In order to be able to practice as an independent architect in Luxembourg, applicants must hold a business permit.
The business permit is granted to applicants if:
- they meet the legal requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity;
- they have a fixed physical establishment in Luxembourg (no so-called 'letterbox companies').
Compliance with these conditions of access to the profession is verified by the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship (Direction générale PME et Entrepreneuriat) of the Ministry of the Economy at the time of the application for a business permit.
Depending on the legal form chosen for their company, architects then have to proceed with different registrations/affiliations before starting their activity.
Architects established abroad (in the Swiss confederation or a country of the European Economic Area) may provide occasional and/or temporary services in Luxembourg without applying for a business permit.
They are nevertheless required to comply with all the rules governing the profession, in particular ethical requirements, in force in Luxembourg.
Who is concerned
Professional activities reserved for 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.
Salaried workers or civil servants do not need a business permit to work as interior architects for their employer or their administration.
How to proceed
Business permit application in Luxembourg
Documentary proof of qualification
In order to prove that they have the necessary qualifications required for the profession of architect, applicants must possess a diploma or degree in architecture awarded by an institution of higher education recognised in Luxembourg based on:
- 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;
Diplomas obtained abroad are recognised automatically in Luxembourg provided that they enable access to the profession of architect in the country that has awarded them.
Graduates are therefore requested to check with the competent authorities in the country in which they received their academic qualification if there are any additional conditions that may apply to entering the profession.
Professionals who have worked in architecture for at least 7 years, either under the supervision of a certified architect or in an architecture firm can have their diplomas accredited, provided that:
- their training fulfills the required criteria;
- the diploma obtained is equivalent to 4 years of university studies.
The architect must be entitled to use the academic title of architect before a business permit can be issued. To this end architects must submit their professional qualifications to the register of certificates.
Specificities of BENELUX university diplomas
The following diplomas are automatically recognised in BENELUX countries provided that they were delivered by an institution that is accredited by the country in which the diploma was issued.
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.
Documents attesting to professional integrity
- applicants who have been residing in Luxembourg for more than 10 years:
- applicants who do not reside in Luxembourg or have been residing in the country for less than 10 years:
All attached documents must be less than 3 months old.
Other documents to be submitted with the application
The following documents must also be attached to the business permit application:
- for citizens of Luxembourg, the European Union, or the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland):
- a copy of the applicant's ID card or passport;
- for citizens of other 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 at the Indirect Tax 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 application for a business (legal person), the company's articles of association which have been filed with the Trade and Companies Register.
In the event of an online application for a business permit via MyGuichet (with a Luxtrust card), 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.
Architects who run their business as a sole proprietorship can collect their business permit at the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS).
Architects who run their business as a company (partnership / capital company) will receive their business permit by post.
Insurance and registration with the OAI
After obtaining their business permit, business officers must:
- take out a specific civil liability insurance which covers their activity, as well as their employees' activities;
- register with the OAI (see registration procedure).
Registrations/affiliations depending on the legal form of the company
The architect must complete a number of administrative procedures that depend on the legal form chosen for the company.
In the case of a sole proprietorship, the architect has to:
- go to the Joint Social Security Centre to collect the business permit and register as a self-employed worker;
- submit an operating declaration to the social security (if he intends to hire staff);
- register for VAT.
Partnerships (SENC, SECS)
In the case of a partnership (SECS, SENC), the managers have to:
- first file the constitutional documents (statutes, articles of association) for the company with the trade and companies register before the business permit can be issued;
- submit an operating declaration to social security;
- register themselves as employees (or as self-employed) with social security;
- register for VAT.
Capital companies (SA, SARL, SECA, SE)
In the case of a capital company (SA, SARL, SECA, SE), the applicants have to:
- before the business permit can be issued, register the company before a notary, who will lodge the articles of association with the trade and companies register;
- submit an operating declaration to social security;
- register themselves as employees (or self-employed workers) with social security;
- register for VAT.
Temporary service provision in Luxembourg
Architects who reside abroad may freely offer their services in Luxembourg. It is not necessary to notify the Ministry of the Economy.
However, when coming to Luxembourg, service providers are subject to rules of professional, regulatory or administrative conduct directly related to the professional qualifications that are in force in Luxembourg, along with the related disciplinary provisions applicable for professionals in Luxembourg.
Architects can contact the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI) for further information.
They also need to check if their insurance in their country of origin covers all legal and contractual liabilities incurred in Luxembourg and, if necessary, adapt their insurance coverage or take out a specific liability insurance covering their activities as well as those of their employees.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
General Directorate - SMEs, Entrepreneurship and the Internal Market (authorisations of establishment)
B.P. 535 - L-2937 Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 247-74700Fax : (+352) 247-74701The telephone helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 13.00 to 17.00 (not on public holidays).
Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers6, boulevard Grande-Duchesse Charlotte
Phone : (+352) 42 24 06Fax : (+352) 42 24 07Monday to Friday from 09.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.00