Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Personal coverage

Being self-employed means that you need to take care of many things yourself. This includes safeguarding yourself – for example in case of illness or unemployment. Here, you’ll find a concise overview on important insurances and old-age provisions.

Health and nursing care insurance

As a self-employed person in Germany, you are obliged to take out health insurance and nursing care insurance. There are two types of insurance: statutory health insurance and private health insurance. Make sure to find out about the type of healthcare which is suitable for you and how to obtain the right insurance cover. The Federal Ministry of Health has set up a telephone hotline for questions about the German healthcare system.

Accident insurance

Accident insurance will cover expenses incurred for treating accidents at work or on the way to or from work. It is also relevant for occupational illnesses. Most individual entrepreneurs and freelancers are free to decide whether they want to take out accident insurance. However, it does become mandatory as soon as you employ your own staff.
Additional information is available on the website of the German Social Accidence Insurance.

Old-age provisions 

In some “liberal professions”, self-employed people are obliged to contribute to public pension funds, just like ordinary salaried employees. This is true for skilled trades, for example. Other self-employed individuals can choose whether to contribute to a pension fund or not. Regardless of your individual position is, you’re well advised to consider an (additional) private pension plan.  On the Startup Portal, you will find additional information on pension provisions.

Unemployment insurance

If you are working on a self-employed basis, you may choose to take out unemployment insurance. To do this, you will need to file an application with the Federal Employment Agency (BA). Tips and further information on this topic are available on the Startup Portal

Information for women 

The e-training offered by the Startup Portal contains six lessons for aspiring female entrepreneurs on the most important steps in setting up a business. In addition, the e-training contains information regarding personal coverage for female entrepreneurs (e-training is available in German only).

Information on the web

BMWi Checklist no. 11: What should I insure?

BMWi Overview no. 38: Tips on social welfare insurance

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