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Experten Know-how | April 2021
Self-employment: how to get off to a good start
Thinking of becoming self-employed? Then some bureaucratic challenges await you. To help you master the process of self-employment, we have compiled the most important steps in a guide for you. This will give you a successful start to your new freedom.

Currently, around 1.5 million people in Germany are self-employed. And the trend continues to rise. Self-employment is considered the opposite of a dependent relationship as an employee. However, not everyone who accounts for their activities as self-employed is also a freelancer. This is because according to § 18 of the Income Tax Act, the activities carried out must not be subject to the trade regulations. However, the path to self-employment has never been as easy as it is today. This is one reason why more and more people are choosing to take the step towards independence. Why this form of gainful employment is so popular may also be due to the many advantages.

Advantages and prerequisites

Working as an expert exclusively in one’s field and always being involved in new, exciting projects is what freelance work is all about – especially in the life sciences. Many freelancers also appreciate the flat hierarchies. In addition to this higher degree of freedom, the initial investment is usually lower compared to the classic form of setting up a business, such as a medical practice or tax firm.

Nevertheless, self-employed people should still meet certain basic requirements. In addition to specialist knowledge, these include the ability to organise oneself and to work on focused projects independently.

Planning for self-employment

If you want to become self-employed, there are many decisions and even more tasks awaiting you. Essentially, these include raising your profile as well as legal and financial aspects. It is therefore best to divide the entire process into individual stages, step by step. This way you don’t lose control and also have a good sense of direction during the first few months. Before you can start, however, you need a few months’ lead time for all the preparations. This includes details of one’s own profile – i.e. the business idea and the business documents. The crucial question in this phase is therefore: In which field am I the expert and do I have the relevant specialised knowledge? Once this question has been answered, legal basics follow, such as determining the legal form of the company and registering it with the authorities. Last but not least, the financing must be clarified. And after that, nothing stands in the way of a successful first day of work in your new-found independence.

We have prepared a guide for you so that you know how to make your first day of work a success and what to do afterwards. This guide on the topic of “self-employment” provides you with comprehensive information on everything you need to know in order to become self-employed.