For freelancers and the self-employed, uncertainty loomed as we looked forward into 2021 - proposed lockdowns were extended and weather this surprised you or was expected, there was a growing need for clarity on financial support and the role of the government for the freelancers and self-employed, as many had complaints with the previous rounds of funding.
What does the newly announced support look like for freelancers and the self-employed? In many ways, Germany has defined itself as a secure place for the freelancers and self-employed who find themselves here. Furthermore, as the lockdown looms and leaves us all to be scrolling through the news wondering if it really will ever end, but Germany has provided some robust financial solutions and extended programs through until June 2021.
Most hopeful for freelancers and the self-employed was that they were included in a much more practical way in this round of funding, which means the government may have listened to the challenges being faced and actually taken notes. You love to see it.
On December 23, these changes were announced with the government stating:
‘’The faster the infection numbers fall, the faster our economy will recover. The resolutions of the Minister Presidents' Conference (MPK) on December 13th are therefore an act of strength in the interests of all of our health and the economy. We remain firmly by the side of our companies and their employees. That is why we have the bridging aid
III improved, the monthly maximum amount for all companies to 200,000 euros per month and for companies directly or indirectly affected by government closures significantly increased to 500,000 euros per month, the duration of the program for many affected companies extended to the end of June 2021 and the group of eligible applicants extended.’’
This was seen to be the actions to support the words of Federal Minister Altmaier, who on November 5th 2020, said:
‘’Cohesion and mutual solidarity are the order of the day. In this serious situation, we are not leaving our companies and their employees alone, but are expanding our offers of help for the self-employed, companies and institutions particularly affected by the Corona rules. We have now clarified the conditions for applying for aid. Advance payments should be made as soon as possible.’’
There are in fact so many options available that depend on your individual circumstances, so we are going to try to focus on the newest announcements in relation to the solo self-employed and freelancers. We will start by reviewing the November and December Help, then discuss the new scheme best translated in English to ‘’the reboot grant’’ or ‘’restart aid’’.
November and December aid - direct applications
There are criteria to be eligible for the November and December aid, and here is a brief overview of these categories:
- Directly affected: you had to cease business operations directly in November and December 2020 due to a government closure ordinance.
- Indirectly affected: You generate at least 80 percent of your sales with companies directly affected by the closings.
- Affected indirectly through third parties: You regularly generate at least 80 percent of sales through third parties on behalf of companies directly affected by the state closings.
- Mixed operation: In total, at least 80 percent of them can be clearly assigned to one or more of the categories mentioned.
Eligible to apply are self-employed persons, which are small or very small companies within the meaning of Annex I of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Regulation ( EU ) No. 651/2014) (companies with fewer than 50 employees and an annual turnover or an annual balance of a maximum of 10 million euros), include:
- are not the subject of insolvency proceedings under national law;
- have not received rescue aid unless the loan has already been repaid at the time the application is submitted or the guarantee has already expired;
- have not received restructuring aid unless they are no longer subject to a restructuring plan at the time of application.