WIESBADEN, Germany - Have you ever considered starting a Home Based Business but were not sure where to start?
Thanks to a concerted effort by U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Employment Readiness Program, potential vendors are now finding a wealth of face-to-face and digital resources to help streamline the effort.
“We’ve created more opportunities for people to learn about the Home Base Business application process,” said Megan Bryan, Employment Readiness Program specialist. “There’s more continuity of care throughout the Home Base Business application process now.”
Employment Readiness Program Manager Earl McFarland explained that while resources have been available since 2020, “we wanted to make the whole process digital.
“We’ve streamlined the application process. … We’re trying to make it as user friendly as possible,” McFarland said.
As a result, McFarland explained, there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of approved Home Based Businesses in U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. “HHBs have become another source of income for community members – especially for Wiesbaden-based spouses.”
Potential vendors must be registered with both the garrison and the German Tax Office, said Bryan. Those interested in starting a business should contact Army Community Service’s Employment Readiness Program or visit ERP online at https://wiesbaden.armymwr.com/programs/employment-readiness-program (click on the Home Based Business link) to begin the process.
McFarland explained that the online application forms are made available to the authorizing officials for further processing. Registration with the German Tax Office can take three to four months, Bryan said.
“We made the application process digital, and other garrisons are adapting that digital application process style,” said Bryan, adding that she is also committed to helping individuals and in spreading the word about local Home Based Businesses. “I can walk you through it,” she said.
While Home Based Business operators may not advertise their services except through word of mouth, they are listed on both the garrison and MWR home pages. Bryan also makes every effort to share information about local Home Based Businesses, and they were invited to attend community events such as the ACS Birthday Block Party and Back To School Event to showcase their products and services.
“This is an option open to everyone,” she said, including non-U.S. citizens who may not have a chance to work for the Department of Defense. “Home Based Businesses are something anyone can do.”
Bryan also pointed out that while starting a private business in the United States might cost “thousands of dollars,” here, with the help of the Employment Readiness Program, Home Based Business operators need only pay the 40 Euro registration fee and the program will help promote the service.
“If you are not registered and are operating a business illegally, you could lose your privileges or be eligible for German back taxes,” said Bryan.
Besides assisting with the application process, the Employment Readiness Program staff also holds bimonthly Home Based Business Information Sharing Session (where children are welcome) for vendors to share their experiences, challenges and information about the various services available locally.
There is also a dedicated Facebook group where local Home Based Business operators collaborate. “They’re helping each other, which is good for us,” added McFarland.
“Some of the services being offered are not available on the economy, and they fill a gap for needs in the community,” Bryan said, adding, “There’s enough for everybody based on demand,” including everything from photographic services to residential cleaning services, baked goods to postpartum support.
For more information about local Home Based Businesses visit https://wiesbaden.armymwr.com/programs/employment-readiness-program or call civ (0611) 143-548-9201.