Before you decide to go self-employed, take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses! Weaknesses you recognize too late can be a serious threat to the success of your business. The better you know your strengths and weaknesses, the better you can design and plan your company in line with your real needs.

Are you really an entrepreneur?

The most important part of any business or self-employment is… you, the person who runs the business! Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Can you stand up to the challenges and demands of self-employment?

Do you have the necessary professional and commercial qualifications?

Can you fill any gaps in your professional or commercial qualifications with further training, with business partners or with your network?

Do you have the support of family and friends?

Do the people around you (family, friends, partner etc.) support what you plan to do? Be realistic in your assessment: Experience shows that self-employment takes a lot of time and dedication.

Special Feature: Questions specifically for migrants

Is your German good enough?

To be successful on the German market, it is extremely important to have a good command of German. If your German is poor, it is almost impossible to communicate freely with customers and suppliers, but also with authorities and banks. All official documents published by the authorities are usually available only in German, for example. And the business plan you prepare for banks and business partners also has to be in German. Would you like to improve your German? Or do you need to start learning it as a beginner? Take advantage of the language courses on offer!

Do you have a valid residence permit that allows you to go self-employed?

Citizens of a member state of the European Union (EU) or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), do not need a special permit to go selfemployed. Citizens of a non-EU or non-EFTA country will need to clarify whether their residence status/permit entitles them to go self-employed. If not, they must apply to the Foreigners Office for an additional permit. Please note: If the residence permit bears the words “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet” (“Employment permitted”), or “Niederlassungserlaubnis” a special additional permit is not required.

Do you need official recognition of (higher) education certificate/professional qualifications from abroad?

Find out whether you need official recognition, who is responsible for providing it and how the recognition process works.