Residence permit for the purpose of self-employment - Issuance -

A residence permit for a self-employed occupation may be issued for

  • Founder of a company,
  • Sole proprietor and
  • Managing directors and legal representatives of partnerships and corporations, if they have entrepreneurial responsibility.
Note: For freelancers different requirements apply:
Residence permit for a freelance employment - Issuance


  • Main residence in Berlin
  • Economic interest of the state of Berlin
    A foreigner may be granted a residence permit for the pursuit of a self-employed occupation if
    • an economic interest or a regional need exists,
    • the occupation is expected to have a positive impact on the economy and
    • the implementation is financed by equity or a loan commitment.
    Exception: different standards apply to university graduates, researchers and scientists.
  • For university graduates, researchers and scientists
    Another examination standard applies to foreigners who
    • have successfully completed a course of study in Germany at a state, state-recognised or comparable training institution, or
    • work as a researcher or scientist in Germany and hold a residence permit.
    The intended self-employed occupation must have a connection with the knowledge acquired during the studies or the occupation as a researcher or scientist.
  • Adequate pension plan (only if you have already completed the 45th year of life)
    Perspectively, at the age of 67, you must have the following:
    • a monthly pension of 1,280.06 euros (for at least 12 years) or
    • an asset amount of 187,682 euros.
    Proof of a pension plan is not required for these nationalities: Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the United States of America

    Note: An adequate pension is always necessary for the issuance of a permanent settlement permit - regardless of age or nationality.
  • A personal interview is required
    The interview should, if possible, take place by appointment.

Documents required

  • Valid passport
  • 1 current biometric photo
    35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background
  • Form "Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels" (Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit)
    Only required for first-time application
  • Company profile
  • For university graduates: A statement by the university
    Alternative to the company profile:
    A statement by the university regarding the knowledge acquired in higher education and the connection to the business idea
  • For researchers and scientists: A statement of the previous employer
    Alternative to the company profile:
    A statement of the previous employer (e.g. research institution) on the connection between the occupation as researcher/scientist and the business idea
  • Businessplan
  • Business concept
  • Capital requirement plan
  • Financing plan
  • Revenue forecast
  • Curriculum vitae
    Details of professional career, qualification certificates, diploma, references/sponsors
  • For university graduates: Degree from a state-recognised university or comparable training institution in Germany
  • Excerpt from the Trade Register
    However, at least the application for registration in the commercial register via a notary public; in the original
  • Business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)
    Only if no entry in the commercial register is required; in the original
  • Health insurance
    Proof of a secure livelihood must also include sufficient health insurance. Those with statutory health insurance are sufficiently insured. Those with private health insurance must consider the type and extent of their health insurance. For more information, please read the leaflet "Health insurance".
  • Lease or proof of home ownership
  • Rental cost / expenses for property
    Proof of the monthly rental costs (e.g. current account statement) or costs of the inhabited property; in each case in original form
  • Adequate pension plan (only if you have already completed the 45th year of life)
    You can provide evidence of adequate retirement benefits (see section "Prerequisites") by:
    • an offer from a private pension or life insurer,
    • own assets,
    • acquired pension rights or
    • operating assets
  • Proof of main residence in Berlin
    • Certificate of registration at the main residence or
    • lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord


  • 100.00 euros
  • For Turkish citizens a maximum of 28.80 euros

Average time to process request

Around 5–6 weeks
A personal visit four to six weeks before the existing temporary residence title expires is best. If possible you should book an appointment for this.

Responsible authorities

This service can only be taken advantage of in the Berlin Immigration Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung – LEA) at Friedrich-Krause-Ufer.

Landesamt für Einwanderung (LEA)

Show other authorities offering these services on the main Service Portal.