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First steps

Any business start-up begins with systematic planning. Find out as much as you can about self-employment right at the start.

Take advice

The best thing to do is to get yourself basic information on starting up from your STARTERCENTER NRW. The STARTERCENTER NRW also offers seminars and personal consultations that provide you with information on the opportunities, risks and consequences of running your own business. This is where you will also find out about the interesting events that are taking place near you. In addition, you can always look at the STARTERCENTER NRW Facebook page to find out about upcoming trade fairs and other events in Germany.

Quote Carsten Widera-Trombach, online game developer
Carsten Widera-Trombach

It begins with a smart idea and is quickly followed by expert advice. That’s my experience with STARTERCENTER NRW. In the very first conversation we had, I received vital feedback and went away with a checklist. Advice like that is hugely important to ensure you don’t miss out on any funding.

- Carsten Widera-Trombach, online game developer

Draw up a schedule

Have you already decided to go self-employed and e.g. handed in your notice, leased business premises or signed a contract; are you past the point of no return? The further this “point of no return” is from getting your business off the ground, i.e. commencement of trading or getting your first order, the longer you will face costs with no income. So, be proactive in your planning and find out which formalities and steps are necessary and how much time they will take. As far as you can, allow some extra time, because only in the rarest of cases does everything go to plan. A hasty implementation of a start-up project can have serious and financially onerous consequences.

It’s worth noting that even a sound decision against starting up can be one outcome of these initial planning steps.

Tip: Bear the formalities in mind

The Register section includes an overview of the formalities required for your project to become self-employed. The Gewerbe-Service-Portal.NRW will help you to complete the formalities.