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IT-Verbund Schleswig-Holstein


Commerce & other businesses (cross-border services)

General information

For businesses that do not bear a relation to crafts and trades and for freelance professionals the freedom of trade applies in Germany. For persons holding a business licence in another EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland, the same rules and regulations apply as for persons holding a business licence in Germany. For the provision of temporary or occasional trade activities in Germany, persons holding a business licence in one of the countries mentioned above are not required to apply for a business registration in Germany.


Which legal provisions do I have to comply with?

For temporary and occasional provisions of trade activities in Germany, the German trade regulations (GewO) and the relevant special laws apply and must be observed.

Special regulations apply for:

  • Trade activities subject to specific conditions
  • Trades requiring inspection
  • Trades requiring a licence

The PDF file (for download) contains information on which trade activities of the most common fields of activity require inspection and licence or which are subject to specific conditions.

Overview of trades subject to specific conditions (only in German language)

Trade activities subject to specific conditions

Specific conditions frequently apply to trade activities relating to food. The focus is on hygiene and health provisions. You require a licence to serve food, evidence of compliance with the hygiene and health provisions and, if you want to serve alcohol for special events, a temporary restaurant licence.

Please click on the following topic for more information:

Trades requiring inspection

For trades requiring inspection, a certificate of good conduct as well as an extract from the commercial register (if applicable in the respective country of origin) is required as a basic rule. According to § 30 BZRG, citizens of EU member states have the possibility to apply for a "European certificate of good conduct" since 27 April 2012. This certificate allows EU citizens to provide complete evidence that they have no criminal record in their country of origin. The certificate of good conduct can be applied for via the local regulatory agency or online via the online services of the Federal Office of Justice.

Please click on the following topic for more information:

European certificate of good conduct

to the online services of the Federal Office of Justice

Trades requiring a license

With regard to trades requiring a licence, the focus in basically on the personal reliability and the economic performance of the person holding the business licence as well as a proof of competence that can be provided via one of the competent Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Schleswig-Holstein, if required.

Use the authority finder Schleswig-Holstein to determine which authority is competent for the required administrative service. There you also find the required application forms. Application may also be made via the Point of Single Contact "Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner Schleswig-Holstein".

to the authority finder Schleswig-Holstein (only in German language)


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