In order to operate as an independent town and country planner (urbaniste/aménageur), business managers 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 he runs) 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').
The fulfilment of the conditions for access to the profession is checked by the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises 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.
Town and country planners who are established abroad (on the territory of the Swiss Confederation or in a country of the European Economic Area) may provide temporary and occasional services in Luxembourg without business permit and without giving prior notification.
In the context of public procurement contracts, there are specific hourly reference rates for architectural and engineering work for the public sector.
Who is concerned
The activities of town and country planners include:
- developing plans for the complete, coherent and integrated organisation of territories and natural rural or urban areas in accordance with the general interest and the search for territorial balance;
- helping communes, territorial entities and administrations to elaborate general development plans (PAG) and special development plans (PAP) or any other instrument for land use and urban planning.
Salaried workers or civil servants do not need a business permit in order to work as town or country planner for their employer or administration.
The applicant must have:
- a Master's degree issued by a higher education establishment recognised by the State in which the establishment is located and registered in the register of certificates:
- either in urban planning or land use planning or equivalent;
- in another similar area related to land use planning or equivalent, complemented by a training of at least one year, specifically in the areas of urban planning or land use planning;
- or 2 years of practical professional experience with a professional town and country planner after the successful completion of the degree.
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.
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 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.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The applicant 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;
- by sending the business permit application by standard mail or email to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises;
- through the House of Entrepreneurship - One-Stop Shop at the Chamber of Commerce or the "Contact entreprise" team at the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts. These organisations will apply on the applicant's behalf.
business permit application
Documentary proof of qualification
The applicant must also submit:
- a copy of:
- their Master's degree diploma in urban or land use planning;
- its equivalent as recognised by the country where the higher education establishment granting the title is established;
- 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.
Documents attesting to professional integrity
If the applicant has been residing in Luxembourg for more than 10 years, they must demonstrate their 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 no. 3.
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 no. 3 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 their 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 conditions for obtaining the residence permit applied for;
- proof of payment of stamp duty (droit de chancellerie), in the form of:
- either a tax stamp, value EUR 24, purchased at 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 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 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.
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.
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
Sole proprietorship (Entreprise individuelle)
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 establishment 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.
Providing temporary services in Luxembourg
Accountants legally established abroad (in the Swiss confederation 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.
Also, applicants must inform the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI) of their presence in order to register on the list of occasional service providers in Luxembourg.
If the town and country planner, as a self-employed professional:
Obligations of all professionals
Each professional 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
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
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