apply for start-up money Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you receive unemployment benefit (ALG) II and you want to become self-employed or take up an activity that is subject to social insurance contributions, you can receive starter money under certain conditions.

The introductory allowance is intended to provide you with a financial incentive if your income is initially no higher or barely higher than your previous cash benefits from the basic income support scheme.

Start-up allowance is granted to you as a non-deductible subsidy.

The amount of the allowance can be determined by each job centre on the basis of the legal criteria and is usually around 50 percent of the standard rate of unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV). When calculating the amount, the duration of your unemployment and the size of your needs group are taken into account, among other things. For this reason, the amount of the Einstiegsgeld varies depending on the individual case.

For special groups of people, your job centre can also make a flat-rate assessment. This makes it easier to make the same decisions in similar cases and applies in particular to:

  • Long-term unemployed,
  • single parents,
  • migrants,
  • older people,
  • people with health problems,
  • women in partner-beneficiary groups.

You can receive starter money for a maximum of 24 months.

Your job centre alone decides whether and how much you can get. This means that you have no legal entitlement to it.

In case of self-employment/start-up:

  • Application for funding
  • Curriculum vitae, if applicable including necessary certificates of qualification
  • Meaningful description of the business start-up project explaining the business idea (business concept/business plan).
  • Capital requirements and financing plan
  • Turnover and profitability forecast (expected turnover and costs) for the next 3 years.
  • If necessary, a statement from an external third party or an expert body on the viability of your company.
    • Competent authorities are: Chambers, trade associations, credit institutes, start-up initiatives
  • Proof that you are self-employed, e.g. by means of your business registration, notification to the tax office or confirmation of the change from a sideline business to a main business.
  • If applicable, further proof, for example, of your
    • Accident insurance or
    • Business liability insurance or
    • Entry in the register of craftsmen

In the case of employment subject to social insurance contributions:

  • Application for subsidy
  • Copy of your employment contract

Forms: yes
Online procedure possible: no
Written form required: no
Personal appearance required: no


  • You will receive unemployment benefit (ALG) II before you start your new job. Unemployment is not a prerequisite for this.
  • You must submit the application to your job centre before you actually take up employment.
  • Your new self-employment or your new job is suitable for overcoming your need for assistance in the long term.
  • The starter allowance is necessary for your integration into the general labour market.
  • Your gainful employment must comprise at least 15 hours per week.

Additional requirements for self-employment/starting a business:

  • Positive assessment of the job centre about
    • Your personal suitability,
    • the economic viability of your self-employed activity

Related Links

  • §16b Sozialgesetzbuch Drittes Buch (SGB III)
  • §16 Sozialgesetzbuch Drittes Buch (SGB III)

Related Links

  • Informationen zum Einstiegsgeld auf der Internetseite des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales
  • Fachliche Weisungen der Bundesagentur für Arbeit zu Einstiegsgeld nach § 16b SGB II auf der Internetseite der Bundesagentur für Arbeit

In order to receive the starter allowance, you should first arrange a counselling interview at your responsible job centre:

  • Contact the relevant job centre and make an appointment for an interview.
  • The integration specialist will take your data and check whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • The adviser will make a discretionary decision on this basis.
  • You will receive a decision by post stating whether your application has been approved or rejected.
  • If your application is approved, the Jobcenter will transfer the amount to your account monthly in advance.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Last update or date of publication