FOLLOW-UP: In the aftermath of the Corona Grant roll out, Settle in Berlin conducted a poll to gather facts about the program: what was the average queuing time? How much of an impact was made by technical issues? How quickly were funds received? You can see their findings in regard to these questions and more in their poll results.

UPDATE – 06.04.2020: Applications for corona emergency grants have reopened via IBB. It is possible for freelancers and small businesses to apply for federal aid to cover professional/business expenses (material and financial, e.g., commercial rents or leases, leasing expenses, personnel costs for employees). The compensation of loss of turnover and fees for personal living expenses, health insurance premiums, etc. are not included. This application is expected to be available until 31.05.2020.

The grant program of the state of Berlin, which could be applied to by freelancers and small businesses with up to 5 employees to compensate for income and be used towards living expenses, ended on 1 April 2020.

We’ve put together this guide and outline of the application form to the best of our knowledge and ability, in order to help you through the process of applying for a corona emergency grant via the IBB website.

1. Gather the necessary info

Basic information needed to fill out the application includes the following: 

  • Identification number (e.g., passport number)
  • IBAN & name of bank account holder
  • Handelsregisternummer (if a small business)
  • Tax ID number (Steueridentifikationsnummer — this is your main tax number, which doesn’t change, and can be found on your tax return or on any correspondence from the Finanzamt)
  • Berlin address
  • Legal form of business (e.g., GmbH, GbR, or ‘Einzelunternehmen’ – if an individual freelancer)
  • Website address
  • Date the company was founded

2. Access the application portal via the IBB website

Visit the Corona Zuschuss page on IBB’s webiste and click on ‘Antrag Stellen’. 

You will be directed to a queue, where you will be given a number. You can input your email address to be notified when it is your turn. Be aware that the system may be paused for a period of time to allow for processing — i.e., overnight. If you’re already in the queue, your place will be held while the system is paused.

3. Be patient

Wait times may be extensive. But your place in line will be held for you, even if you close your browser. Submit your email address to be notified when it is your turn — that way you’re not left staring at the wait screen. 

Once it is your turn to access the application, you will be given 35 minutes to start the application.

4. Fill out the application

Here is an outline of the application form — specifically the parts that need to be filled out.

Application Data / Antragsdaten

First, you will have to confirm (by ticking ‘yes’ or ‘no’) that the funds are necessary in order to secure your professional or operational existence during the corona crisis. And that your financial difficulties are a result of the current outbreak of Covid-19. 

Just under this confirmation comes another declaration box to be ticked. This declaration states that before 31.12.2019 your company was not a ‘company in difficulty’ — in accordance with the General Block Exemption Regulation. Your company did not experience any liquidity shortages or other economic difficulties before 31.12.2019, and no enforcement measures are currently pending. 

Next, you are asked to fill in the number of employees. Note that all part-time employees must be calculated together to be counted as a full-time employee(s).  

You will then have to fill in the grant amount in EUR that you are applying for (up to 9000 EUR for freelancers and small businesses with up to 5 employees; and up to 15000 EUR for applicants with up to 10 employees).

You are then asked to confirm that these funds will be used for material and financial business costs (e.g., commercial rent, leasing expenses, etc.).

Applicant / Antragsteller

Here it asks for general company data. 

  • Legal form of the business (e.g., GmBH, GbR) or ‘Einzelnehmen’ if an individual freelancer.
  • Name / Business Name
  • Date the company was founded
  • Website
  • Handelsregisternummer (if a small business)
  • Field

Then, it asks to confirm whether or not the company is entitled to deduct input tax (VAT / Umsatzsteuer). 

Next comes the business address:

  • Street and house number
  • Address addendum
  • Postal code
  • Place (Berlin)

Then Bank details: 

  • Name of account holder
  • IBAN

In the next sub-section come the details of the business owner / legal representative: 

  • Form of address (e.g., Herr, Frau…)
  • Title
  • First Name (according to identification document, e.g., passport)
  • Last Name
  • Steuer-ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer — this is your main tax number, which doesn’t change, and can be found on your tax return or on any correspondence from the Finanzamt)
  • Type of Identification document: Personal ID or passport
  • ID number (from identification document)
  • Telephone number
  • Mobile telephone number
  • Email address

Declarations / Erklärungen

In this section, you are asked to confirm why you are in need of funding. Three options are given: 

  • partial or complete closure of business due to lack of customers, cancellations, etc.
  • complete closure
  • loss of income due to lack of contracts, bookings, commitments, etc.

Then, you are asked to acknowledge that there is no legal claim to the granting of emergency aid. 

And then confirm whether minor forms of aid (Kleinbeihilfen) have already been received or applied for. 

Next you are asked to agree with the regulations of the state of Berlin and the European Commission, that in the event of an audit, you will provide documentation and necessary information to support or clarify your application and demonstrate that the grant has been used for its intended purpose, if requested. 

Then you have to confirm that you are aware that subsidy-relevant facts or data and any amendments to this must immediately be communicated to IBB in a complete and truthful manner. 

You must also confirm that you are aware that funds received from this application that exceed actual financial requirements — for 6 months (self-employed individuals), or 3 months (small businesses) — are expected to be repaid. 

Data Protection

You are asked to agree that, if confirmed, data relating to your company and the grant received may be transmitted to the EU Commission and published on the internet. 

Then you are asked to confirm that you have noted IBB’s data protection information. 

You can then confirm that you ask IBB to communicate with you by email in unencrypted form — and are aware of the risks involved. You can revoke this consent at any time. 

Finally, affirm that you have provided all information to the best of your knowledge and that it is accurate and truthful. 

5. Submit

If approved, funds will be received shortly after submission — possibly within three working days, according to the Berlin Senate — as long as funds are still available. Look out for a confirmation email as well, but don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t come right away.

As more information about the grant and application process becomes available, we’ll do our best to keep you informed. For further information about getting financial assistance in Germany during the corona crisis, see our guide to covid-19 resources for freelancers.

If you have any information that you think could help the creative community of Berlin, contact us at and we will be happy to share it.