Self-employment (Entrepreneurs and freelancers)

Business Plan einer Betriebsgründung
Image: Gina Sanders
Does your residence title include the necessary ancillary provision
  • “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet” or
  • “Selbständige Tätigkeit gestattet” ?

If so, you can start any form of self-employment – i.e., you can set up a company, practice a trade or work freelance.

Do you wish to apply for a residence title for the purpose of self-employment?

You can be issued with a residence permit for this purpose if

  • There is an economic interest in or regional need for your activity,
  • It can be expected that your activity will have a positive effect on the economy, and
  • You have secured sufficient financing, either through equity or through a commitment to lend, to implement your activity.

(Exception: different standards apply to university graduates, researchers and scientists.)

If necessary, expert authorities – such as the Senate Department responsible for the economy, the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Berlin) or Berlin Partner – will be consulted to examine whether these requirements are met.

Do you wish to apply for a residence title for a freelance employment?

A residence permit may be issued for a freelance occupation if it is expected to have a positive economic or cultural impact.

Freelance occupations include, for example, artists, writers, language teachers and self-employed doctors, engineers, auditors, interpreters or architects.

Further information

  • Self-employed persons over 45 years of age must also prove that they are on an appropriate pension scheme. Specifically, they must demonstrate that they are on a private pension insurance scheme that guarantees either
    • A monthly pension of EUR 1,188.92 (for at least 12 years), or
    • Assets of EUR 175,068.

Once they have reached the age of 67.

  • Please help us to process your application as quickly as possible by completing all the forms in full and attaching two copies of each form to your application.
    Unfortunately, it will probably take 8 or more weeks to examine your application.
    Please note that your application may be rejected if the required documents have not been received by the Berlin Foreigners’ Registration Office within 3 months after you have submitted your application.
  • If your application is successful, the Berlin Foreigners’ Registration Office will issue you with a residence permit for a term of 1 to 3 years.
  • The decision as to whether or not your residence permit can be extended will be made on the basis of the statements of your tax accountant, auditor or tax consultant.

More information about the prerequisites and required documents for the