You want to operate a trade. Traders are natural persons or legal entities (public limited company, limited liability company, registered cooperative or registered association, partnership limited by shares). The following must be notified:
- in the case of sole traders, the sole trader,
- in the case of partnerships (e.g. OHG, GbR), the managing partners,
- in the case of a KG, each personally liable partner, the limited partners of a KG only if they have management authority
- in the case of corporations (e.g. GmbH, AG), the legal representative
the municipal/city administration of your future place of business
You must register the start of a standing trade with the competent authority. The same applies to the operation of a branch office or a dependent branch.
Some business activities require a permit. Others are subject to supervision. Additional requirements apply to them.
Find out at an early stage which personal, financial and professional requirements you must fulfil in order to be able to work in these trades.
You can register your trade in person, in writing or electronically. Use the form "Trade registration" (GewA 1). You can also register your trade via the network of points of single contact.
If you are not registering the trade yourself, but as a managing partner or legal representative, you need a written power of attorney.
If you register your trade in writing or electronically, you will receive confirmation of your trade registration (the so-called "trade certificate") within 3 days, provided you have filled out the registration form completely and correctly. If you go in person, you will receive the confirmation directly at the time of registration.
The competent office will forward the trade registration to other offices such as the tax office, the Chamber of Crafts or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the registration court and the employers' liability insurance association.
If a permit is also required for your trade (e.g. guarding trade, operation of a restaurant) and this is not available, the competent office can prohibit the continuation of the business.
You must register your trade immediately at the time of setting up the business. A fine may be imposed for late notification.
- Completed business registration form
- Proof of identity (e.g. identity card or passport with registration certificate)
- in the case of electronic business registration, other means of identification are also possible (e.g. electronic identity card, De-Mail, PIN/TAN procedure).
- notarised articles of association or excerpt from the commercial register, consent of the shareholders (in the case of legal entities or partnerships)
The amount of the fees is determined by the municipal fee statutes.
- In the case of a personal visit: immediately
- In case of written or electronic registration: within 3 days, provided that the business registration form has been filled in completely and correctly and the required documents are available.
When you change your legal form, you must file both a trade deregistration (for ceasing to operate under the old legal form) and a trade registration (for starting to operate under the new legal form).
What is a trade:
A trade is any activity that is not socially unvaluable, is intended to generate a profit, is intended to be permanent, and is carried out independently in one's own name and for one's own account. It does not matter whether a profit is actually made.
In particular, socially unvaluable activities (e.g. clairvoyance), liberal professions (such as doctors, lawyers or tax consultants) or other activities that require a university degree are not trades. Nor are primary production (e.g. agriculture and forestry), scientific management consultancy or the management of one's own assets (e.g. an apartment building) as well as generally prohibited or socially unvaluable activities (e.g. illegal gambling).
In some cases, you will have to submit further documents or proof. Please enquire with the competent authority.
Additional special requirements apply to trades that require a permit or supervision.
There is no appealable remedy, as the acknowledgement of receipt does not contain a decision. If necessary, a failure to issue a receipt can be pursued with an action for performance. It might be more effective to enquire at the competent trade office.
- 14.09.2023 Wirtschaftsministerium Baden-Württemberg