Self employed in Germany - All you need to know

Updated on
November 15, 2023

The Ultimate Guide for Self Employment in Germany

Are you an expat or a German citizen who wants to be self employed in Germany? Well, there are a few steps that you must follow. One of the things you must determine is whether you will be self-employed and whether your company can hire employees. Let’s look at some of the benefits one gets from being self employed.

  • Lower operational costs
  • Better control over your schedule and priorities

How to Become Self-Employed in Germany

Here are a few steps for becoming self employed in Germany.

What is Self employment?

A self-employed worker works independently of their employer and handles all the management aspects of their business. Depending on their time preferences, they can take up self employment full-time, casual, or part-time. It is an excellent option for most people who desire to set their working hours as they scale upward in their industry.

If you want to take the self employment path in Germany, you must begin by registering at your local tax office. The process involves completing a few forms and providing proof of your eligibility for the status.

Get connected with the right health insurance provider
We can help you choose the best health insurance in Germany for your needs whether you are employed, self-employed/freelancer or contractor!

The Benefits of Being Self-Employed in Germany

Are you tired of working for someone else and want to get onto your self-employment path? Here are some benefits you get from being self-employed in Germany.

The Need for a Residence Permit as Self-Employed

If you are looking to become a self-employed expat in Germany, you must acquire a residence permit. Here are a few requirements for a business visa:

  • A valid passport from an EU member state or Germany
  • A business plan with specific goals and how you can achieve them
  • A partner who’s self-employed in Germany or a registered company within the EU
  • Proof of adequate assets
  • Proof of health insurance

Health Insurance for self-employed in Germany

In Germany, health insurance for self-employed persons is convenient and affordable. As the client, in this case, you must first understand the basics of health insurance and know what is covered.

Health insurance often covers medical treatment and services. While a basic level of health care is provided to all persons living in Germany, private health insurance plans offer additional coverage. The latter comes at an extra cost, which may be higher, depending on your selected vendor or provider. As an aspiring self-employed person, you can choose an individual plan or join an association offering group coverage.

We suggest you to get in touch with an independent full english speaking insurance broker.

Things to Consider When Seeking Health Insurance Plans for Self-Employed Persons

It is important to note that individual plans are usually more expensive than group plans. This is because they have higher deductibles, and this can be costly to you. Following this, you must carefully research before making any choice.

It is also worth noting that surcharges on the insurance apply and they differ depending on age and gender. Again, these stats vary from one company to another. However, there seems to be a standard rate for younger persons under 65 years who do not have pre-existing health conditions or complications. For more informations you can fill out the form below and receive a free quote.

How to Get Health Insurance for Self-Employed in Germany?

While in Germany, there are two major ways a self employed individual can get health insurance coverage. The first and most common one is through the government. Everyone with a German tax number is eligible for this health insurance coverage. The tax number means that you live and work in the country and pay taxes. As such, the government automatically enrols you into public health insurance coverage. The best thing about it is that all the children that stay with you get covered under this insurance plan.

The second channel to get health insurance is via a private health insurance broker. The option is mostly not viable for self-employed and unemployed persons as they usually require proof of income before considering you for their policies. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you should give up. There are a few companies in Germany that offer barebones health insurance policies for those on low incomes. While these policies do not have all the health benefits, they provide basic health insurance coverage. You can always contact us to help get started with the right health insurance broker. We’ve got you covered.

While taking on the path of self employment can be rewarding, there are many things you must know before getting in. Always remember that getting into self-employment is a huge commitment. You will have to pay your taxes and take care of insurance and pensions yourself. As a self-employed person, you will be fully responsible for everything in your business regardless of the amount and timelines for your earnings. The only thing you do not have to worry about salaries protection. Following the intricacy of self-employment, you must understand it before getting started.

Pension for Self-employed in Germany

Saving for a pension can be more challenging for self-employed persons than for those who are employed. If you are exploring your options of a worry-free retirement, need any advice on the private pension plans that are available in Germany, or simply would like to have a consultation about what makes the most sense in your personal situation, Pensionfriend is an online and independent pension advisor that is experienced in responding to the special needs of expats. All their services and information are available in English. Get in touch with them directly via or navigate to their website


There are so many benefits that you are eligible for when you take on the self employment path in Germany. However, it is crucial to understand that there are a few things you must first consider before setting out on the expedition. As you consider whether or not you can get into your selected business, ensure that you understand all the obligations that come with the job. Don’t forget to also look into the amount of money you will make and the time it will take you before your business can realise profits.

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