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Apply for benefits for the integration of self-employed persons
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
You can receive the grant if you
- receive unemployment benefit II or are entitled to it
- want 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 as your main occupation.
The aim is for you to be able to support yourself within a reasonable period of time and no longer require unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV).
Financial support for the purchase of material goods
If you want to purchase material goods that you need for your work, you can receive a loan or a grant from your Jobcenter. Material goods can be, for example
- office furniture,
- Marketing measures (e.g. creation of a homepage)
- Vehicles, machinery, equipment, tools
- Deposit for business 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,
- telephone bills or
- maintenance costs.
Financial support for the purchase of tangible assets is usually provided in the form of a loan. In individual cases, grants of up to EUR 5,000 are possible, loans even more, and 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 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 receive a loan or grant for material goods that have already been purchased.
Free advice and training for the self-employed
If you are already self-employed as your main occupation, you can also be supported by
- Advice that helps you to maintain or realign your self-employed activity (tax and legal advice is not funded, however)
- Training courses that provide you with entrepreneurial knowledge, for example in the areas of marketing, bookkeeping, acquisition or project management.
Both are free of charge for you. Your job center will commission your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts, private training providers, innovation, technology or start-up centers, for example.
Your integration specialist will check and decide which of the above-mentioned services you can receive. This also applies to the amount of a loan or grant. This means that you are not legally entitled to them.
You must apply for funding before you can receive financial support for purchases or make use of the advisory services.
- To do this, first make an appointment with your local Jobcenter.
- Your integration specialist will discuss with you whether self-employment could be a realistic strategy for you to integrate into the labor market and end your need for assistance and what type of support is suitable for you.
Loans and grants for the purchase of material goods:
- Your integration specialist will hand you the application form or activate the online application route for you. It is important that you submit the application - online or in writing - for the grant before you purchase the material goods.
- The Jobcenter will check your application and the enclosed documents.
- The Jobcenter will assess your personal suitability for the specific self-employed activity and the economic viability of your business. This includes a forecast of whether you will be able to earn a living from your self-employment within a reasonable period of time.
- You will receive written or digital notification from the relevant job center as to whether your application will be approved.
- Once you have received positive feedback, you can make the purchases.
- You must then submit proof of what you have spent the funds on, such as purchase contracts
- for example, purchase contracts, receipts or bank statements.
Advice and training to impart knowledge and skills:
- Your job center commissions consultations and training courses from external training providers. You can find out more from your job center.
The following requirements must be met in order to receive the benefits:
- You receive unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV).
You want to become self-employed or are already self-employed, which means
- You work in your own name and for your own account and
- You bear the economic risk of your activity (entrepreneurial risk).
Self-employment must be your main occupation, which means
- You work at least 15 hours a week on a self-employed basis and
- You can cover all or a substantial part of your living expenses within a reasonable period of time with the income you earn.
You must be personally qualified to work successfully as a self-employed person. To do this, you must prove that you have the knowledge and skills you need for self-employment, for example through
- Proof of your professional and entrepreneurial qualifications,
- professional experience or
- participation in measures that prepare you for setting up your own business.
Your self-employed activity must be economically viable, which means
- Your business model must be developed and thought through in such a way that your business start-up can be successful in the long term
- The viability of your self-employed activity must be proven by an expert opinion. Expert bodies can be chambers, trade associations or start-up initiatives. Your Jobcenter will tell you which expert body is responsible for you in your region. You will usually have to submit detailed documents to them (see "Required documents" above).
- The material goods you wish to purchase must be appropriate and necessary for your work.
- Other sources of funding, such as special federal and state programs, local business development or microloans, are not possible
- The funding must comply with EU state aid law (de minimis rule).
Which documents are required?
In order to receive funding, you must submit the relevant documents. Your integration specialist will inform you which of the following documents are required for the funding you have applied for:
- Expert opinion confirming that your self-employed activity is economically viable
- De minimis declaration (EU state aid law)
- Capital requirement/financing plan
- Business plan in text form
- Curriculum vitae
- Tax registration/ business registration/ registration with the Chamber of Crafts
- Certificate of participation in a start-up seminar
- Quotations for investments required for operations
- Contract documents such as articles of association or rental agreement, if applicable
- At least 2 rejections from banks to which you have submitted loan applications
- Other individual documents that the job center may request
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There is no deadline. Prior application required / deadlines are set by the respective job center (e.g. deadlines for submitting documents).
- Action before the social court
Applications / forms
Forms available: Yes
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: Yes
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)