Business registration

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Trade license 1913 from the Stralsund district committee
Traveling trade license from the Stralsund district committee in 1913
Business registration from 1957

A business registration (or business registration ) is a process by which a business is registered with the competent authority . The term also describes the form used for this .


If you want a business wants to operate, this must to § 14 para. 1 GewO the competent authority before Show . This notification is called a business registration or business advertisement. It is to be submitted where the permanent establishment or the place of business is to be located. A business registration is required for the initial establishment, takeover of operations , relocation to another municipality, establishment of a branch , change of legal form , new shareholders and discontinuation of operations .

Since trade supervisory law is part of state law, different authorities are responsible in the individual states , namely the municipalities or public order offices .

A business re- registration refers to the change in the business registered for a natural person or a company without the business activity being completely given up. A single commercial purpose can only be added or dropped. Only when the last of one or more commercial purposes no longer applies and the commercial operation ends completely, this is a business de- registration . The competent authority can use its own forms for both processes, which differ from each other and from the business registration.

Legal issues

Every start of self-employed business activity is notifiable in Germany ( § 14 GewO), whereby the legal form must already be determined. The obligation to notify exists regardless of whether this activity is carried out full-time or part- time . The takeover of an already existing business or the opening of a further branch must also be registered. For some commercial as the travel trade one's permission is required (s. U.).

The activities as a freelancer , primary production (that is agriculture and forestry , horticulture and viticulture ) as well as asset management of one's own assets (e.g. renting, leasing of one's own buildings or land) do not count as trade . Other activities such as fishing and mining are excluded from the trade regulations in the trade regulations ( Section 6 (1) GewO). Since the tax office is not informed by the trade office without a business registration , the activities must be registered with the tax office. Depending on the type of non-commercial activity, a permit or authorization is also required.

Registration path

By registering, the trader notifies the authority that he is commencing a specific commercial activity. It is not a matter of applying for a permit, as separate permits are only required for certain industries due to the general freedom of trade (see special authorization requirements ).

In Bavaria, Hamburg and Rhineland-Palatinate, it is possible to register the trade with the Chamber of Commerce , Chamber of Crafts or Chamber of Commerce and Industry . These institutions allow the data for the formation formalities to be recorded on the Internet. In Berlin, the trade department in the regulatory office of the district office is responsible or the entire notification procedure can be processed electronically and online without media discontinuity via the portal of the single contact person in Berlin . The trade must be reported to the municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Alternatively, the business advertisement can also be submitted electronically via the portal of the single point of contact in North Rhine-Westphalia .

With the registration and confirmation (the "trade license") the report is made by sending copies of this confirmation to various authorities such as the tax office , IHK or Chamber of Crafts, health insurance , employment agency , professional associations , building regulations office and tax office.

In addition, the company becomes a member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) or the Chamber of Crafts (HWK) depending on the focus of its work . With the business registration, the entry is made in the communal trade register of the municipality. For this there is the central trade register in which trade law violations are recorded centrally. The Berlin trade register can be viewed online.


The fees for the business advertisements are set by the municipalities and amount to between 10.23 euros and 60 euros.

An average fee of 20 euros is also charged for re-registration. On the other hand, there is the business de-registration, which is free in many municipalities. However, there are also trade offices that charge fees for all three categories, such as Frankfurt am Main with 25 euros each.

Special admission requirements

Special admission requirements are required for some trades, although regional differences are possible. The information in the trade regulations and local regulations by ordinance are decisive.

Permission according to the trade regulations:

Permission from other laws:

For these trades, personal reliability as well as specialist knowledge and, if necessary, certain spatial conditions must be proven.


In Austria , the following requirements must be met for each type of business:

If the trade is to be carried out by a company, these requirements must be proven by all shareholders with significant influence on the company. This only applies to partnerships . In the case of corporations , it is sufficient if the managing director has a qualification for the trade. With both types of company, it is also sufficient if an employee who has at least half of the normal working hours and is also fully insured has such a trade license. Only then is the trade license issued to the company. If the company carries out a trade for which a certificate of competence must be submitted, the certificate of competence must be provided by a managing director under trade law.

The managing director under trade law is responsible to the company for the technically correct exercise of the trade and to the authorities for compliance with trade law regulations. The company must grant the managing director under trade law a self-responsible authority to issue orders corresponding to this position. Administrative penalties for violating commercial regulations are imposed on the commercial manager.

The Switzerland has no uniform national commercial law, as can be found in the German or Austrian Industrial Code. Certain activities or professions are regulated and require that a license application be submitted. No special qualifications are required for regulated activities . The granting of the license depends on criteria such as reputation, the establishment of a supervision (asset manager) or the existence of an admission restriction (travel trade). For regulated professions (notary, doctor), however, the completion of a special training or proof of professional experience in the area is required. Some activities are regulated at the federal level, others at the cantonal level. Anyone who wants to become self-employed must fill out a registration form that must be submitted to the compensation office . This confers the status of self-employed .

Web links

Wiktionary: Business license  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden (ed.), Compact Lexicon Economy , 2014, p. 236
  2. Business portal of the state of Berlin
  3. eAuskunft - the online business information
  4. Business license for small businesses ( Memento from October 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. The cost of registering a business. Retrieved June 29, 2016 .
  6. §13 GewO. Retrieved August 21, 2012 .
  7. Swiss Confederation - The Federal Council, Self-Employment in Switzerland - A Guide , 2020