Service Occupations

Service Occupations

Other Commercial Businesses

Because of the constitutional right to exercise a profession, those commercial occupations that do not require specific professional qualifications may, in principle, be exercized by anyone. One exception, however, are the professions that are primarily involved in certain types of especially dangerous or sensitive business activities. In order to operate such a business, you must obtain a special permit and you may need to provide proof of any or all of the following in order to legally commence business: your personal reliability and trustworthiness, your solvency, and/or a minimum of professional training prerequisites.

These requirements apply especially to restaurants, truck drivers, property developers, debt-collecting businesses, facility-security companies, pawnbrokers, insurance brokers, and estate agents. You will find an overview prepared by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the requirements imposed on a number of professions for Download on this page.

In order to assure that the proprietor is a responsible person, some professions require that you obtain a certificate of good conduct (polizeiliches Führungszeugnis). This must be applied for at your local municipal authority. You may also be required to submit an excerpt from the ''Gewerbezentralregister'', which is a federal register that records certain administrative/criminal violations related to the exercising of a trade. In some cases, a so-called ''clearance statement'' (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung) from you local Tax Office (Finanzamt) may also be required for proving your personal trustworthiness.

The Additional requirements may include having to prove that you are financially stable by submitting an excerpt from the Insolvency Register (Insolvenzregister) or from the Central Debt Register (Zentralschuldenregister) which are maintained by the local ordinary courts. These two documents respectively provide information regarding insolvency status or accumulated debt.

Some businesses acquire minimum professional training prerequisites especially in regard to hygiene standards or to the trade in particularly dangerous goods. The local Chambers of Industry and Commerce offer the required training courses which usually take several days. The permission usually is granted by the local commercial trades office during the registration process.

For European service providers, the German network of points of single contact provides individual assistance with the relevant administrative regulations and procedures. They guide you through all of the relevant application procedures.