Self-employed in Germany

As an entrepreneur, you have come to the right place with us!

On this page, we provide information to everyone - from both EU and non-EU countries - who wants to become self-employed in Germany or are already self-employed, regardless of whether you still live abroad and need a visa or whether you are already studying or working in Germany. We inform and advise you on which steps to take, from the first idea to starting your company, as well as how to then consolidate your company. We give you practical tips on getting your visa and the right residence title or permit, including obtaining all the necessary information about the conditions and requirements for starting a business and being self-employed in Germany.


If you want to become self-employed in Germany, you should know and be able to contextualise the most important terms relating to the subject of “self-employment” and “starting up”. In our glossary, we have tried to put together the essentials for you in a brief and concise form - and in several languages.

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Glossary of professions

Select your profession and determine which qualifications and requirements are mandatory before registering for your self-employment. You will also learn which professional group your profession belongs to and whether your self-employment is classified as a trade or a freelance profession.

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Start-up advice

Our support network

We have a network of many consultants throughout Germany who specialise in advising entrepreneurs and self-employed people from non-EU countries. If you are looking for advice in your region, our interactive map will make it easy for you.

Find support centres


Migrants who want to support their family back home financially often face similar problems: high transfer fees and little control over whether the money is actually serving its intended purpose. Lydie Idel Makamdem Tchidjo also faced this dilemma. But instead of accepting the situation, she came up with a clever solution that she developed into a business model. In the entrepreneur portrait, she reports on how her company simplifies the financial support of relatives abroad and why Lydie Idel Makamdem Tchidjo came into her full self only as an entrepreneur.

After some time in Germany, Saeda Abualhawa and her husband came up with the plan to open a candy store. But then many questions arose: can you just do it like that? What do you have to pay attention to? And who explains all this complicated official German to you? Saeda Abualhawa and her husband were not deterred by the many questions and sought professional support. In our entrepreneur portrait, Saeda Abualhawa reports on how her business is running now and what tips she has for prospective entrepreneurs.

Erika Esmeralda Hernandez de Luca always wanted to start her own business, but she also struggled with fears. After all, being self-employed in a new country whose language and rules you are not yet familiar with is a particular challenge. Luckily, she has received support from her entire family – everyone is on board, from her father to her husband and daughter. She brought the idea for her self-employment with her from Mexico: the MiniBook, a flip book for immediate printing. In our entrepreneur portrait, you can learn more about Erika Esmeralda Hernandez de Luca’s path to self-employment.

Mahmood Khalaf had been dreaming of having his own hairdressing salon in the middle of the city in Syria. But then the war came and, with it, the temporary end of his dream. But because Mahmood Khalaf does not let himself be distracted from his goals so easily, he persistently continued on his way to self-employment in Germany. That meant starting all over again – from the internship to the apprenticeship to the master’s degree and finally to having his own salon. In our entrepreneur portrait, he explains why he loves his job and why he still has sleepless nights sometimes.