In order to operate as a skilled craftsman, the business manager must hold a business permit.
Business permits are granted to businesses (either to professionals operating under their own name, or the company they run) if:
- the business manager meets the legal requirements in terms of qualifications and professional integrity;
- the business has a fixed physical establishment in Luxembourg (no so-called 'letterbox companies').
The General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Direction générale des classes moyennes) checks that the conditions for access to the profession are met at the time the business permit application is submitted.
Depending on the legal form chosen, the applicant must proceed with different registrations/affiliations before starting their activity.
Craft businesses established abroad (in Switzerland or in an EEA country) may render services on an occasional or temporary basis in Luxembourg.
Who is concerned
Craft activities are divided into main trades (list A) and secondary trades (list B).
List A includes the following trades:
- group 1 – food:
- catering services and delicatessen;
- group 2 – fashion, health and hygiene:
- hearing aid technician;
- dental technician;
- orthopaedic bootmaker, orthopaedic technician, surgical truss maker;
- group 3 – mechanics:
- mechanical engineer;
- mechanic – industrial and construction machinery and equipment;
- mechatronic – cars and motorbikes;
- manufacturer – auto body repair;
- mechanic – agricultural and viticultural machinery and equipment;
- driving school operator;
- automotive expert;
- group 4 – construction:
- building and civil engineering contractor;
- contractor – thermal, sound and waterproofing insulation;
- heating/sanitary/refrigeration installer;
- metal construction contractor;
- lift, goods lift, escalator and handling equipment installer;
- tiler/marbler/stone mason;
- painter/plasterer/façade specialist;
- group 5 – communication, multimedia and performing arts:
- electronic equipment installer;
- alarm and security system installer;
- printer – silk-screen printer;
- group 6 – art and miscellaneous:
The applicant must have:
- a Master Craftsman's Certificate (brevet de maîtrise), which covers the craft activity in question or its essential parts; or
- a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) which covers the essential parts of the activity in question; or
- a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) which partially covers the essential parts of the activity, along with at least one year's professional experience in said activity; or
- a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) which does not cover the activity concerned along with at least 2 years' professional experience in said activity; or
- a business permit for another main craft activity (list A) related to the intended activity. It must be combined with 3 full years of professional experience:
- in this activity or an essential part of it (regular full-time work);
- after having obtained the business permit; or
- a vocational diploma (diplôme d'aptitude professionnelle – DAP) or similar (vocational skills certificate – CATP, CAP, etc.). It must be combined with 6 years of professional experience:
- in management roles in the planned activity or in an essential part of it (regular full-time work);
- after earning the DAP.
The duration of professional experience required may be reduced if:
- the applicant has attended technical courses on the planned activity; or
- the applicant has passed technical examinations related to the planned activity.
Skilled craftsmen who also carry out their activity at fairs and markets or in public places do not need to provide additional proof of their professional qualifications.
If applicants have carried out their activity only at fairs and markets, they must submit a permit application for commercial activities and services. They do not need to apply for a business permit for craft activity.
The qualification requirements are higher for trades in list A than for those in list B.
Recognition of non-academic qualifications and diplomas
Before they can assess non-academic qualifications, the Minister of the Economy may require applicants to have their non-academic qualifications and diplomas recognised by the Department for the Recognition of Diplomas (Service de la reconnaissance des diplômes).
Entry into the register of certificates
In order to establish the level of the foreign diploma, the Minister of the Economy may require the applicant to have their diplomas registered in the register of certificates.
Peculiarities of BENELUX university diplomas
These diplomas are automatically recognised (in terms of their registration in the register of certificates) in all 3 BENELUX countries, provided they have been issued by an establishment that is recognised in the country in which the diploma was obtained.
These diplomas therefore do not need to be recorded in the register of certificates in Luxembourg.
However, automatic recognition is limited to the following degrees:
- for the Flemish community of Belgium: the "graad van bachelor" and the "graad van master";
- for the French-speaking community of Belgium: the "grade académique de bachelier" and the "grade académique de master";
- for the German-speaking community of Belgium: the "Diplom Master" and, if applicable, a Master's degree from the German-speaking community of Belgium;
- for the Netherlands: the "getuigschrift bachelor" and the "getuigschrift master".
In the absence of such a diploma, the applicant needs to request a confirmation in the BENELUX country where it was awarded, that the diploma is officially recognised in said country.
The stamp duty for the issue of a business permit amounts to EUR 24.
If the establishment is moving to another address, the applicant must notify the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, free of charge. In this case, the applicant will receive a new business permit free of charge.
How to proceed
Filing an application
Applicants can submit their application for a business permit in 2 ways:
- by applying in person for a business permit online via MyGuichet.lu, using a Luxtrust product.
The system determines which supporting documents need to be attached to the application depending on the information entered by the applicant;
- by sending the business permit application by postal mail to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
Anyone can get help with their business permit application by contacting:
Documentary proof of qualification
In order to provide proof of the professional qualification, applicants must attach the following to their business permit application:
- a copy of their certificates and diplomas: A certified copy is recommended for certificates or diplomas issued by bodies outside the European Union (EU);
- a copy of the ministerial order of registration in the register of certificates, if requested;
- if the applicant does not have a Master Craftsman's Certificate or a Bachelor's degree covering the main areas of the planned activity:
- in the case of professional experience in another EU Member State: a certificate (EC certificate of experience or equivalent) issued by the competent authority or body in the country of origin (generally a professional association);
- in the case of professional experience in Luxembourg:
- a certificate of registration with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale – CCSS); or
- a copy of a previously held business permit; or
- a certificate of registration in the Pension Insurance Fund for Craftsmen, Retailers and Manufacturers (Caisse de Pension des Artisans, des Commerçants et Industriels) or with the Pension Insurance Fund for Private Sector Employees (Caisse de Pension des Employés Privés); or
- proof of recognition of professional qualifications by the Department for the Recognition of Diplomas.
Documents attesting professional integrity
If the applicant has been resident in Luxembourg for more than 10 years, they must demonstrate their professional integrity by means of:
If the applicant is a non-resident or has been a resident in Luxembourg for less than 10 years, they must demonstrate their professional integrity by providing:
- an affidavit concerning any management positions held in businesses during the 3 years prior to the application;
- a notarised declaration of non-bankruptcy;
- an extract from the criminal record no. 3 or equivalent issued by the State(s) in which the applicant has resided during the 10 years prior to the application.
This sworn declaration must state that the applicant has not been involved in the bankruptcy of a business in their own name nor in the bankruptcy of a company.
Failing this, an affidavit must be provided.
All attached documents must be less than 3 months old.
Other documents to be submitted with the application
The following must also be enclosed with the application:
- for citizens of Luxembourg, the European Union, or the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland): a copy of their ID card or passport;
- for citizens of third countries: a written confirmation from the Minister responsible for Immigration that the applicant meets all the eligibility criteria to obtain the residence permit (titre de séjour) applied for;
- proof of payment of stamp duty (droit de chancellerie), in the form of:
- a tax stamp, value EUR 24, purchased at the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (AED); or
- proof of payment of EUR 24 into the IBAN account LU76 0019 5955 4404 7000, BIC code: BCEELULL of the Diekirch office - Actes Civils, with the following communication: 'autorisation de commerce'.
In the event of an online application for a business permit via MyGuichet.lu with a Luxtrust product, the system will automatically generate the list of supporting documents to be attached to the application, which may vary depending on the data entered by the applicant.
Please note that for applications submitted for the establishment of an SARL-S, the applicant must forward the draft constitutional documents of the SARL-S to the Ministry of the Economy.
Application processing time
Applications will usually be processed within 3 months from the receipt of the complete application. The absence of a response before the end of the 3-month period is equivalent to a tacit authorisation.
Applicants whose business permit application has been denied by the Minister may, within the legal deadlines:
- attempt to settle the dispute amicably by:
- submitting a contentious appeal to the Administrative Tribunal through a court lawyer.
Registrations/affiliations depending on the legal form of the company
After obtaining a business permit, the head of a sole proprietorship must:
Partnerships (SENC, SCS)
After obtaining a business permit, the executives(s) of a partnership (SCS, SENC) must:
Capital companies (SA, SARL, SCA, SE)
After obtaining a business permit, the executives(s) of a capital company (SA, SARL, SCA, SE) must:
Simplified limited liability company (SARL-S)
After obtaining a non-definitive copy of the business permit, the executive(s) of a simplified limited liability company (SARL-S) must:
Please note that executives of an SARL-S do not need to incorporate their company before a notary. A private deed will suffice.
Other registrations depending on the activity
Depending on the planned activity, the applicant must also request different registration certificates:
- operators in the food sector have to register as a food establishment with the Food safety unit;
- optician business owners must request accreditation from the Union des caisses de maladie (union of health insurance funds);
- orthopaedic bootmakers, orthopaedic technicians and surgical truss makers have to request a supplier code from the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de santé — CNS), etc.
A business permit for a skilled craftsman grants the right to carry out the activity indicated on the permit and also:
- to sell goods and products relating to the activity;
- to carry out other secondary work in the scope of the activity.
Skilled craftsmen who also carry out their activity at fairs and markets or in public places do not need to provide additional proof of their professional qualifications. If applicants have carried out their activity only at fairs and markets, they must submit a permit application for commercial activities and services. They do not need to apply for a business permit for craft activity.
Any skilled craftsman who is already authorised to carry out a craft activity from list A may also carry out a craft activity from list B belonging to the same technical group.
Transfer of the company
In the event of death, occupational invalidity, duly established incapacity or retirement of the manager of a craft business from list A:
- their spouse or ascendant may be authorised to carry on the activity. In this case, this person must, within 2 years, hire a representative who fulfils the conditions of access to the profession; or
- the business permit may be transferred temporarily to:
- the spouse; or
- a descendant; or
- an ascendant; or
- a direct relative or relative by marriage up to the third degree; or
- a person who has been employed in the company for at least 10 years.
In this case, this person must acquire the required qualifications within 5 years. If this qualification is based on a Master Craftsman's Certificate or a similar training, the deadline will be 5 years from their 21st birthday.
If the person does not provide proof of their qualifications (Master Craftsman's Certificate or proof of the recognition of professional qualifications) within the deadline, the temporary permit is invalidated.
Providing temporary services in Luxembourg
Craftsmen who are legally established abroad (in Switzerland or in a country of the European Economic Area) may freely offer their services in Luxembourg. There is no need for a business permit or a specific notification to the Ministry of the Economy.
However, when active in Luxembourg, the service provider is subject to the national rules of professional, regulatory or administrative conduct directly related to their professional qualifications. The service provider is also subject to the disciplinary provisions that apply to Luxembourg professionals.
If the craftsman:
Obligations of all professionals
Each company must comply with the following throughout their existence:
- all requirements with respect to obtaining a business permit;
- all laws and regulations with respect to business management.
Professionals without a business permit run the risk of criminal sanctions (imprisonment and fines) and the temporary closure of the establishment.
Forms / Online services
Business permit application
Demande d’autorisation d’établissement
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung
Application for an extract from the police records for a natural person - online service
Demande d'extrait de casier judiciaire pour personne physique - service en ligne
Beantragung eines Auszugs aus dem Strafregister für natürliche Personen - Online-Vorgang
Business permit application (including the declaration of honour)
Demande d'autorisation d'établissement (y inclus la déclaration sur l'honneur)
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung (einschließlich der eidesstattlichen Erklärung)
Supplementary declaration of honour
Déclaration sur l'honneur supplémentaire
Zusätzliche Eidesstattliche Erklärung
Who to contact