All professional economic activities are subject to the prior granting of a business permit (autorisation de commerce).
This permit is granted to businesses (professionals operating under their own name or the company) within a 3 month deadline which may be extended by another month under certain conditions, if:
Tacit authorisation is granted if no decision is sent within the time allowed.
A business permit is granted to the business if the applicant satisfies the required legal conditions of qualification and professional integrity. The applicant must:
A business permit is required for any person that wishes to engage in the following professional activities as a self-employed person or as a company:
Self-employed sales agents require a business permit as traders. Their salaried representatives are exempt from any specific permit but must carry out their activity under the cover of a business permit granted to their employer. It is therefore advisable to provide them with proof of their employer’s permit and proof of their recruitment.
Providers of intellectual services not included in the list of liberal professions must apply for a business permit for commercial activities and services.
Persons who sell their own products (craftwork, artwork, jam, honey, etc.), recycled items or items they did not purchase for commercial purposes, are not considered to be professionals and are therefore not required to have a business permit. However, they must hold a business permit for commercial activities and services if they wish to participate in fairs and markets or if they are operating a dedicated website to sell their goods online.
EU businesses that supply occasional and temporary services in Luxembourg do not require a business permit. Skilled craftsmen and manufacturers nevertheless have to submit a prior notification to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
Non-EU nationals who wish to set up in Luxembourg as self-employed persons must submit their business permit application together with their application for an authorisation to stay as a self-employed person. By doing so, they only have to send in a single dossier to the Minister of Immigration who then transfers the business permit section to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
The applicant must fulfil the following conditions:
The final granting of the business permit requires that the articles of association are filed with the Trade and Companies Register (RCS).
In order to request the permit online via MyGuichet.lu, applicants must have a LuxTrust 'Private' or 'Pro' electronic certificate and be registered on the portal.
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 this, free of charge, to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. In this case, the applicant will receive a new business permit free of charge.
The applicant can submit their application for a business permit in 3 ways:
Anyone can get help with their business permit application by contacting:
The following documents must be attached to the business permit application:
Supporting documents may be submitted:
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.
A negative decision regarding an application for a business permit is an administrative decision against which the usual means of appeal (informal appeal, judicial appeal) can be used, provided the legal deadlines are complied with.
It is also possible to turn to the Ombudsman.
If the business permit is granted, the applicant will be notified by post at the address indicated on the application:
The business permit takes the form of a card, which should be kept permanently on the operating site and produced on request.
The ministerial authorisation number (business permit number) must be indicated on all letters, mails, e-mails, websites, quotes, invoices, premises and storefronts as well as on the mandatory signs on work sites.
The business permit expires:
The holder of a valid permit must request a new permit in the event of:
The notification can be submitted by post or email. In principle, the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises must be notified within one month of the following events:
Each company must comply with the following throughout their existence:
Businesses without a business permit run the risk of criminal sanctions (imprisonment and fines) and the temporary closure of the establishment.