I was asked to speak at a Monthly Meet Up event on Tuesday evening hosted by Touring Artists e.V. as an expert on the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ social security). With a bit of humour and a whole bunch of crazy anecdotes, we dived into the application process in delightful detail.
Tag Archive: freelance berlin
You might have noticed things have been quiet on the blog front lately as Kathleen has taken advantage of the flexibility of freelancer life to head to Singapore for a month in her other incarnation as a renowned opera singer. While the team in Berlin manages Red Tape Translation during local office hours and continues to support our clients at a variety of local authorities’ offices, Kathleen is still consulting with our clients all over the world from Singapore via Skype – we feel like we are operating a truly international business this month!
Kathleen took time out from her rehearsal schedule recently to talk to the crew at Solobeing on what she loves about the freelancer lifestyle.
Getting out of Unemployment with Self-Employment: The Gründungszuschuss
If you are facing unemployment in Germany or are right in the middle of it, you might be interested to know about a grant that the Agentur für Arbeit offers to job seekers on ALG1 unemployment benefits if they want to start a business in Germany. The idea of this “new business grant” (Gründungszuschuss) is to get people out of unemployment (ALG I) by encouraging them to become self-employed or to start a company. Naturally, this won’t suit everyone, so the Agentur für Arbeit is really interested in making sure that you’re the entrepreneurial type and that you have a viable idea before they approve your application.
It is difficult to find information about the Gründungszuschuss in English. Here are the basics.
If you have successfully obtained an “artist’s visa” (that is, a permit to work freelance in Germany), congratulations! A big part of your battle through the web of German bureaucracy is now complete. Even better if you already have clients and contacts lined up. Now it’s time to get working and watch the money come rolling in!
There are consultants in Berlin charging between 750EU and 900EU to prepare your paperwork and talk you through the process of getting an Artists Visa (Freelance Visa) in Berlin. Red Tape Translation was surprised to discover that some consultants will offer to fill out your paperwork for you, potentially influencing your answers on the application form to ensure that you will be defined as an artist, and issued a work permit on the spot.
While Red Tape Translation can certainly understand the appeal of avoiding bureaucracy, I find the practice concerning for a number of reasons:
Red Tape Translation has been reading a lot of blog posts lately written by Berlin expats who obtained their freelance artist visas and want to share their knowledge with the world. Most of them are incredibly helpful and well-meaning, but there is one discrepancy which might cause a bit of confusion on the Berlin freelance scene, and we’d like to help clear it up.