In order to be able to practise as an independent architect in Luxembourg, applicants must hold a business permit.
The business permit is granted to the business (either the business manager operating under his own name, or the company they run) provided that:
- the business executive meets the legal requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity;
- the business has a fixed physical establishment in Luxembourg (no so-called 'letterbox companies').
Compliance with these provisions is verified by the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the time the application for a business permit is submitted.
Depending on the legal form chosen, the applicant must proceed with different registrations/affiliations before starting their activity.
Who is concerned
The activities of architects include:
- creating and designing works of construction, urban planning or land use planning;
- the drawing up of plans for these works;
- the synthesis and analysis of the different activities needed to implement the plans;
- as well as consulting and expertise services, including:
- research of basic data for the project;
- preliminary design, design and outlines;
- project plans, design development, cost assessment;
- building permit applications;
- detailed assessments and plans of construction elements;
- drawing up specifications in accordance with trade association regulations;
- calls for and assessment of tenders;
- overseeing the execution of works;
- assisting with the acceptance of completed works.
Moreover, only an architect may sign the plans necessary for obtaining a
All professionals holding a business permit for architects can also perform the activities of landscape architect and interior architect.
Salaried workers or civil servants do not need a business permit in order to work as architects for their employer or administration.
The applicant must have a diploma or degree in architecture (or equivalent). This diploma must be:
- issued by a higher education institution recognized by the State in which that establishment's head office is registered, and;
- possibly, entered in the register of certificates after:
- a minimum of 5 years of full-time education; or
- a minimum of 4 years of full-time education plus 2 years of certified professional training;
Entry into the registry of certificates
In order to be able to decide on professional qualifications, the Minister of the Economy may require the applicant to have their diplomas entered in the registry of certificates.
Graduates are therefore requested to check with the competent authorities in the country in which they received their academic qualification, or in their country of residence, if there are any additional conditions that may apply to access the profession.
Recognition of the diploma
Professionals who have worked in the field of architecture for at least 7 years, either under the supervision of a certified architect or in an architecture office can have their diplomas accredited, provided that:
- their training meets the required criteria;
- the diploma obtained is equivalent to 4 years of university studies.
Specificities of BENELUX university diplomas
These diplomas are recognised automatically (in terms of their registration in the register of certificates) in all 3 BENELUX countries, provided that 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 francophone community of Belgium: the "grade académique de bachelier" and the "grade académique de master";
- for the germanophone community of Belgium: the "Diplom Master" and, if applicable, a masters' degree from the germanophone 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 first authorization for establishment amounts to EUR 24.
In case of a change of address of the establishment, the holder of a business permit issued:
- before 14 March 2018 will have to pay a stamp duty of EUR 24;
- after 14 March 2018 will no longer have to pay the stamp duty.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The applicant can submit his application for a business permit in 3 ways:
business permit application
Documentary proof of qualification
The applicant must also submit:
- a copy of their Master's degree in architecture;
- a copy of the ministerial order of registration in the register of certificates, if requested;
- a certificate (EC certificate of experience or equivalent) delivered by the competent authority or body of the country of origin (generally a professional association) in case of prior professional activity in another EU Member State;
- a certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre, in case of professional practice in Luxembourg.
The non-resident applicant:
- may work as an interior architect in Luxembourg if the profession is regulated in their country of origin and if they are authorised to exercise said profession;
- must provide the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises with a certificate from the competent authority in their country of origin attesting access to the profession.
Diplomas obtained abroad are recognised automatically in Luxembourg provided that they allow their holder to access the profession of architect in the country where the diploma was awarded.
Documents attesting to professional integrity
If the applicant has been residing in Luxembourg for more than 10 years, he must demonstrate his professional integrity by:
- an affidavit (sworn statement) concerning any management positions held in businesses during the 3 years prior to the application;
- an extract from the criminal record.
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:
- a sworn declaration (affidavit) concerning any management positions held in businesses during the 3 years prior to the application;
- a declaration of non-bankruptcy made before a notary;
- an extract from the criminal record or equivalent issued by the country or countries 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 his own name nor in the bankruptcy of a company.
Failing this, an affidavit (sworn statement) must be provided.
All attached documents must be less than 3 months old.
Other documents to be submitted with the application
The applicant must also attach the following documents to his 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 in charge of immigration that the applicant meets all requirements for obtaining the requested residence permit, with the exception of the recognition of professional qualifications necessary for the profession of architect;
- proof of payment of stamp duty (droit de chancellerie), in the form of:
- either a tax stamp, value EUR 24, purchased from the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (AED);
- or the proof of payment of EUR 24 into the IBAN account LU09 1111 7026 5281 0000, BIC code: CCPLLULL of the Diekirch Revenue Office, with the following communication: 'autorisation de commerce';
In the event of an online application for a business permit via MyGuichet (with a Luxtrust certificate), 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 in the context of a business set up in the form of an SARL-S, the applicant must forward the draft constitutional documents of the SARL-S to the Ministry of the Economy.
Insurance and registration with the OAI
After obtaining the business permit, the business manager must:
Registrations/affiliations depending on the legal form of the company
After obtaining a business permit, the head of a sole proprietorship must:
Partnerships (SENC, SECS)
After obtaining a business permit, the executives(s) of a partnership (SECS, SENC) must:
Capital companies (SA, SARL, SECA, SE)
After obtaining a business permit, the director(s) of a capital company (SA, SARL, SECA, SE) must:
Simplified limited liability company(SARL-S)
After obtaining a non-definitive copy of the business permit, the manager(s) of a simplified limited liability company (SARL-S) must:
It should be noted that managers of an SARL-S do not need to incorporate their company before a notary. A private deed will suffice.
Temporary provision of services in Luxembourg
Architects established abroad (in the Swiss confederation or in a country of the European Economic Area) may freely offer 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 applicable to Luxembourg professionals.
Architects can contact the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI) for further information.
They must also:
- apply for registration on the OAI's list of service providers;
- take out a specific civil liability insurance which covers their activity, as well as their employees' activities. If their insurance taken out in their country of origin does not cover all legal and contractual liabilities incurred in Luxembourg they must either adapt their insurance or take out a specific civil liability insurance covering their activities and those of their employees.
If the architect, as a self-employed professional:
Forms / Online services
Business permit - online application
Autorisation d’établissement - service en ligne
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung – Online-Vorgang
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung
Déclaration sur l'honneur
Modalités d'inscription à l'OAI
Einschreibungsbedingungen - OAI
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
Who to contact