The key to obtaining a German residence permit as an entrepreneur according to § 21 AufenthG (Residence Act) is to show that the business will have a positive effect on the German economy, i.e. that there is an economic interest and / or a regional need for the business and that funding has been secured. Entrepreneurs must show that their business will increase the market potential as well as sales opportunities of other German enterprises and that it will create a positive impact on the economy.
In 2012, the immigration law and § 21 Residence act was changed to the effect that the applicant will no longer have to demonstrate a minimum investment amount or the creation of a certain number of workplaces. In the previous versions it was still necessary to identify an exceptional economic interest or a special regional need, which was assumed, among other reasons, in particular if substantial investments were made and a significant number of jobs are created or secured. Initially the investment volume of 1 million euros with the creation of at least ten full-time jobs was required. The provision was gradually reduced to 500,000 and 250,000 euros and five jobs and has been now completely eliminated in the current version of the German immigration law.
If the applicant has exceeded the 45th year of his life, they will be required to prove that adequate pension provisions have been made.
The following aspects determine whether the business in question will be of economic and/or regional interest: