Corona Emergency Aid

Corona crisis: What do you need to know? 

Here we answer how you can apply for Soforthilfe II and IV due to the Corona crisis - fast, simple, unbureaucratic. The FAQ is updated continuously. As soon as we become aware of new questions or problems, we will add them to the list of questions. We would like to point out that all information is legally non-binding.

Do you know our overview of other emergency aid, handling of subsidies and legal issues? That is what we offer you here

The applications for the Emergency Relief Programme II  were available until May 31th 2020, 23:59. The Emergency Relief Programme IV has been closed on May 15th 2020, 18:00.

Applications for Corona emergency aid can be submitted to the IBB in Berlin. An overview of all past and current Corona aid programmes can be found here.


Soforthilfe Corona (previously called Soforthilfe II)

  • Where can you find an overview of state and federal funds?
    • From March 27th to April 1st (12:00), applications for state subsidies (blanked amount of 5,000 €) and grants for operating costs from federal funds could be submitted via the program Soforthilfe II. Since April 6th, only federal funds can be applied for via the program Soforthilfe II.

      An overview of both grants with information on eligibility, application period and possible uses of the grants can be found here.

  • What information is required for the application?
    • For companies: General company data: Legal form*, name*, date of foundation*, website, registration number (e.g. commercial register number), branch of industry*, company address*, number of employees* (full-time equivalents, excl. trainees and 450€ employees)  

      For solo self-employed and freelancers: details of the owner/legal representative: Name*, contact* (telephone and e-mail), tax ID*, identity card or passport* (the last five digits of the ID number)

      Bank details of the company or the self-employed person: Account holder*, International Bank Account Number (IBAN)* A German account must be specified here!

      * This information is mandatory.

  • Where do you find the application form?
    • The Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) is responsible for implementing, auditing and distributing the money on behalf of the Land of Berlin. The application for Soforthilfe II can only be made online. It is not necessary to log into the IBB's customer portal. Applications by mail are not permitted. Only one application is necessary to apply for state and federal funding.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • The application generally refers to solo self-employed and freelancers. This also includes actresses, dancers, artists, musicians, performers, museum guides and all those who earn their living with art and culture. So, you are explicitly entitled to apply! And even small and micro-enterprises with up to ten employees or up to five employees (see under "How much money will you get?") can submit an application.

      Important: The company headquarters or self-employment must be registered in Berlin. However, citizenship is irrelevant for the application.

  • How much money will you get?
    • Freelancers and micro-enterprises with up to five employees (full-time equivalents possible) can apply for 9,000 € (federal funding) per application. 

      Small companies with more than five and up to ten employees (full-time equivalents possible) can submit up to 15,000 € (federal funding) per application.

  • Who is counted as an employee or worker?
    • Part-time employees can be converted into full-time employees (full-time equivalents). Trainees and employees on a 450-euro basis can also be converted into full-time employees.

      Fee-based employees do not count as employed.

  • What is the money for?
    • It is important to know, if you recieved the federal fund, the state fund or both of them.

      The Corona grant from state funds is intendet to cover the cost of living, entrepreneur's salary and current personal and financial expenses.

      The Corona grant from federal funds can be used for operating costs and commercial material and financial expenses such as:

      - commercial rents
      - Lease expenses
      - business telecommunications expenses
      - running costs for providers, domains, webspaces etc. and maintenance costs
      - staff costs for employees, if not covered by the short-time working allowance (Since 20th of April 2020, salaries of employees may no longer be financed from federal funds.)

      Managing director salaries, private withdrawals or the compensation of loss of turnover and fees for personal living expenses, health insurance contributions etc. are not included. On the other hand, the "social protection package" adopted on 27th March 2020 opens up access to basic provision for six months at much easier conditions.

  • How do you document your Corona-related, existence-threatening economic situation? Do you have to collect and submit receipts?
    • In the application for the Soforthilfe of 5,000 € you declare your economic plight and affirm in lieu of oath that all information given is true to the best of your knowledge and belief. You do not have to submit any receipts or documents. As I said, we are all in crisis, honesty strengthens solidarity. As already mentioned above, it can be checked retrospectively. Accordingly, you should be able to make your existentially threatening state of emergency credible retrospectively. It is therefore advisable to keep appropriate evidence for later verification (such as contract cancellations, email communication regarding cancelled performances or official orders etc.).

  • Do you have to pay taxes on the Soforthilfe?
    • The Corona grant (Soforthilfe II) from federal and Land funds (paid out in Berlin by the IBB) is to be recorded as operating income in the determination of profits. This subsidy is taken into account in the assessment of income or corporation tax with an effect on profits. This only has an effect when the tax return for 2020 has to be submitted, i.e. next year at the earliest. Only if a positive profit was generated in 2020 will the individual tax rate be due on the subsidy.


  • When will you get your money?
    • The IBB endeavours to transfer the money within three days of the application. However, there have also been reports of transfers within a few hours after successful application.



Soforthilfe IV (application period from 11th to 15th May 2020)

  • What is Emergency Aid IV and to whom is it directed?
    • The Emergency Aid IV is aimed at cultural and media companies affected by the Corona crisis, usually with more than 10 employees. These companies can apply for grants of up to EUR 25,000 to overcome an economic situation that threatens their existence. In justified exceptional cases even up to EUR 500,000 can be applied for. All further information can be found here.

  • How do we, the Advisory Centre for Cultural Promotion and Creative Industries (Kreativ Kultur Berlin), advise on the Emergency Aid IV?
    • We are partners of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the IBB and support the information and consulting process. We are available for questions that go beyond the FAQ catalogue via the IBB contact form. On the one hand, we answer your questions about the application process. On the other hand, we collect questions that are still missing in the IBB's FAQ and forward them for professional answers - so that they can be included in the IBB's FAQ. In addition, we inform the individual branches and sectors of the culture and creative industries about our networks.