Working in Germany: the official website
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Financing & funding programmes

How much money do you need for your start-up? Then it is now a matter of raising the necessary capital. An overview of options for this is provided by the Gründerplattform.

Equity and bank loans 

In principle, a distinction is made in financing between equity and borrowed capital. Your equity is the financial cornerstone of your business. It includes your personal assets (e.g., cash and savings) and objects that you contribute to your business (e.g., machinery and equipment).

Basically, the more own funds you have, the more independent you are. For banks, equity serves as security. Ideally, equity should amount to at least 20 percent of the overall capital. Surveys indicate that "insufficient securities" and "too little equity" are the most common reasons why banks reject a loan application.

You can obtain loans from a bank or a savings bank (Sparkassen). The type of bank and loan best suited for your business depends both on how much money you need and how long you will need it. You can find a suitable financial institution on the Gründerplattform, for example.

In general, the longer the term and the higher the bank's assessment of the risk, the higher the interest you will have to pay for the loan. It is therefore important that you convince the bank of your plans with a well-developed business plan. It is also crucial that you have sufficient equity capital.

Please note: Prepare well for the meeting with your bank advisor. Keep in mind important documents that will facilitate your argumentation. A realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses will make a trustworthy impression on your advisor.

Before you go to the bank interview, take advantage of one of the many information centres for entrepreneurs.

Funding programmes 

Germany supports entrepreneurs with a number of funding programmes: financial start-up aid that gives you more security at the beginning. As a rule, these are public loans that offer you, for example, more favourable conditions with regard to interest rates, terms or repayment. In order to apply for such funding, your place of residence as well as your company’s operations must be located in the Federal Republic of Germany.

In Germany, entrepreneurs are offered various options for financial support:

Further explanations of the above-mentioned support can also be found in the PDF file on "Overview of funding opportunities for start-up and growth financing" (in English).

You can find an overview of public funding programmes on the start-up portal or at the funding database, which guides you step by step to the appropriate offer.

You can also find information on the respective funding products directly at the KfW banking group: use the product finder to find out which offers are right for you. The Gründungslattform’s funding product finder also helps you find support tailored to your needs.

In addition, you will find a compilation of the nationwide funding institutions at www.investitionsbank.info. There you can find out which development bank is available in your federal state so that you can search for suitable funding programmes there.

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