Taking up a self-employed activity in Germany for foreigners

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In principle, entry restrictions apply to foreigners from countries, which are not members of the EU, who wish to pursue a self-employed activity in Germany.

By contrast, foreigners from EU Member States have the same rights and obligations as German nationals when pursuing a self-employed activity.

Within the framework of international treaties, nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are governed by the same provisions on freedom of movement. In addition, there are a number of intergovernmental and EU agreements with different regulatory provisions.
These intergovernmental agreements are subject to amendment and it is, therefore, advisable to seek information about the current status from the competent Ausländeramt (Aliens' Registration Office).

In the chamber district of Frankfurt am Main the competent offices are:

Frankfurt:
City of Frankfurt am Main
Ordnungsamt (Municipal Public Affairs Office)
Ausländerbehörde (Aliens' Registration Office)
2nd and 3rd floors

60326 Frankfurt am Main
Internet: Stadt Frankfurt
Tel.: ++49 (0)69 212 44422
Tel.: specifically for EU, EFTA, EEA nationals:+49 (0)69/ 212-42641 or 212-42624

Hochtaunus region:
Allgemeine Landesverwaltung (General Regional Administration)
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1-4
61452 Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe
Tel.: ++49 (0) 6172/999-0
Einreisestelle (Entry office): ++49 (0) 6172/999-3231

Main-Taunus region:
Allgemeine Landesverwaltung (General Regional Administration)
Am Kreishaus 1-5
65719 Hofheim
Tel.: ++49 (0) 6192-201-0

An Aufenthaltsgenehmigung (residence permit) in the form of a visa is, in principle, to be obtained prior to entry from the German foreign representation. The applications are then passed on via the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office) to the Ausländerbehörde (Aliens' Registration Office) competent for the intended place of residence.

Exceptions: In accordance with § 9 of the Ordinance on the Enforcement of the Aliens' Act (DVAuslG) nationals of EU Member States, of other signatory states to the Treaty on the European Economic Area and Switzerland may obtain the necessary Aufenthaltsgenehmigung (residence permit), irrespective of the type of permit, after entering the country.
The same applies to nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

When foreigners with a residence permit are already in Germany, the inhibition note in the passport "Aufnahme einer selbständigen oder vergleichbaren unselbständigen Erwerbstätigkeit verboten" (prohibited from pursuing a self-employed activity or similar employed activity) must be removed prior to taking up a self-employed or employed activity.

The inhibition is normally entered as a condition in the passport when granting a residence permit for third-country nationals. However, anyone who already has an Aufenthaltsberechtigung (right of residence) or an unlimited Aufenthaltsgenehmigung (residence permit), is given a residence permit without an inhibition; the same applies to third-country nationals who are married to a German national.

The Aliens' Registration Offices are responsible for all measures and decisions pertaining to residence law; local responsibility is determined by the actual or intended place of residence of the foreigner.

Public need examination

In proceedings under aliens law concerning the taking up of a self-employed activity, the competent chambers, because of enforcement provisions, decrees or expert instructions, are asked by the Aliens' Registration Office to prepare an expert opinion as to whether there is an overriding economic interest or a specific local need. These opinions are only submitted to the ...

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