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Most of the people working in Germany are employees. However, there are also around four million self-employed people. New immigrants and refugees can also become self-employed subject to certain conditions. However, immigrants can only start up a business if they have a German residence permit.

For individual advice and information on other requirements, please reach out to your contact at the Federal Employment Agency:


Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)

Heinrich-von-Stephan-Straße 18, 51373 Leverkusen

Phone: 0800/ 4555500



Opening hours:

Monday 08:00 am  - 12:30 pm
Tuesday 08:00 am  - 12:30 pm
Wednesday  08:00 am  - 12:30 pm
Thursday 08:00 am  - 12:30 pm
Friday 08:00 am  - 12:30 pm

The Regionale Förderzentrum für ausländische Existenzgründer und Unternehmer (RFZ) (regional support centre for foreign company founders and entrepreneurs) also offers advice on starting a business for people from migrant backgrounds who are living in NRW at:


Regionales Förderzentrum für ausländische Existenzgründer und Unternehmer (RFZ)

Ännchenplatz 1, 53173 Bonn

Karsten Schulz (Project Manager)

Duarte Branco

Phone: 0228/ 52695-13

Phone.: 0228/ 52694-11

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As part of the IQ-Integration durch Qualifizierung integration programme, the federal gov-ernment and the EU are supporting the ActNow project with the aim of teaching entrepreneurial skills to migrants in Germany.

ActNow offers free workshops, advice, and individual coaching and training for immigrants on the topics of self-employment/business know-how, professional prospects and brainstorming. ActNow is sponsored by the Migrafrica association in Cologne. However, the project operates all across NRW.


ActNow – training for migrants on business know-how and skills

Migrafrica VJAAD e.V.
Nicola Deuticke, Project Co-Worker ActNow
Koblenzerstr. 11
50968 Köln

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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