You would like to make yourself in North Rhine-Westphalia independently? However, there are a number of factors to consider before your company is registered with the competent authority. In addition to a business idea, basic questions about the business plan and legal form must be clarified. The success of your company depends on many influences. In any case, good preparation is a part of this.

On this page you will find information about the topic "Start-up". If you have already decided to open a business or start a company, please visit our "Business Registration" page.

Support and advice on business start-up

At both federal and state level, there are various authorities that have written the issue of "starting a business" on their flags. In addition to the start-up portal of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, the starter centers NRW are particularly important points of contact when it comes to the issue of start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia. The starter Centers NRW support you in your path to independence and offer free and individual advice.Logo Startercenter.NRW

Find out which Starter Center Center is responsible for you in the here.

In the Starter Center form server, you will find forms for various aspects of business start-ups. You enter your data into a so-called metaform, a software that guides you through the pitfalls of the formal foundation process. This automatically creates the required forms for the individual authorities. You only need to print, sign and send them to the appropriate locations by post (if necessary. with other facilities). In addition, important addresses and leaflets for the various trades are stored and can also be printed out.

Foreign companies that want to open a branch in Germany, for example, can also contact Germany Trade & Invest. The company markets Germany as a business and technology location abroad, informs German companies about foreign markets and accompanies foreign companies in the settlement in Germany.

You should be concerned about the following topics before you register for the company:

  • Business idea
  • Business plan
  • Corporate financing and funding programmes
  • Commercial or freelance activities
  • Legal form
  • Location question
  • Book Management
  • Bogus self-employment
  • Taxes
  • Insurance/pensions


Business idea

A business idea is at the beginning of all start-ups. No matter if you want to become a hairdresser or hairdresser, work as a consultant or sell your own articles on the Internet.

Of course might also, that the desire after independence in the foreground and therefore for a business idea. In any case, this first step should be given a high priority.

Business plan

The creation of a business plan is helpful in setting up the company. This is the question addressed how you want to achieve this goal? A well developed business plan helps to arrange your own goals and ideas and thus increases the chances of success. You wouldn't want to build a house without first setting a plan, would you?


A good idea and a developed business plan alone are not always enough. A sufficient start-up capital is often necessary to be able to operate at all once. In this respect, the question of corporate financing must be clarified.

On the pages of the starter Center NRW you will receive comprehensive information on corporate financing and public funding. About the funding opportunities also provides information on the funding pilot NRW, a common offer of the North Rhine-Westphalian State Government and the North Rhine-Westphalia. BANK. Here you will find a simple and concise introduction to the extensive funding in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The federal funding database includes a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the funding programs of the Federal and State Governments.

Moreover, the Ministry offers an e-training for the start-up and growth financing for economy and energy on its website. The learning program can help to avoid typical financing mistakes and provides a preparation for financing your project.

Freelancer or trader

Most of the activities are covered by commercial activity and must therefore be applied to the local trade or Public Affairs Office are pending. A trade is any economic activity which is carried out on its own account, in its own responsibility and in the long term with the intention of profit making, with the exception of freelance or agricultural activity.

Under the Income Tax Act § 18 (1) Self-employed scientific, artistic, literary, teaching or educational activities belong to the freelance activity, such as

  • Doctors,
  • Attorneys at law,
  • Engineers,
  • Architects,
  • Naturopath,
  • Journalists,
  • Interpreters, translators.

The freelancers must sign their trade not in the Office, but contact directly to "your" tax, to specify their freelance work there.

The assessment, which work as a freelance work is classified, is not always easy, therefore should get an advance information in case of doubt from your tax office.

Freelancers generally enjoy some advantages over the trader:

  • You don't need an expensive commercial accounting. Just a (relatively) simple revenue surplus calculation.
  • You are not a compulsory member of a Chamber of Commerce and industry (or other class professional or industry associations) and can save the associated contribution payments.
  • They have to pay even then no trade tax if they make profit more than 24,500 euros per year.

For some professions such as However, pharmacists, lawyers and architects are required to become members of a chamber.

Even with health insurance, there are special cases in the professions. So have to artists or writers of the Künstlersozialkasse sick sure. Further information can be found here and in the download area.

Anyone who establishes a company must first decide on a legal form. The choice of legal form affects membership, liability and tax considerations. Individual companies are often established for the entry into independence, with other legal forms also available. In this respect, it is advisable to let the tax adviser explain in advance which legal form would be best suited in your case.

An overview of the individual legal forms can be found here.

Location question

The question of the location should also be well chosen. Do I run my business from home or do I rent my own office space? The right location can be crucial to the success of your business.

Detailed information on the topic "Location" can be found here.

Book Management

In accounting, all business transactions of an enterprise are recorded on the basis of documents. Based on these documents, business founders can quickly and easily view their expenditures and, at the same time, follow the information requirements for various authorities such as the Tax Office.

You can find detailed information on the topic "Bookkeeping" here.


A self-employed person is a dependent employment relationship that is concluded between an independent entrepreneur and a client. With this bogus independence, social security requirements are circumvented, which in turn can lead to criminal penalties. The apparent independence could be relevant in particular for freelance employees and individual entrepreneurs with only one or a few clients. Whether there is a false independence, the German Pension Insurance Confederation is examining a so-called status determination procedure. 

You can find detailed information on the topic "Bogus independence" here.


Sales tax, trade tax, corporate income tax! This topic also entrepreneurs and founders of new businesses don't come.

It is therefore advisable to take a look at this topic before the trade registration and it is a good idea to consult a professional (tax advisor).

Smaller companies in particular can avail themselves of some tax exemptions from small business regulations. You can find more information about Small business regulations here.

An overview of what taxes are available, and who has to pay them, can be found here and at the downloads.


Also the subject of "Insurance" is considered sufficient to account for a business start-up. Retirement savings, you can use the operational (engine damage, fire) or personal (sickness, accident) minimize risks.

There are a number of insurance companies. Which is actually necessary, of course also depends on the running service. A transport company should for example think about a transport insurance to protect the transported goods against loss or damage.

However, a great deal of attention should also be paid to personal insurances in order to be sufficiently protected in the event of an accident or illness.

Detailed information on the topic "insurances" can be found here and at the downloads.