receive a written or digital notification from the responsible job centre as to whether your application has been approved.
    • After positive feedback, you can make the purchases.
    • Then, you'll need to submit evidence proving what you spent the funds on
    • such as sales contracts, receipts or bank statements.
  • Advice and training to impart knowledge and skills:
    • Your job centre commissions advice and training from external training providers. For more information, please contact your Jobcenter.


In order to receive the benefits, the following requirements must be met:

  • You receive a citizen's allowance
  • You want to become self-employed or are already self-employed, which means
    • They work in their own name and on their own account, and
    • They bear the economic risk of their activity, the so-called entrepreneurial risk.
  • Self-employment must be your main job, which means
    • You work independently for at least 15 hours per week and
    • Within a reasonable period of time, you will be able to earn all or a significant part of your living from your earnings.
  • You must be personally suitable to successfully pursue a self-employed activity. To do this, you must prove that you have the knowledge and skills you need to become self-employed, for example by:
    • Proof of your professional and entrepreneurial qualifications,
    • professional experience or
    • participation in measures that prepare you for starting a business.
  • Your self-employment must be economically viable, i.e.
    • Your business model must be elaborated and thought out in such a way that your business start-up can be successful in the long term
      • The viability of your self-employment must be proven by an expert opinion. Expert bodies can be chambers, trade associations or start-up initiatives. Your job centre will nominate the competent authority responsible for you in your region. Usually, you will have to submit detailed documents there.
  • The material goods you want to purchase must be appropriate and necessary for your work.
  • Other sources of financing are ruled out, such as special federal and state programs, local economic development or microcredits.
  • The funding must comply with EU state aid law, the de minimis rule.

Which documents are required?

In order to receive funding, you must submit appropriate documents. Your integration specialist will inform you which of the following documents are necessary for the funding you have applied for:

  • Expert opinion confirming that your self-employment is economically viable
  • De minimis declaration under European Union (EU) state aid rules
  • Capital Requirements and Financing Plan
  • Business plan in text form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Tax registration, business registration or registration with the Chamber of Crafts
  • Certificate of participation in a start-up seminar
  • Offers of operational investments
  • If applicable, contractual documents such as articles of association or lease agreement
  • at least 2 rejections from banks where you have made credit requests
  • other individual documents that the Jobcenter may request

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline. You must submit the application before making the purchases. Deadlines are set by the respective job centre, for example deadlines for submitting documents.

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: Yes


  • Contradiction
  • Appeal to the Social Court

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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