What is a viable business

When applying for public funding with their business plan, many start-ups have to seek out an expert body. This expert opinion or certificate of viability is often required, especially for grants from the Employment Agency. With an expert opinion, the viability of the respective business start-up should be assessed.

Usually, the competent body decides on the basis of the business plan and the presented professional and commercial suitability whether it is a viable start-up. This check by the competent body should normally be completed within a maximum of 14 days if all requirements have been met.

The time required should not be underestimated. In addition, the entrepreneur should often expect a small fee for the examination of his documents by the competent body.

Expert bodies that review a business plan are usually:

- Business and tax consultants

- Industry associations

- banks

- start-up institutions

- Chambers of Commerce and Industry

- Chambers of Crafts

- professional associations

- Auditors

- business consultant

The tasks of the examination office

In the case of an expert opinion, the examination office should examine the extent to which the submitted business plan and the business idea behind it represent a viable start-up project.

The personal and professional requirements of the business plan and in particular the figures in the business plan are checked. For these reasons, in a business plan for an expert opinion, particular attention should be paid to the capital requirement, the cost structure, and the profitability.

An expert opinion is by no means a guarantee of a successful start-up. Rather, it examines the plausibility of the start-up project.

The cost of an expert opinion

The fee that is charged for an expert opinion varies depending on the processing office. In general, the costs for the founder are between 30 and 150 euros.

The IHK and the HWK also offer expert opinions free of charge, but founders should note that their consultants are not independent entrepreneurs and therefore cannot contribute their own experience to the opinion. It is important that the processing position meets the quality criteria of the funding program.

The business plan for an expert opinion

A business plan is often drawn up in order to convince a bank of its own business idea and of granting appropriate loans. A business plan for the bank differs in some points from a business plan for an expert opinion.

In a business plan for the expert opinion, the founder not only has to pay attention to the content typical for the business plan, but also has to show in particular that

- you have enough industry-specific and commercial experience to master the start-up and thus maintain your own independence.

- one proves objectivity. Especially in the realistic assessment of your own profit opportunities.

- the company to be set up is viable on its own after the end of the funding program.

If this information is included in the business plan, the chance of a successful statement increases and with it the chance of the funding being approved.

Structure of the business plan

Of course, the relevant business plan for the expert opinion should also correspond to the general criteria of a business plan. Even if there are no official requirements for a business plan, this structure has proven to be beneficial in practice:

1) Summary - Here the founder gives a short summary of the overall project of his own start-up. The important thing here is brevity: no more than one and a half pages.

2) Description of services and unique selling points - The product or service is described here. In doing so, attention must be paid to the special features (so-called unique selling points)

3) Market and industry analysis - Here the founder shows the extent to which he has understood his industry and explains how he wants to position his own company in this market

4) Marketing and Sales - Of course, appropriate advertising measures should be described here. However, it is also important to describe the target group and pricing strategy as precisely as possible.

5) Personnel - If it is planned to hire personnel, the place must be described here, what requirements the employees or freelance workers should have and in what time periods the recruitment should take place.

6) Organization - management structures, company headquarters, legal form and tax aspects are the content of this section

7) Founder - An important factor here is objectivity while describing one's strengths and weaknesses.

8) Financing - Every business start-up should result in self-supporting self-employment. That means making money. So the founder has to show how he will master this important part of his business idea.


Here you can find the free business plan tool from Unternehmerwelt.de