New regulation on the start-up grant: The end of ICH-AG

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Since 28.12.2011, the possibility for the unemployed to apply for a start-up subsidy has been greatly reduced: from the previous obligation, a can-achievement, even worse, it is clear that business start-up is only promoted if all other possibilities fail. In short, whoever wants to start up will depend on the future. Only: Is the abolition of the start-up subsidy really so bad? Or in the end not so an advantage? Just change the perspective!

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Start-up subsidy drastically reduced

Since the announcement by our Minister of Labor Ursula van der Leyen to drastically reduce the start-up subsidy, panic spread in Germany:

You should start again quickly before it is too late. And it is unjustified that subsidies for economically important young entrepreneurs are eliminated.

Service instructions make it clear: foundation of the company in the future only last resort

The objective of the measure is clear: money should be saved - and around four billion euros. The ver.di trade unionCompany reports on an internal business regulation of the Federal Employment Agency dated December 1, 2012, which clarifies how the employment agencies should react to applications for start-up grants in the future:

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“According to the instructions, unemployed people who want to become self-employed will have to be offered a job in the future. And only if 'at the time of applying for a start-up grant on the job market that is accessible to the customer no job offers are (are) to be examined and the circumstances to be assessed.'

In other words, instead of being able to build up a new perspective as a self-employed person, in the future the unemployed must, if necessary, also take on one of the not so rare jobs that are (only) reasonable under the law. Because, of course, the usual rules of reasonableness also apply here, and if you only reject an offered job because you consider starting a business to be better and more promising, the employment agency is not allowed to 'exercise its discretion' - in other words: your application will not be examined in the first place. The government parties used to say that they wanted to develop and promote a 'culture of independence' in Germany. . . "

Why the point of view of politics and employment agency is wrong

Now it is certainly quite idiotic to convince people who are clearly willing to found a company to write applications and certainly does not promote a start-up culture. Even more idiotic is the legislator's view that only people who can no longer be mediated elsewhere are “disposed of” into independence. Will these presumably poorly qualified people become successful founders?

And worse still, no wonder we have such a miserable founding culture in Germany, when our politicians and civil servants are showing us the way of looking at the fact that starting a business is, so to speak, only a last resort if nothing goes. Who has the pleasure to start?

If you really want to start up, you can do it without an employment agency!

However, I am confronted with the question, which is a bit provocative, whether people with motivation and motivation are motivated without the help of the employment agency. The mills of the bureaucracy have not been easy to cope with as a result of founding a foundation - and have personally deterred me, for example, so far.

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The ZEIT now has study results yesterday (Joachim Hartog, both University of Amsterdam) and Peter Berkhout (RIGO Institute, Amsterdam) studied the occupational decisions of 56.000 Dutch university and vocational school graduates. The result is that if you sit too surely in the nest you are less enthusiastic about a greening.

The founding culture has not improved through the promotion of the foundation

And the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which examines the start-up climate in 54 countries, has just given the Germans a bad testimony to the past few years. According to this, 43 percent of the interviewees choose to fail because of fear of starting a business.

And this despite the start-up grant. But those who founded did not usually do so from enthusiasm, but from the pure necessity: 32 per cent of the entrepreneurs in specs, not for freedom love or self-realization, but for wanting to pursue this career for lack of alternative employment.

Did the old start-up subsidy prevent entrepreneurial ambitions?

Or you could put it in a very striking manner: The old start-up subsidy did not support the founding culture and entrepreneurial ambitions, but is much more just another plank to which desperate people cling for a long time before they finally fail?

After all, ICH-AG was also very much laughed at, in addition to many trickery (one is terminated and then the same work as self-employed + state aid). And it is precisely this mocking that no one has to face anymore: whoever wants to survive has to swim himself. What you learn as a self-employed sooner rather than later.

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Will say: Of course, you can complain that the federal government has deleted something again. But you can also see the matter positively and trust in yourself. All a question of the way of looking.

The previous regulation

With the start-up grant, the state, or the federal agency for work, supports recipients of unemployment benefit I, which are self-employed.

The Law on the Improvement of the Integration Opportunities (Third and Fourth Social Code) has just been revised. And still, the law is not valid. If you hurry, you can quickly start again according to the old conditions.

Significant changes

The amendment was passed by the Bundestag and the Federal Council. What is still missing is the signature of the Federal President. As long as this is still missing, the law is not yet in force, and no one knows at all when the new regulation will apply. And until then one can (and should!) Still be based on the old regulation.

For probably the most drastic change of the law: from the current partial compulsory performance became a complete discretionary power. Unlike in the past, the employment agency does not have to grant the start-up subsidy even if all of these conditions are fulfilled. This is, therefore, purely the discretion of the employment agency.

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Now, conviction and high commitment are required at the beginning of unemployment. But, of course, the funding available and the regionally defined guidelines and objectives of the Agency also play a role in the approval process.

Old and new regulations

What remains: the start-up grant is an amount equal to your last-mentioned unemployment benefit I for life support. It can be granted for a total of 15 months.

New: In the first six months (so far nine!) You receive a supplement of 300 Euro / month for social security. If the employment agency is to extend your application again after six months (see below), the supplement of 300 Euro / month will be paid for social security for a further nine months (previously six!), But not the amount of the last related unemployment benefit I.

When can you apply?

Your application will only be successful if you are entitled to unemployment benefit I or short-time working allowance or is employed in a job-creation program and at least 150 days are still required.

For security reasons, you should comply with the following procedure at the start-up grant: If you have received the positive opinion of the specialist body - and only then - you should become self-employed by registering your trade or your professional activity.

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The procedure

Because with the registration of self-employment automatically ends your unemployment and thus your entitlement to unemployment benefit I.

You can only go to the employment agency if you register with the commercial or financial office, and submit it together with a copy of the business plan, the certificate of the specialist body and the actual application form. The employment agency decides on the basis of the documents on your application.

Attention: During this time you will receive no cover.

The extension

As already mentioned, after the first six months, you can again request an extension of the start-up subsidy. The best time is two to three months before the end of the first six months.

The employment agency requires proof that “intensive business and full-time entrepreneurial activities” existed in the first six months.

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Again to understand

There is no longer any legally enforceable legal claim for the entire foundation grant. The employment agency has a margin of discretion and decides for or against an extension on the basis of the documents that you submit to prove your business activity in the last six months.

Thus has the start-up subsidy, which has replaced ICH-AG and bridging money as a funding instrument. But what did the previous regulation look like?

Previous regulation: No discretionary power

They were initially paid for nine months an amount equal to the most recently received unemployment benefit I to the livelihood, in addition to subsidy for social security.

Then you could again get a partial amount for six months. Requirements: You were unemployed and you can prove the profitability of your company as well as your entrepreneurial suitability.

The start-up grant was not discretionary in the first nine months; if you met the conditions, you had a legal right to it. But as a founder, you also had some duties, you have to follow a certain procedure and lock-in periods and social insurance.

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  1. Strawberry

    On the whole, I also believe that it behaves as shown in this article. However, in a few places I simply disagree!

  2. Andreas Schilling

    Why is it that mainly the founding advisors are concerned about the changes? Sure, because the GCD 4000 is almost as broken as you foundations. With prognosticated 30.000 ALG foundations 2012 compared to 300.000 in 2011 looks the situation really bitter for consultants. But actually someone has already thought of the micro-enterprises, the founders through the 300.000 funded by the employment office a real price competition over 6 / 9 months had, because the cost of living were at the ALG founders just ever paid.

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Schilling,
      this is sometimes an argument. On the topic of start-up funding, I wanted to write something soon, because I like this aspect. It is always the same: one of the Freud, the other of suffering.
      Simone Janson

  3. Simone Janson

    #Blogpost New regulation for the start-up grant: Curse or blessing?

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