Requesting an excerpt from the Central Trade Register
An excerpt from the Central Trade Register will show whether you have violated trade law regulations in the past. You can use it as evidence of your personal reliability.
This applies if you wish to carry out one of the following commercial activities:
- A trade which requires a permit, for example as a pub landlord, broker or
- a trade which is subject to supervision, for example dealing in used vehicles or bicycles or a travel agency.
Only the following are recorded in the Central Trade Register:
- bans on commercial activities, retractions of licences, concessions
- forgoing licensing for a trade
- decisions to impose fines in connection with the entrepreneur’s business activities, and
- certain criminal rulings associated with the entrepreneur’s business activities
It does not contain data relating to all the entrepreneurs in Germany. If you need general information about entrepreneurs in a special municipality or city, please apply for an excerpt from the Trade Register (Gewerberegister). It contains data
- about the business owner, e.g. name, date of birth and address, and
- about the company, e.g. management, addresses and registered activities.
If you apply orally or in writing: the municipal council (Gemeindeverwaltung) or city council (Stadtverwaltung) in which your business headquarters are located
If you apply electronically: the Federal Office of Justice (Bundesamt für Justiz)
You can apply to your municipal authority either in person or in writing for an excerpt from the Central Trade Register. If you are making the application in writing, your signature on the application form must be officially or publicly certified. Ask your competent authority whether application forms are available or can be downloaded from the internet.
The municipal authority will forward your application to the Federal Central Criminal Register (Bundeszentralregister) in Bonn, which will issue the excerpt.
You can apply for the information electronically through the Federal Office of Justice’s internet portal, irrespective of whether your residence and/or business headquarters are located in Germany or abroad.
You may not have an agent represent you. If you are acting as a legal representative, you must provide evidence of your power of attorney.
If you need the excerpt for your own purposes, it will be sent directly to you by the Federal Office of Justice. If you need it for presentation to a German authority, please give the authority’s address. The Federal Office of Justice will then send the excerpt directly to the authority.
- if applying in person: passport or personal ID card
- if applying in writing: copy of passport or personal ID card
- if applying electronically: personal ID card or electronic residence permit, each with activated online ID function.
- Foreign nationals must also provide certification of their nationality.
- if the applicant is a legal entity: excerpt from the Commercial Register
- If appropriate, address of the authority for whom the excerpt is intended
If you wish to apply electronically, you will need
- A card reader to read your ID document and
- The ID App 2.
You can find further information in the personal identification portal.
- § 150 Gewerbeordnung (GewO) (Auskunft auf Antrag des Betroffenen)
- § 150a Gewerbeordnung GewO) (Auskunft an Behörden)
- § 150e Gewerbeordnung (GewO) (Elektronische Antragstellung)
- § 18 Personalausweisgesetz (Elektronischer Identitätsnachweis)
- § 78 Aufenthaltsgesetz (Dokumente mit elektronischem Speicher- und Verarbeitungsmedium)
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 27.04.2016. 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.