1 - Simplifying start-ups

Starting up a business in North Rhine-Westphalia needs to be as easy as possible. We want the state to have as few bureaucratic hurdles for business start-ups as possible.

Where we are now

The road to setting up your own business is often a rocky one. In a survey on behalf of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government, 30 per cent of people starting up their own business said that bureaucratic difficulties regarding finance and grants were a major obstacle. Complex tax rules and reporting processes were also criticised. The survey also found that people setting up in business want free and combined information and advice services.

Image of a pie chart and bureaucratic hurdles.
Image of a pie chart and bureaucratic hurdles. Chart shows grants/financing at 30 per cent, and portions relating to ‘Start-up from unemployment’, ‘Taxes’, ‘General application procedures’, ‘Notarial certification’ and ‘Other’.
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Where we want to be

Starting up a business in North Rhine-Westphalia needs to be as easy as possible. We want the state to have as few bureaucratic hurdles for business start-ups as possible.

What we are doing

  • Our Wirtschafts-Service-Portal NRW is a business portal that makes it easier, quicker and more digital to start up a business in North Rhine-Westphalia. The fully electronic business registration process is welcomed by chambers of industry and commerce and chambers of trade, as well as local authority trade offices. New entrepreneurs can register, re-register and deregister their business at any time of day or night from the comfort of their own home. The aim is that by 2020, almost all official administration work for start-ups should be digitised. At that point there will just be one single login process for any necessary administrative applications.

  • 75 Startercenters NRW provide advice and support start-ups in their set-up and development phase. These centres are established within the local authority or chambers. One in five people interested in starting their own business in North Rhine-Westphalia is already using this service. The Startercenters NRW are currently fast becoming today's first-stop-shops.

  • With the six state-supported hubs of the digital economy in Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munster and Essen, we are aiming to increase the quantity and quality of digital start-ups ‘made in NRW’. The DWNRW Hubs – complemented by private hubs, such as the Founders Foundation in Bielefeld and Garage 33 in Paderborn – offer high-quality support services for digital start-ups. Digital start-ups are also included in a network of mentors, established businesses and investors, to facilitate their route to market.

  • The economic advice scheme for North Rhine-Westphalia, known as Beratungsprogramm Wirtschaft NRW (BPW), guarantees grants for start-ups for consultancy costs regarding the development, testing and implementation of their project.