I am self-employed and already staying in Germany and want to start a self-employed activity, related to my academic studies or my previous scientific work respectively (residence title according to § 21 IIa AufenthG).
Self-employment in general
If you want to come to Germany as entrepreneur, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment. Prerequisite for the issuance is that
- an economic interest or
- a regional demand exist,
- the activity is expected to have a positive effect on the economy and
- the financing must be secured.
The following criteria are relevant to the decision:
- viability of the underlying business idea,
- entrepreneurial experience of the applicant,
- amount of capital investment,
- effects on the employment and training situation,
- contribution to innovation and research.
The diplomatic mission, where you apply for the visa, or the competent Aliens Department at your future place of residence, inform on details.
A residence permit for the purpose of self-employment can be obtained under eased conditions if you
- are a university graduate of a German university and
- obtained as researcher or scientist a residence permit for the purpose of employment or for the purpose of research
- and the planned activity is obviously related to the academic studies or the previous activity as scientist or researcher (§ 21 IIa AufenthG)
The residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is granted for a maximum of three years.
Generally a residence title is granted either for the purpose of dependent employment or for the purpose of performing a self-employed/freelance activity.
If a residence permit for the purpose of freelance activity has already been issued, performing a self-employed activity may be permitted without the need for a new residence permit (§ 21VI AufenthG). That has however as a prerequisite that the required permission according to other regulations is available or the issuance has been agreed.