Berlin start-ups seek red tape help

Berlin start-ups seek red tape help
Boom town? Photo: DPA
A record number of entrepreneurs have approached the Berlin authorities for help starting their business in the first six months of 2014 than in all of 2013.

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The city's “single point of contact” for business founders reported that 3,081 people approached them in the first half of the year, compared with just 2,941 in 2013.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” CDU Senator Cornelia Yzer told the Berliner Morgenpost. “This single point of contact doesn't let us get rid of bureaucratic hurdles, but we can make them manageable.”

Most questions to the authorities related to the setting up of a business in Berlin, with digital businesses, freelancers, media and handicraft the most popular fields.

The single point of contact has existed since 2009 thanks to EU rules requiring such an authority in member states. Five people work at the service in Berlin, which is provided for free.

The explosion in applications to the office is likely due to the removal of a complex electronic signature procedure from the online application form at the beginning of this year.

Alongside the single point of contact, a private organisation, BerlinPartner, provides another possible rendez-vous for freshly-minted businesses. Each of Berlin's districts has also set up a contact point, especially for companies looking for an office.

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