Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 09.09.2019 11:27:35 Uhr 05.03.2024 10:36:06 Uhr

Self-employed or freelance work

In the field of employment there is dependent employment and self-employment. Dependent employment is characterized by integration into a company and the processes of a principal or employer as well as by a dependency on instructions associated with this (e.g. within the scope of an employment contract).

Self-employed work, in turn, is divided into commercial activities (e.g. running your own trading company) and freelance activities (e.g. as an artist or lawyer). Sect. 18 of the Income Tax Act (EstG) distinguishes between freelancers and traders.

A residence permit pursuant to Sect. 21 (1) AufenthG is always at the discretion of the immigration authorities and is subject to the following conditions for traders:

  • there needs to be an economic interest or a regional need for the business,
  • the activity is expected to have positive effects on the economy and
  • the foreigner has personal capital or an approved loan to realize the business idea.

Notwithstanding the above requirements, a residence permit for self-employment may be issued if

  • international agreements exist or
  • you have a German university degree that is related to your self-employment, or
  • you, as a researcher or scientist with a previous residence permit pursuant to Sect. 18 or Sect. 20 AufenthG, wish to engage in a self-employed capacity, or
  • you wish to engage in a self-employed capacity and
  • you can also prove that you have an adequate pension if you are over 45 at the time of application.

In order to check whether a residence permit may be granted in accordance with Sect. 21 AufenthG, please submit a detailed business plan (in German) to the immigration authorities that also contains a financing concept and statements on the probable development of your business. An expert body (e.g. a chamber or a professional association) will be involved in assessing your concept.