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Self-employed Persons/Freelancers

Self-Employed Persons/Freelancers

Self-Employed Persons/Freelancers
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Economic growth can be seen in the formation from new companies. The spirit of enterprise should be encouraged; also of course, we must encourage foreign self employed persons who create employment here. Saxony offers good opportunities for those looking to start their own business or to enter into a freelance career.

What is a self-employed/freelance activity?

A self-employed activity is any self-employed, profit-making and permitted long-term activity whereby you are not an employee.

Freelancers such as artists (painters, musicians or writers), journalists, engineers, architects, auditors, tax advisors, interpreters etc. can be issued a residence permit for their occupation.

Which residence permit is granted?

The residence permit for a Self-Employed Person/Freelancer is a temporary right of residence. It is issued for a maximum of three years and can be extended.

What are the conditions?

The granting of a residence permit for a Self-Employed Person/Freelancer requires that the means of subsistence is ensured in Germany and that the stay does not infringe or endanger the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany for any other reason.

Self-employed/freelance activity requires that:

  • there is a economic interest or a need in the region for this activity and 
  • positive effects on the economy are expected from this activity and 
  • financing of implementation is secured by equity capital or a loan commitment.

The assessment also takes into account the soundness of the business idea, the entrepreneurial experience of the foreigner, the amount of initial investment, the effects on the employment and training situation and the contribution to innovation and research.

Researchers, scientists and graduates of German universities or colleges can be granted a residence permit entitling them to self-employment under specific conditions.

As a Freelancer you must prove the financing of your plan and you will require the possible necessary permit for the practising of a freelance occupation or at least a promise that it will be granted.

Who needs to be involved?

The professional organisations responsible for the location of the planned activity (Chamber of Industry and Commerce and/or Chamber of Crafts), the responsible trade authorities, the public law trade associations and the authorities responsible for professional licensing are involved in the decision.

Which additional documents are required?

Apart from the usual documents several further documents are necessary:

  • in case of starting a business a business plan [original and a copy],
  • statements by the regional commercial authorities, the public law trade associations, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts and if nec., also by the authorities responsible for occupational licensing (This will be requested by the responsible municipal or district immigration office in charge.)
  • if nec., proof of business registration or listing in the commercial register or the register of qualified craftsmen [original and a copy],
  • proof of an appropriate retirement provision if applicant is older than 45 years [original and a copy],
  • in the case of the renewal of a residence permit a written report of the business progression including the prospect for the next three business years
  • in the case of the renewal of a residence permit, previous tax statements and if nec., current confirmation of the accountant of the determination of income for the last business year if the tax statement is not yet available a business assessments or if nec. current confirmation of the accountant of profit development in the current business year [original and a copy],
  • researchers or scientists: previous or present employment contract [original and a copy],
  • graduates of a German university or college: proof of university or college degree [original and a copy].

In order to speed up the procedure, documents for the detailed presentation of the business concept, references or descriptions of entrepreneurial experience, documents on the planned extent of the initial investment, on the number of employment and, if nec., training places, the time frame and for the contribution to innovation and research should already be submitted with the application.

Which forms are required?

Application Form for a Residence Permit

Which opportunities do you have as a Self-employed person or a Freelancer?

If you are a self-employed person or a freelancer, you will be granted a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) under facilitated conditions. Self-employed persons can be granted a permanent residence permit after three years Freelancers can be granted a permanent residence permit after five years. The permanent residence permit entitles to any kind of occupation.

What are the conditions?

Apart from the general requirements to be granted a permanent residence permit it is required that the activity has been conducted successfully and the means of subsistence is ensured.

Which additional documents are required?

Apart from the usual documents several further documents are necessary:

proof of business activities:

  • previous tax statements and if nec., current confirmation of the accountant of the determination of income for the last business year if the tax statement is not yet available [original and a copy],
  • business assessments or if nec. current confirmation of the accountant of profit development in the current business year [original and a copy],
  • proof of existing business relationships [original and a copy],
  • if nec., proof of numbers of newly created jobs [original and a copy],
  • if nec., proof of the bonus payments [original and a copy],
  • a written report of the business progression including the prospect for the next three business years 
  • statements by the regional commercial authorities, the public law trade associations, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts and if nec., also by the authorities responsible for occupational licensing (This will be requested by the responsible municipal or district immigration office in charge.),
  • if nec., current extract from the trade register or from the commercial register or current craftsman's card [original and a copy].

Which forms are required?

Application Form for a permanent Residence Permit

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