IHK Berlin

Business and Startup Entrepreneurs from Third Countries

If an entrepreneur from a non-EU country (a so called third country) wishes to start up a business in Germany or wants to open a regional branch of a company here in Berlin, he/she needs to obtain a residence permit, authorising them to engage in such work.
cookiebot.video.aceptCookiesText cookiebot.video.settingsLinkText
Most foreigners must apply for a respective self-employed visa through the German diplomatic missions in their country of residence before coming to Germany. Only very few states are privileged and can travel to Germany without a visa in order to then apply for the residence permit that allows self-employment here in Germany. These priviledged countries are Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA.
Business stays of short duration
Those making repeated business stays of relatively short duration amounting to no more than ninety days per six-month period should, in the first instance, consider applying for a multiple-entry visa (‘Business visa’) with a validity of between six months and five years. More detailed information can be obtained from the relevant German diplomatic missions, the Federal Foreign Office or the Berlin Foreigner's Authority.
Longer stays with self-employment
For longer stays during which one engages in self-employment, a suitable entry visa and a residence permit pursuant to Art. 21 of the Residence Act are required. This applies not only to startup entrepreneurs and single traders, but also to managers and CEOs with equivalent status who also exercise an entrepreneurial role.  Information as well as criteria and particilarities in the assessment of the requirements according to Art. 21 of the Residence Act are available here.
Further I nformation about the application procedure and individual preconditions can be found here. (PDF-Datei · 114 KB) 
How to start a business in Berlin- Start-up Class English
Want to start a business in Berlin? In this start-up-class in english you’ll get to know how it works.
Date: About every 4 weeks at IHK Berlin. Costs: 45 Euro
Check it out: Getting_started