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What advice is available?

No matter what kind of company founder you happen to be – student, apprentice, expert in your field – and regardless of whether your solution involves smartphones, high-tech or hand tools, if your aim is to earn money from it, then your business needs a market to which it can sell. And that is where the questions start. What regulations must I heed? Can I simply get going with my idea? How do I draw up a finance plan and what kind of finance is available? Where do I get the start-up capital for my idea?

No company has ever just appeared out of nowhere

In Bavaria there are initial contact points for all kinds of start-ups, where experts can help you to get your business idea off the ground. They offer information and advice as well as assistance with the company foundation formalities, such as registering the business. These services are generally available to you free of charge. There is also the possibility of obtaining a grant for professional advice from a coach. Do not hesitate to take advantage of such support – after all, every new business is different and the Internet provides a bewilderingly diverse range of (not always correct) information. The right advice at the start can be invaluable and save you a great deal of hassle and effort and prevent you from making mistakes.

For people starting up a business in one of the trades or liberal professions: the IHK, HWK, IFB and other local partners

If you wish to start a business in one of the trades or liberal professions, then your first port of call should be the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) or Chamber of Crafts (HWK) in your region or the Institut für Freie Berufe (IFB). These institutions can assist you with a wide range of matters associated with starting a business, but they can also give you advice if your company is going through a difficult time, if you wish to invest and are seeking the right finance or if your business will soon be transitioning to the next generation.  

You can get further support with various matters related to starting a business by contacting the business development offices in the rural districts and urban districts, the relevant associations and regional organisations throughout Bavaria.

From the science to the market: university-based services

The first port of call for anybody at university who is interested in starting a business is the university’s own start-up advisory service. Besides offering comprehensive advice, they will also put you in touch with people who can assist you with your business idea and help you to apply to programmes such as FLÜGGE or EXIST for funding, which prospective company founders and entrepreneurs at universities can receive before starting a business.

For people starting digital and high-tech companies with growth potential: BayStartUP

If you are working on an innovative product or business model with which you wish to conquer the market and grow, then BayStartUP can support you as a key finance institution in Bavaria with  investor contacts and a very well-placed network on the Bavarian start-up scene. In free finance coaching sessions individually tailored to your plans, the BayStartUP coaches will work with you and your start-up team to find the right finance strategy for your company, prepare you for talks with investors and pair you with the right financiers.

BayStartUp provides advice on behalf of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs at all digital start-up centres to help start-ups achieve the best possible growth. With expert support, the teams take a growth-based approach to the development of your company.

Insights into funding options: business development

The business departments of the district governments (Wirtschaftsabteilungen der Bezirksregierungen) in Bavaria and the LfA Förderbank Bayern are especially good at providing information and advice on state funding and finance programmes run by the state of Bavaria, Germany and the EU.

You can get comprehensive information on state funding programmes for technology and innovations not solely aimed at company founders from the Bayerische Forschungs- und Innovationsagentur (‘Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency’). We have also put together an overview of the most common finance and funding options here.

The business development offices in larger communities, district-free cities and districts can also support you – depending on whether they also have a specific area of focus in addition to the state programmes. Make enquiries in your region to find out whether there are any special start-up programmes or initiatives.