Business Registration

A trade is any non-socially unsocial, independent, permanent and profit-generating activity carried out in its own name and on its own account.

The trades do not include:

  • socially unworthy activities, e.g. clairvoyant,
  • primary production, e.g. agriculture and forestry,
  • professions, e.g. doctors, lawyers, tax consultants,
  • the management of own assets (unless it is a company registered in the commercial register).

The commencement of an independent operation of the standing trade or the operation of a branch or a dependent branch must be notified to the competent authority at the same time as the beginning.

Businesses that are operated by:

  • Sole traders (natural persons)
  • Partnerships (each partner authorized to represent a partnership is obliged to notify)
  • in the case of legal entities, the legal entity itself (GmbH, AG)

  • Identity card or passport
  • If applicable, excerpt from the commercial register
  • if applicable, proof of registration with the Chamber of Crafts
  • if applicable, certificate of permission,
  • Craft card , if applicable
  • in case of representation:
    • Power of Attorney

In the business registration procedure, the display forms prescribed in accordance with § 14 of the Industrial Code (GewO) must be used.


Service providers who meet the requirements of Article 4 No. 5 of Directive (EC) No. 2006/123 on services in the internal market within the scope of the Industrial Code (GewO) and therefore do not fall under § 4 para. 1 sentence 2 GewO are also obliged to notify, even if they have a branch in another EU Member State. Exceptionally, the permanent activity outside or without having one may also be notifiable if it is triggered on the initiative of the client.

  • Directive (EC) No 2006/123 on services in the internal market
  • § 4 para. 1 sentence 2 Of the Industrial Code (GewO)
  • § 13 b Industrial Code (GewO)
  • § 38 Industrial Code (GewO)

Related Links

  • § 14 paragraph 1 Gewerbeordnung (GewO)
  • § 15 paragraph 1 Of the Industrial Code (GewO)

Among others, the tax office, chamber of crafts, chamber of industry and commerce, district court, employers' liability insurance associations and the trade supervisory office are informed about the trade advertisement.

Exemptions for industries subject to monitoring

In the event of a notification of the trade referred to in § 38 of the Industrial Code (GewO), the notifier must immediately apply for a certificate of good conduct (document type O, for submission to an authority) and an extract from the central trade register (document type O, for submission to an authority) in order to check his/her reliability. If both documents are already available (not older than three months), they can be attached directly to the advertisement. If the notifying person does not comply with this obligation, the competent authority must obtain the information ex officio. The information is then sent directly to them and not to the reporting person.

In the case of traders from another member state of the European Union or another state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, according to § 13 b GewO, documents issued in the country of origin that prove that the requirements for reliability are met are sufficient. It may be required that the documents be submitted in a certified copy and certified German translation.

Related Links

  • § 38 Industrial Code (GewO)

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

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