Step by Step to Self-Employment

Becoming Self-Employed: Step by Step to Self-Employment

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Start a company and finally be your own boss. Almost every employee has thought about this dream. But starting your own business requires good preparation. Read here which professions are suitable and how you can successfully start your own business step by step.

How Do I Become Self-Employed?

Becoming self-employed sounds easy, but it's not. How and with what do you start your own business, you ask? You can start with an idea. However, you should first ask yourself whether you are suitable for self-employment at all.

You should meet the following criteria if you want to start your own business.

Personal responsibility: You want to take responsibility for yourself and your future? Instead of relying on bosses to tell you what to do, as a self-employed person you take on the entire responsibility for your business.

Decisiveness: As a self-employed person, important decisions have to be made all the time. Which legal form is the right one, which investments have to be made and when is the right time to hire employees? As a new entrepreneur, you can ask a management consultancy for support with these questions.

Organisational talent: A certain talent for structured organisation is important if you want to take care of your daily business, keep an eye on the company's goals and make decisions for the future of your company. To avoid getting bogged down, you can use various tools, such as an online timetable, clever project management software or other organisational aids.

Perseverance and courage: Starting a business is not for the insecure and hesitant. It takes a bit of courage to take the first step towards self-employment. Don't be afraid of setbacks, small failures are part of the game and give you important experience for further entrepreneurial activity.

What Can You Do on Your Own?

If you ask yourself what you can do as a self-employed person, there are many possibilities. It should preferably be something you are really passionate about. Maybe you have expertise in a certain field or a special hobby?

If you set up your own business with something in which you have a great personal interest, this will strengthen your motivation to implement it. There are many professions for self-employment, not all of them are suitable for everyone.

Fields for self-employment - examples:

You ask yourself: "In what field can I become self-employed?" There are many different professions in which you can become self-employed. In many craft businesses you can become a master craftsman or study alongside your job to further your education and become fit for self-employment. There are numerous professions that you can practise on your own.

You can start your own business without any titles. It is even possible to become self-employed without vocational training if you have expertise in a certain field. However, many entrepreneurs often only win new clients when they have skills and references in their field. A sound education or proof of already existing skills would therefore be useful.

Here are a few examples of self-employed professions:

  • Independent craftsman
  • Real estate agent
  • Specialist retailers for a special niche assortment (e.g. comics, records, wine)
  • Own catering business
  • Various service offers (e.g. personal trainer, coach, hairdresser)

Start-up advisors, coaches, further training and qualification measures from industry associations can help you become self-employed. Start-up seminars at the IHK or HWK are also helpful if you want to become self-employed without possessing any degrees.

Become Self-Employed Online

You want to start your own online business? There are numerous ways to earn money here. For example, as an operator of an online shop or as a provider of online services such as consulting. It is also possible to work online in the fields of graphic design, IT and copywriting.

If you have gathered comprehensive expertise due to private interests or have several years of professional experience in this area, it is best to start with the creation of a concept and the implementation of your online presence. In addition to setting up a website, shop and other tools, online advertising measures are also important.

The biggest advantage is that you can work from any place where you have a computer and an internet connection. Many digital nomads are self-employed online and work from locations around the world or from their home office.

How to Become Self-Employed - Step by Step

Do you want to become self-employed without own capital or with start-up capital? Depending on the industry, setting up a business is very simple and does not involve high costs.

Create your concept including the company name. As a sole proprietorship, this can also be just your first and last name.

Register a trade or the start of a freelance business with the tax office. If you set up a corporation, further steps are necessary (e.g. drawing up the shareholders' agreement, entry in the commercial register, etc.).

Decide for the classic taxation with 19 % or 7 % VAT or the small business regulation.

Once you have received your tax number, you can start your business operations. In the case of a corporation, you still have to wait for the entry in the commercial register.

Start marketing your business and try to win your first customers.

Become Self-Employed on the Side

Instead of jumping straight in at the deep end, you can also start your own business part-time. Here you start your business alongside your main job and don't take any big risks at first. If you are successful in starting your own business on the side, you can quit your main job and make the side job your main job.

If you choose to start your own small business, this is particularly recommended for founders with very little start-up capital who want to build up the business step by step. Even if you want to become self-employed on a part-time basis, you can get support and guidance from start-up consultancies.

Self-Employment Costs

You can start your own business without any money, but most entrepreneurs start with a certain amount of start-up capital. Instead of investing private assets, you can also take advantage of funding. There are various options for start-up funding in Germany that are designed to help self-employed people with innovative ideas start a business without capital.

You can get advice on "How can I start my own business?" from start-up assistance. Many municipalities and professional associations as well as chambers of commerce offer appropriate start-up seminars and also the mediation of capital providers.


What is the best way to become self-employed? There are many professions for self-employment. Business areas with little competition are best suited, for example local offers or services and goods that no one else has on offer. Whether there are costs involved in becoming self-employed depends, among other things, on the type of business idea you have. As a sole proprietor, you can also get started without start-up capital. However, funding is always helpful if you want to gain customers as quickly as possible. Many founders decide to start a small business and then expand it step by step.