Apply for a start-up grant

How to apply for a start-up grant

On this page you will learn everything you need to know to apply for a start-up grant. But first, a few important points in advance:

  • You can get the start-up grant 1 for the first 6 months from the date of foundation (full-time).
  • The subsidy corresponds to the amount of your unemployment benefit + 300 euros.
  • The 300 Euro serve as additional support for the contributions to the social insurances (health, nursing care, unemployment, and if necessary pension insurance).
  • After the first 6 months, you can apply for start-up subsidy 2 (fixed subsidy of 300 euros for another 9 months).

What many people do not know: You don’t have to pay back these subsidies, no matter if you go back to work after 3 months or if you earn 1 million Euros after 4 weeks. It is not a risk to apply for a start-up grant.

You can improve your chances of receiving a start-up grant by attending a seminar on start-up preparation beforehand. The employment agency ensures that you are well prepared and that the investment in the form of the grant is really worthwhile. The good thing about it is that you can also get this seminar subsidized. Take a look at the information on the activation and placement voucher (AVGS). This way you not only don’t have to pay anything. You can also make sure that your idea works and that your business and financial plan is sound. In addition, we will discuss things you haven’t thought of yet and you will receive valuable tips for the time after your start-up.

This support is also independent of whether you plan a new self-employment or take over a business. In the case of a takeover, it can only be more difficult, because you should actually already have income from the current business. I.e. here you have to check carefully whether an application is possible. If you have any questions, please contact me free of charge.

1. Voraussetzungen

There are 2 important prerequisites:

  • You receive unemployment benefit 1 (ALG1)


  • You have at least 150 days of ALG1 entitlement left.

It is also important that you file the claim either before you start or within the first 14 days after.

If you meet these conditions, you can approach the person in charge of your case. Simply ask them for the documents you need for the start-up grant. This can be done by phone/email or in a personal meeting. You will then receive the documents on site or directly by mail.
If you are not yet receiving benefits, you must first register as a job seeker for at least 1 day and then request the documents.

Tip: If you still have a little more time until your start-up or more than 150 days of entitlement to unemployment benefit 1, submit the application as far in advance as possible. This way, you will know in good time whether your application has been approved and whether your start-up will be supported.
Why is this so important? For some years now, the start-up grant has been an optional benefit of the employment agency. This means that you do not have a fixed legal claim to it. So if something goes wrong, you can still talk to the agency and clarify open issues. If this fails, you can even “cancel” the start-up in extreme cases.

2. Application

The application is not complicated. That is, it is not particularly long and relatively simply formulated. It does not take long to fill it out.
Important: However, you must enter at least 15 hours, preferably even 21 hours, in question 3 (“In the future, I will spend approx. __ hours per week on my self-employment.”). If you enter fewer hours, the Employment Agency will assume that you are working part-time. However, there is no subsidy for this.

After you have completed the application, you only need to carefully complete the remaining documents. In this way, the agency can easily see that you have the necessary credentials for the start-up.
First of all, compile all the certificates and your resume completely and in a neat form. Then add the business and financial plan and a so-called expert opinion. That’s it.

3. Process

nd this is how you must proceed to apply for your start-up grant:

  • Register as a job seeker
  • Optional: Talk with me to clarify the arguments with the office
  • Discuss start-up with placement specialist at employment agency or job center
  • Create a business and financial plan and optionally attend a start-up seminar, you are welcome to use the AVGS for this purpose.
  • Obtain an expert opinion
  • Request application, fill it out and complete it with the expert opinion, resume and certificates
  • Ideally, submit the complete application before the start-up, but no later than 14 days after the start-up.

You can obtain the expert opinion from anyone who is qualified to do so, e.g. IHK, Chamber of Crafts, tax consultants or business consultants like me. It happens, however, that certain expert bodies are preferred by the Employment Agency. So if you are told beforehand that you should go to the IHK, then do so. This way you avoid problems with the approval of your grant.
The basis for the statement is the business and financial plan. I.e. you need both for your application for the start-up grant and for the opinion of the expert body. So work them out carefully.

If you have any questions, you can also create the business & finance plan with my support. This is even free of charge, if you do this BEFORE the foundation. This will not only make it easier for you to create a business and financial plan and to apply for the start-up grant. It is also more likely that you will get it. If you have any questions about this, get a free appointment here.

Stylized airport tower as image for Start-Up-Lotse consulting for sustainable start-up and business development


The support from you, Karsten, was professional, focused and empathetic at the same time. I felt seen, respected and taken seriously by you in every coaching session on the way to my self-employment. Your time management was perfect. Thank you very much for the efficient, interesting and educational time with you!

Source: Christiane (

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