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Business Registration

A trade is any non-socially unacceptable, self-employed, long-term and profit-making activity, carried out in one's own name and for one's own account.

The trade does not include, but is not limited to:

  • socially unworthy activities, e.g. clairvoyance,
  • primary production, e.g. agriculture and forestry,
  • liberal 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 business of the standing trade or the operation of a branch or a dependent branch must be declared to the competent authority at the same time as the commencement.

Businesses that are operated by:

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

Process flow

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

Exemptions for industries requiring supervision

In the case of a notification of the trades mentioned in § 38 Gewerbeordnung (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 verify their reliability. If both documents are already available (not older than three months), they can be attached directly to the notification. If the notifier fails to comply with this obligation, the competent authority must obtain the information ex officio. The information is then sent directly to this person and not to the person making the complaint.

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, documents issued in the country of origin proving that the requirements for reliability are met are sufficient according to § 13 b GewO. It may be required that the documents be submitted in certified copy and certified German translation.

§ 38 Industrial Code (GewO)

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the municipality, the Joint Community and the city.

This procedure can also be carried out through a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by municipalities and the state for service providers.

Find your Point of Single Contact here

Which documents are required?

  • Identity card or passport
  • Commercial registerexcerpt, if applicable
  • if applicable, proof of registration with the Chamber of Crafts
  • if applicable, certificate of permission,
  • If applicable, craftsman's card
  • in case of representation:
    • Power of attorney

What are the fees?

The amount of the fees is determined - according to Annex 1 to § 1 paragraph 1 General Schedule of Fees of the State of Lower Saxony No. - depending on the time required. However, a maximum of EUR 43.00 will be charged.

Annex 1 to § 1 paragraph 1 of the General Rules of Fees (AllGO)

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The business registration must be carried out at the same time at the beginning of the standing trade or the operation of a (dependent) branch.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Days
§ 15 paragraph 1 Gewerbeordnung (GewO)

Applications / forms

In the trade registration procedure, the notification forms prescribed in § 14 Gewerbeordnung (GewO) must be used.

What else should I know?

Service providers who fulfil the requirement 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 a branch or without having such a branch 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 Abs. 1 Satz 2 Gewerbeordnung (GewO)

§ 13 b Gewerbeordnung (GewO)

§ 38 Industrial Code (GewO)

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport


List ID 164 (whitelist; Status: 13.09.2018)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)