EU Blue Card: Starting a Shisha Bar as a Second Job?


I am student here in Germany and after my studies, I plan to start my own shisha bar, while I'm working in my profession in a company. I am a Computer scientist and I will work in a company in field of IT. I have two questions: 1. Can I start my Shisha bar as my second job while I am employee of another company as a IT developer? 2. Can I have 1 or 2 shareholders from Non-EU-countries, who invest their money on this business? I will be the managing director of the business - I will have a blue card at that time and they will be the shareholders.


Thank you for your inquiry and your interest in setting up a business in Germany. We will gladly give you more information.

Make it in Germany provides international professionals with information on working and living in Germany. Detailed information on studying or setting up a business are also available on “Make it in Germany”.

Please note the following information regarding your residential status if you do not have an indefinite residence title (“settlement permit”) in Germany:

  • If you are a citizen of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, you are generally free to start up your own business in Germany.
  • If you are a citizen of another state, in order to set up a business in Germany, you will usually need a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment (Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur Ausübung einer selbständigen Tätigkeit). Therefore you will need to clarify if your current residence status enables / or your future residence status will enable you to start a business in Germany. We recommend you to contact your Foreigner’s authority („Ausländerbehörde”).

As a holder of the EU Blue Card the following applies to you:

  • The EU Blue Card is tied to specific employment with a particular employer for the first two years of residence. Any highly-qualified employment can be taken up subsequent to this. Self-employment however is not permitted. Source: BAMF
  • Settlement permit: Anyone holding an EU Blue Card can apply for a settlement permit after just 33 months, if they exercised skilled employment during that time. If you have an EU Blue Card and also have sufficient command of the German language, i.e. at least Level B1, this period is reduced to just 21 months – under two years. Graduates of German universities: As a graduate of a German university, you can apply for a settlement permit after just two years. This is on condition that after completing your studies you held a residence title for the purposes of employment or self-employment, or an EU Blue Card, for at least two years. Moreover, you need to have a job commensurate with your qualifications and to have paid the statutory pension insurance for 24 months. More information you will find on „Make it in Germany“.

For personal advice regarding visa issues or residence permit, you can also contact the Hotline „Working and Living in Germany” under the telephone number +49 30 1815 – 1111.

Besides, there are many public information centres, which will advise you as you set up your own business. On the Startup Portal, under „advice and information”, you will find the contact information of regional and national information centres for entrepreneurs with a migrant background. A general contact list is available on the Startup Portal. Germany supports entrepreneurs with a number of funding programs. Most of these funding programs consist of public loans, which offer you better conditions with regard to their interest, loan periods and repayment terms. In order to apply for such funding, your place of residence and your company’s operations must be located in Germany. On „Make it in Germany” you will find more information on financing and funding.

Keep in mind, as you are operating in Germany, a good command of German is important. Even as you prepare your business, you will find that many official documents are available in German only. If your German is not good enough yet, you should make sure to take a language course, before you set up your business. Some advanced courses have a special focus on the business world.

For further Information regarding setting up a business in Germany, please visit the Website „Make it in Germany".

We wish you all the best!

* Please note:
The information presented here is a general service offering. Only the German missions and the foreigners’ authorities are responsible for the issuance of visa resp. residence permits. For further questions, please contact directly the respective authority.

Reference: Justina Alichniewicz
Projekt „Make it in Germany“
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln e.V.
September 2019

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