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, applicants must complete different registration procedures before starting their activity.
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:
- 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 the intended activity; or
- a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) which does not cover the activity along with at least 2 years' professional experience in that 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
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 an 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 that their diploma is officially recognised in the BENELUX country where it was awarded.
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 3 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;
- or by sending the business permit application by standard mail or email to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises;
- through the 'Contact Entreprise' service of the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts (Chambre des métiers). This organisation will apply on the applicant's behalf.
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 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 European Union country: 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 previous 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 affidavit must state that the applicant has not been involved in the bankruptcy of a business in their own name or 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, available from the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (Administration de l'enregistrement, des domaines et de la TVA – AED); or
- proof of payment of EUR 24 into the IBAN account LU09 1111 7026 5281 0000, BIC code: CCPLLULL of the Diekirch office - Actes Civils, with the following communication : 'autorisation de commerce'.
If an applicant submits an online application for a business permit via MyGuichet (with a Luxtrust product), the system will automatically generate the list of supporting documents to be attached, 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:
- their 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 - online application
Autorisation d’établissement - service en ligne
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung – Online-Vorgang
Extract from the criminal record of a natural person - online service
Extrait de casier judiciaire pour personne physique - service en ligne
Auszug aus dem Strafregister für natürliche Personen – Online-Vorgang
Business permit application and related notification
Demande d'autorisation d'établissement et notification y relative
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung und diesbezügliche Mitteilung
Déclaration sur l'honneur
Who to contact