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Permit for Staff Leasing in Germany: Application, Requirements, Costs

What does staff leasing mean?

Staff leasing or temporary employment in Germany (Arbeitnehmerüberlassung, ANÜ) is characterized by a three-person relationship. The lender concludes an employment contract with the temporary worker. The lender also concludes a temporary employment contract with a hirer. On the basis of this temporary employment contract, the temporary employee works in the hirer's company. The temporary employee still gets paid by the lender (i.e. their employer). The lender receives a payment from the hirer. In return, the hirer is entitled to the work performed by the temporary employee.

Do I need a permit for staff leasing in Germany?

Staff leasing is generally prohibited in Germany unless you have a temporary employment permit/license. It is therefore a prohibition subject to permission. Entrepreneurs who hire out workers, without having the necessary permit, face a substantial fine. Managing directors are privately liable with their own assets.

How do you apply for a staff leasing permit?

A corresponding permit (temporary employment permit/license) is issued only on application. Therefore, all entrepreneurs who wish to hire out workers must apply for a temporary employment permit in accordance with the German Temporary Employment Act (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz, AÜG).

The application must be submitted to the competent Federal Employment Agency. The employment agencies in Düsseldorf, Kiel and Nuremberg are responsible for issuing the permit for staff leasing. Which of the three agencies is specifically responsible for issuing the permit depends on which state the company is located in. In the case of companies based abroad, the responsibility of the agencies depends on the respective country of origin of the company.

Responsible employment agencies for applicants

The Federal Employment Agencies in Düsseldorf, Kiel and Nuremberg are responsible for the following federal states in Germany:

  • Düsseldorf
    • Hesse
    • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Kiel
    • Schleswig-Holstein
    • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
    • Hamburg
    • Lower Saxony
    • Bremen
    • Berlin
    • Brandenburg
    • Saxony-Anhalt
    • Thuringia
    • Saxony
  • Nuremberg
    • Bavaria
    • Baden-Württemberg
    • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Saarland

What requirements do applicants for a staff leasing permit have to fulfil?

The application for the permit must be made by the person who intends to provide temporary workers. If you are the employer of the temporary workers and the contractual partner of the hirer, you must personally submit this application. If a legal entity (e.g. a limited liability company) becomes the employer of the temporary workers and the contractual partner of the hirer, the limited liability company must submit the application.

Foreign persons can also apply, provided their residence or place of business lies in an EU member state. It is important to note that the permit must be applied for regardless of the size of the business. Even if companies want to hire out their only employee, a permit must be applied for.

What information is required for a staff leasing license in Germany?

In addition to general information about the company, such as 

  • the number of temporary workers employed,
  • the articles of association and
  • the size of the operation area,

tax information and information on any criminal record and the reliability of the managing director are also necessary. Furthermore, model employment contracts and also model transfer contracts must be submitted to the Employment Agency for review.

How long does it take to get the staff leasing permit?

The process for obtaining permission from the authorities takes about three months, provided that the documents are submitted properly and completely. We estimate a maximum of three weeks for your legally secure temporary employment application and the review of all required documents.

What costs can be expected when applying for a staff leasing permit?

The administrative fees within the framework of a temporary employment application amount to EUR 1,300.

How long is the staff leasing permit valid?

For the first three years, an employer can only apply for a temporary permit. It is valid for one year and is not automatically extended, rather the permit must be renewed. The renewal of the permit is often more difficult than the initial application, as the renewal is subject to a detailed review to ensure that all laws have been complied with, whereas the initial application cannot be subject to a detailed review.

Labor Leasing in Germany:

A summary of ten important points to keep in mind when leasing staff in Germany

WINHELLER assists with the application for a staff leasing permit

Temporary employment applicants must make absolutely sure that all documents comply with the legal requirements. Otherwise, the temporary employment licence may not be granted. We gladly offer support to German and international companies, personnel service providers and nonprofit organizations in

  • the compilation of all documents to be submitted,
  • the timely submission of all documents to the Federal Employment Agency,
  • all communication between you and the Federal Employment Agency,
  • the renewal of your temporary employment licence after the first and all subsequent years,
  • the drafting of legally secure temporary employee contracts and
  • all international assignments.

Your attorney for the application for a permit for staff leasing in Germany

Are you planning to hire temporary employees domestically or for international assignments? Would you like to submit your application for a temporary employment licence to the Employment Agency? Your contact persons for questions on the subject of temporary employment are

The best way to reach us is by e-mail (info@winheller.com) or by telephone (+49 69 76 75 77 80).

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Handbook German Employment Law

Specialist for Employment Law Dr. Eric Uftring contributed a detailed chapter on staff leasing agreements. Order here.