Foreign citizenship: requirements to sell products as a designer?


I'm living in Germany under Sato status. I'm a designer and would like to sell my products here in Europe and in local stores in Stuttgart, Germany. What kind of business license or permit do I need?


Dear Sir or Madam,

thank you for your inquiry and your interest in setting up a business in Germany. "Make it in Germany" provides international professionals with information on working and living in Germany.

Regarding your residential status, please consider the following first:

Before starting your own business, you should clarify, if your residence status allows you to do so. As a third country national in Germany, in order to set up your own business you will need a residence permit allowing you to exercise a self-employed activity (selbstständige Tätigkeit). This may be a residence permit according to §21 Immigration Law (AufenthG) or a permanent settlement permit. For personal advice please contact your competent Foreigner’s authority (Ausländerbehörde) or get help via the hotline “Working and Living in Germany” under the telephone number +49 30 1815 – 1111.

To get started: In Germany there are many public information centres which will guide you step by step as you set up your own business. On the Startup Portal, under “advice and information”, you will find the contact data of regional and national information centres for entrepreneurs with migrant background. A general contact list is available on the Startup Portal.

Especially the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and the Chambers of Crafts (HWK) support new founders with information, consultancy and a range of seminars on founding your own business.

More on setting up a business in Germany can be found on the website "Make it in Germany":

We wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Your Make it in Germany Team

*Please note that “Make it in Germany” does not issue or support any visa application even if you may be qualified for that. The information presented on Make it in Germany is a general service. Only the German missions and the foreigners’ authorities are responsible for the issuance of visa or residence permits. For further questions, please contact directly the respective authority.

Quelle: Justina Godesberg
Projekt „Make it in Germany“
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln e.V.

April 2021