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Start-ups in the liberal professions are attractive

Despite the great uncertainties as a result of the Ukraine war, the number of start-ups in Germany in 2022 developed slightly positively overall: In particular, the increase in start-ups in the liberal professions contributed to the fact that the total number of all start-ups (liberal professions, commercial sector, forestry and agriculture) rose.

Mar 29, 2023, 12:53:26 PM
Dr. Jutta Gröschl, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn

In 2022, start-up activity in Germany increased in the liberal professions by 5% compared with the previous year. In contrast, start-up activities in the commercial sector stagnated (-0.3 %), especially among farmers and foresters - they even decreased (-6.5 %). Due to the increase in self-employed start-ups, the number of start-ups rose slightly to around 339,000. Nevertheless, the pre-pandemic level (366,000) has yet to be reached. Nonetheless, the significant uncertainties in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine have not negatively impacted the overall start-up activity. IfM Bonn's overall statistics on business start-ups include all self-employed activities of persons under tax law. In contrast to the Federal Statistical Office's start-up statistics, they include start-ups in the agricultural/forestry sector and liberal professions besides commercial start-ups. Berlin and Hamburg remain the front-runners among the federal states Regarding business start-up intensity – the number of start-ups per 10,000 persons of working age – Berlin remains in first place, followed by Hamburg. Both city-states had the highest number of business and freelance start-ups in 2022. For the current year, the researchers of the IfM Bonn expect a slight decline in start-up activities compared to the previous year: "Due to the uncertainties because of the war in Ukraine, the price increases, and inflation. We cannot yet estimate how the figures for start-ups will develop this year. However, it is already foreseeable that demand in the construction industry is falling, likely weakening the willingness to start a business in this sector," explains Dr Rosemarie Kay, deputy director of the IfM Bonn. The statistics on start-ups in the liberal professions and the commercial sector are available on the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung website (