To get a residence permit, you must present the following:
- your business plan
- your qualifications and previous experience
- your financial investment
- your company’s impact on employment and vocational training
- your contribution to the national or regional economy, innovation, and research competition with established businesses
Self-employed immigrants who want to invest a minimum of 250,000€ in Germany, thereby creating at least five new jobs, obtain a residence permit almost automatically. In all other cases, your application will be carefully reviewed.
Those who are self-employed are not required to follow the same registration policies as business companies. They must register with the local tax authorities and the responsible professional association.
Registering with the local tax authorities is very straightforward and can be done with an informal letter or by email, however, the registration at the responsible professional association must be done formally, by completing various official forms and presenting necessary documents.
Under a law called the Social Law for Artists (Kuenstlersozialversicherungsgesetz), artists and journalists are required to contribute to the following:
- Pension insurance: 19.6 percent of their total income
- Health insurance: 15.5 percent of their total income
- Care insurance: 1.95 percent (for parents) or 2.20 percent (for childless individuals) of their total income.
Other freelancers don’t need to contribute to the German healthcare, pension or unemployment insurance, however, they should consider making their own arrangements for the following:
- Private health insurance
- Health insurance
- Disability insurance
- Life insurance
Individuals should take into consideration that since 2009, all expats living in Germany must hold valid health insurance.