Procedure descriptions

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Applying for entry in the register of craftsmen

Do you run a craft which requires a permit independently as a standing company? Then you must have your business entered in the register of craftsmen

  • Natural and legal persons, as well as
  • business partnerships

can be entered.

Any business operation whose activities are not attributable to itinerant trade or commercial intercourse are standing companies. A commercial branch office is not a requirement.

A standing company is a business of a craft which requires a permit if it is operated in a manner of craftsmanship and fully comprises a trade. The business must be listed in Annex A of the Crafts Act (Handwerksordnung - HwO). Activities which are of significance to this business (essential activities) may also be practised.

You or the person commissioned by you to run the business must fulfil the personal requirements for entry in the register of craftsmen if you

  • are setting up a standing company or
  • own a shareholding in a company or
  • wish to go self-employed with a partner.

Responsible authority

the Chamber of Crafts and Trades (Handwerkskammer) in whose district your future premises are located

Prerequisite

  • The master examination
    If you or your business manager have successfully passed the master examination in a craft which requires a permit, you will be entered in the register of craftsmen of your chamber of crafts:
    • with the craft which you wish to practise or
    • in a craft which requires a permit which is related to this.

The Crafts Ordinance also provides for conditions, in accordance with which you or your company management as

  • graduate in Engineering
  • or engineer
  • can be entered in the register of craftsmen with a German state or state recognised examination which is equivalent to the master examination (§ 7 Paragraph 2 HwO).

The requirement is that the focus of study of your examination corresponds to the craft to be entered.

Please note: You may only practise the craft which requires a permit which has been entered. Should more than one craft which requires a permit be practised, normally each of these must be entered in the register of craftsmen.

Procedure

In order to have your company entered in the register of craftsmen, you must make an application. In accordance with what is offered by the chambers of crafts, the application form is available for electronic downloading or can be filled in directly via a form centre. You can also hand in your documents personally and fill in the application on site.

The issuing of a craft card is connected to the entry in the register of craftsmen. With the trade card, you can subsequently identify yourself as a registered craft business.

Required documents

In case of sole traders: 

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of personal identity document or comparable identification paper
  • Proof of qualification (copy of master craftsman's diploma, technician certificate etc) of the owner (in case of employed company management, see there)
  • Copy of business registration (can be handed in after entry in the register of craftsmen)

In case of partnerships under the German Civil Code (GbR):

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of personal identity document or comparable identity paper of the partners or persons entitled to represent
  • Copy of the partnership agreement
  • Proof of qualification (copy of master craftsman's diploma, technician certificate etc) of the partner(s) (in case of employed company management, see there)
  • Copy of business registration (can be handed in after entry in the register of craftsmen)

For GmbH, Unternehmergesellschaft, AG, OHG, KG, GmbH&Co KG and other companies inside and outside Germany: 

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of personal identity document or comparable identity paper of the shareholders or persons entitled to represent
  • For proof of legal form of the business:
    • In case of the business being located in Germany:
      • In case of a business entered in a register: Extract from the Commercial Register (Handelsregisterauszug) and the partnership register
      • Otherwise, a copy of the articles of association (for example in case of a partnership under the German Civil Code - GbR)
    • In case of the business being located abroad: Documents from the relevant country which prove the legal form.
  • Copy of business registration (can be handed in after entry in the register of craftsmen)

In case of legal persons (GmbH, company, AG, registered co-operative), you must merely fill in the application form for the legal person itself. You must submit all personal documents for all natural persons who are authorised to run the business (for example personal papers). In addition, you also require an extract from the central business register for the legal person.

In case of partnerships which are not capable of permission by themselves as such (GbR, KG, OHG, PartG, GmbH & Co KG), each managing partner must make notification of the business, fill in an application and submit all personal documents.

In case of appointment of a business manager:

  • Business management declaration
  • Proof concerning the business management activities (copy of contract of employment of the business manager)
  • Proof concerning the qualifications of the business manager (copy of master craftsman's diploma, technician certificate, exception permit etc)

Note: If you employ a second person as a business manager, you must also submit the company management declaration and proof of management activities for this person.

Deadlines/Duration

Registration of craft activity: immediately after commencement

Miscellaneous

Costs/Benefits

Various costs can be incurred. Please make enquiries at the competent chamber of crafts.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Working Committee of the Chamber of Crafts and Trades in Baden-Württemberg (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Handwerkskammern Baden-Württemberg) released it on 28.07.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

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