Trade registration according to § 14 or 55c Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (GewO)
If you wish to take up a (standing) trade, you must notify the relevant office. The same applies to the operation of a branch or a branch office that is not independent.
If you operate the installation of vending machines of any kind as an independent trade, you must file the notification with the competent authority of your main place of business.
Tip: Seek advice from your tax advisor before registering a trade.
Any activity that is aimed at making a profit and is intended to be permanent counts as a trade. It does not matter whether a profit is actually made. Furthermore, the activity must be carried out in one's own name and for one's own account.
In particular, the following are not considered to be trades
- socially unvaluable activities (such as clairvoyance),
- liberal professions (for example, doctor, lawyer, tax consultant) and other activities that require a university or technical college degree,
- primary production (such as agriculture and forestry),
- scientific management consulting, or
- the management of own property.
The data collected may only be processed for the purpose of monitoring the exercise of the trade and for statistical surveys. The name, business address and reported activity of the trader may be made generally available.
Attention! Some business activities require a permit, others are subject to monitoring. Special conditions apply to them. Find out in good time what personal, financial and professional requirements you must meet in order to be able to operate in these trades. If you require a permit for your trade that you do not have, the competent authority may prohibit you from continuing to operate.
Cross-border provision of services
If you provide services on a self-employed basis from a branch in another EU / EEA member state temporarily in Germany, a notification / permit is not required in the following cases:
- Auctioneer trade according to §§ 34b para. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 as well as 57 para. 3 GewO (Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act)
- Real estate brokers, property developers, construction supervisors Residential property managers pursuant to § 34c para. 1 sentence 1 nos. 1, 3 and 4 GewO
- Trades requiring supervision according to § 38 para. 1 and 2 GewOTravel trade according to § 55 Abs. 2 and 3 GewO
- Organization of a traveling camp according to § 56a GewO
Who must initiate the notification?
- in the case of sole traders: the trader himself or herself
- in the case of partnerships (e.g. OHG, BGB-Gesellschaft): the managing partners
- in the case of corporations (e.g. GmbH, AG): the legal representative
Single Point of Contact
For this procedure, you can use the service of the Single Point of Contact (Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner). They will guide you through the administrative procedure, take care of correspondence with all the offices responsible for your request and will be available to you as a competent advisor.
Trade authority of the municipality or city administration
- Warum soll ich einen Ort angeben?
- Mit Hilfe der Ortsangabe können wir die für Sie passenden Informationen, Formulare, Dienste und Ihre zuständige Stelle anzeigen.
- Welchen Ort soll ich angeben?
- Zum Beispiel Ihren Wohnort, wenn Sie einen Reisepass beantragen wollen oder den Unternehmensstandort, wenn Sie ein Gewerbe anmelden möchten.
- Einheitlichen Ansprechpartner beauftragen
Formular: –> Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner, Beauftragung – Antrag
- Überwachungsbedürftige Gewerbe
- Genehmigungspflichtige Gewerbe
- Stehendes Gewerbe
You can register your trade in person, in writing or electronically.
You can obtain the mandatory form "Gewerbe-Anmeldung" (GewA 1) from the relevant office. Depending on what the authority offers, you can also access the form via Amt24 (see -> Online application and forms).
- Fill out the form and present yourself with the required documents at the competent office.
- If all the documents are complete and you pay the due fees right away, you will receive a receipt ("Gewerbeschein").
Note: You can also fill out the form on the spot In case of any questions, the responsible staff will be at your disposal.
- Fill in the form, sign it and send it with the required documents to the competent office.
- If all documents are complete, you will receive a receipt ("Gewerbeschein") and the fee notice usually within three days by mail.
- If applicable, you will receive the fee notice first and must provide proof of payment before you will be issued the receipt.
- If the "Business Registration" form (GewA 1) is sent electronically, the signature field provided in box 33 is omitted.
- The competent authority requests the necessary documents and may use procedures to establish the identity of the person making the declaration, such as the PIN/TAN procedure, electronic proof of identity in accordance with Section 18 of the German Identity Card Act, De-Mail in accordance with Section 5 of the German De-Mail Act, written assurance of identity or sending a copy of the identity card or passport.
Forwarding to other authorities
The competent authority may forward data from your trade notification to the following authorities on a regular basis:
- Authorities of the customs administration
- Federal Employment Agency
- German statutory accident insurance
- Tax office
- Registry court
- State authority for technical and social occupational health and safety
- State Statistical Office
- Employer's Liability Insurance Association
- Chamber of Crafts (HWK)
- Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
- Immigration office
- Food and veterinary office
- Saxon State Office for Metrology and Verification
- Environmental Agency
As a rule, the following documents are required:
- from the applicant or the person authorized to register: copy of current ID card or passport with current registration certificate
- if the registration is made by a managing partner or a legal representative: written power of attorney
- if your company is registered in the commercial register (register of cooperatives, register of associations): copy of the extract from the commercial register (extract from the register of cooperatives, extract from the register of associations)
- if it is a trade requiring supervision or a permit:
- Copy of the extract from the Central Trade Register (not older than three months)
- certificate of good conduct (not older than three months) from the applicant or managing partner or legal representativeif your trade is a craft: copy of the craft card
- if you are a legal entity in the process of formation: copy of the articles of association
Note: In some cases, further documents or evidence may be required for registration - information on this can be obtained from the relevant office.
If your business is subject to licensing, do not forget to submit the relevant permit when registering.
As proof of reliability and orderly financial circumstances for traders from another EU member state or another EEA member state, the documents issued in the country of origin proving that the requirements for reliability and orderly financial circumstances of the trader are met are to be recognized as sufficient. It may be required that the documents be submitted as certified copies and certified German translations.
Insofar as a legal provision requires proof that a trader has liability insurance against the financial risks of his professional activity, a certificate of professional liability insurance issued by a credit institution or an insurance company in another member state or contracting state shall be recognized as sufficient proof, provided that it is essentially comparable to that required of nationals (see Section 13b GewO).
Saxon State Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transport. 11.12.2017