Trade association

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The trade association is a voluntary association of companies in an economic sector for the protection and promotion of their common interests . It is therefore also an interest group .


This definition by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) from May 1956 made it clear that a trade association represents the interests of companies in a particular branch of trade or industry. It does not necessarily have to be an association , but can also be organized as a community of convenience , registered association or association .

Business associations are also called industry associations , especially as the umbrella association of the industry ; there are also regional business associations, political business associations (party-affiliated associations) and others.


The existing business associations such as trade association of oil and natural gas production , trade association wholesale metal ores , Management Association of Industrial Enterprises Baden or trade association textile services are organized exclusively as a registered association, the affiliates are therefore club members. These exercise their rights in the general assembly , which as the highest organ appoints and dismisses the board .

In contrast to the IHK , membership in business associations is voluntary. The associations are divided into branches of industry and grouped together in umbrella organizations such as the Federation of German Industries and the German Trade Association . In addition, cross-sector interest groups for medium-sized companies have been established, such as the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW) or the Association of Family Entrepreneurs ( Die Familienunternehmer - ASU ). Some of the associations are also collective bargaining partners as employers' associations . In the craft sector, the guilds correspond to the trade associations .


The duties of the business associations typically include

The business associations are often also the sponsors of the


Individual evidence

  1. BGHZ 21, 1 , 4