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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 operation of the standing trade or the operation of a branch or a dependent branch must be registered with the competent authority at the same time as the commencement.

Businesses that are operated by:

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

Process flow

Information is provided about the trade notification, including the tax office, the Chamber of Crafts, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the local court, the employers' liability insurance associations and the trade supervisory office.

Exemptions for industries subject to monitoring

In the event of a notification of the trades 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 excerpt from the central trade register (document type O, for submission to an authority) in order to check their reliability. If both documents are already available (not older than three months), they can be attached directly to the notification. If the person making the report fails to comply with this obligation, the competent authority shall obtain the information ex officio. The information will then be sent directly to them 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 and proving that the reliability requirements are met are sufficient in accordance with § 13 b GewO. It may be required that the documents be submitted in a certified copy and certified German translation.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the municipality, the joint municipality and the city.

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

Which documents are required?

  • 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,
  • If applicable, craft card
  • in case of representation:
    • Power of Attorney

What are the fees?

The amount of the fees is determined - in accordance with Annex 1 to § 1 paragraph 1 of the General Fee Schedule of the State of Lower Saxony No. 40.1.2.1 - depending on the time spent. However, a maximum of EUR 43.00 will be charged.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

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

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Days
Section 15 (1) of the Industrial Code (GewO)

Applications / forms

In the trade registration procedure, the notification forms prescribed in accordance with § 14 of the Trade Regulation Act (GewO) must be used.

What else should I know?

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 Section 4 (1) sentence 2 GewO are also obliged to notify, even if they have a branch in another EU Member State. Exceptionally, permanent employment outside a branch or without having such a branch may also be notifiable if it is triggered at the initiative of the client.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Linie6PLus)