Last update 29.06.2018
The access to most commercial, craft and industrial activities, as well as certain liberal professions, is subject to obtaining a business permit (commonly known as 'autorisation de commerce').
However, some liberal professions may not be subject to a business permit but they require other authorisations.
The same applies to activities which are subject to specific registration or accreditation.
As to certain activities which are essentially intellectual in nature (other than liberal professions), they do not require any authorisation if they are carried out in the person's own name.
Who is concerned
Any person wishing to set up a business in Luxembourg, either as a self-employed person or by starting a company, must have the authorisations/accreditations which are required to carry out the activity.
Businesses established in another EU Member State or a country treated as such are free to provide occasional and temporary services in Luxembourg.
Skilled craftsmen and manufacturers must nevertheless make a prior declaration.
Businesses established outside the EU must hold a business permit (or a specific authorisation depending on the profession) in Luxembourg.
In order to get a foreign higher education diploma recognised in Luxembourg, the diploma must:
- either be approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) with regard to:
- foreign diplomas which give access to the profession of humanities or science professor or lawyer;
- diplomas obtained in a non-EU country which give access to the profession of doctor, dentist, veterinary surgeon, pharmacist;
- or as regards all other foreign higher education diplomas, be recorded in the register of certificates.
In order to have a foreign professional or secondary school graduation diploma recognised in Luxembourg, said diploma must be recognised as equivalent to the corresponding Luxembourg diploma by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse - MENEJ).
Secondary or higher education and professional diplomas for healthcare professions (nursing auxiliary, nurse, specialist nurse, social assistant, physiotherapist, etc.) or socio-educational professions (specialist teacher, care assistant, etc.) must also be recognised by the MENEJ.
How to proceed
In order to access one of the below professions, the candidate must obtain a business permit:
- the profession of trader;
- professions in the property business;
- professions of the horeca sector (hotel, restaurant and catering sector);
- the profession of road haulage operator with vehicles with an authorised weight over 3.5 tonnes;
- the profession of road passenger transport operator (more than 8 passengers);
- temporary work agencies;
- security and surveillance companies;
- shopping centre and superstore operators.
Manufacturing activities are also subject to a business permit, which is issued by the Minister of the Economy.
Persons who wish to carry out one of these activities as a self-employed worker can seek advice from the House of Entrepreneurship - One-Stop Shop.
Skilled craft activities
In order to carry out one of the following craft activities (non exhaustive list), the professional must hold a business permit.
- food trades:
- list A: baker-confectioner, butcher, catering services and delicatessen;
- list B: ice-cream maker, miller, tripe butcher, etc.;
- fashion, health and hygiene trades:
- list A: optician, audioprosthetist, dental technician, orthopedist, hairdresser, beautician, etc.;
- list B: designer, dry cleaner, shoemaker - shoemender, pedicurist, jeweller, etc.;
- mechanics trades:
- list A: mechanical engineer, coachbuilder, driving school operator, automotive expert, etc.;
- list B: blacksmith, car rental operator, auto body repairer and painter, etc.;
- construction trades:
- list A: building contractor, heating installer, carpenter, painter, etc.;
- list B: landscape gardener, screed layer, fitter-layer, interior decorator;
- trades in communication, multimedia and performing arts:
- list A: electronic equipment and alarm system installer, printer, etc.;
- list B: owner of a graphic design studio, binder, photographer, musical instruments tuner, etc.;
- miscellaneous craft activities:
- list A: swimming instructor;
- list B: skilled craftsmen who work with wood, metal, minerals, fibres or various materials (including florists).
Liberal professions requiring a business permit
In order to access one of the below self-employed professions, the candidate must obtain a business permit:
- interior architect;
- landscape architect or landscape engineer;
- construction engineer;
- independent engineer (other than a construction engineer);
- town/country planner;
- chartered accountant;
- economic advisor;
- consultant ;
- patent attorney.
Persons who wish to carry out one of these activities as a self-employed worker via a commercial company can seek advice from the House of Entrepreneurship - One-Stop Shop.
Liberal professions subject to other permits
In order to carry out some liberal professions that are not subjet to a business permit, the professional must hold other specific authorisations:
- the profession of auditor, supervised by the Luxembourg financial supervisory authority (CSSF) and controlled by the Luxembourg Institute of Registered Auditors;
- other professions of the financial sector which require an authorisation/accreditation either from the Minister of Justice or from the CSSF;
- the profession of lawyer which requires an authorisation from the Ministry of Justice;
- medical professions (physician, dentist, veterinary surgeon, pharmacist) which require a permit from the Ministry of Health;
- health professions (nursing auxiliairy, nurse, midwife, speech therapist, dietician, laboratory assistant, physiotherapist, etc.) which also require a permit from the Ministry of Health.
Activities subject to specific registration and/or authorisation
In order to carry out certain activities, whether they are subject to a business permit or not, the professional must complete certain registrations or hold other specific authorisations:
- engineering consultancies carrying out technical study and inspection tasks;
- safety advisers responsible for the transport of hazardous goods;
- coordinator for safety and health matters on construction sites;
- firms providing security and surveillance services which require accreditation from the Ministry of Justice;
- road, waterway or air transport undertakings;
- experts, translators and interpreters who carry out their activity in their own name are not subject to a business permit (intellectual activity) but they may apply for the sworn expert, translator or interpreter status to the Ministry of Justice in order to carry out certified translations;
- private research institutes which may require accreditation from the Ministry of the Economy;
- socio-educational professions (nursery assistant, accreditation for creches or daycare centres, homework assistance, outreach centre, etc.) which require accreditation from the Ministry of Family;
- camp site operators requiring accreditation from the General Directorate for Tourism;
- hotel operators requiring the 'hotel status' (statut d'hôtelier) issued by the General Directorate for Tourism, etc.
Intellectual professions not subject to authorisation
Professionals working in their own name (other than a liberal profession) do not require any permit to carry out a services activity which is mainly intellectual in character.
- self-employed journalists/editors/freelancers;
- translators and interpreters;
- ergonomists/web analysts;
- sophrologists, etc.
They can submit a provisional application in order to verify that the activity is not subject to a business permit.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
'Contact Entreprise' at the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts - Luxembourg2, Circuit de la foire internationale
B.P. 1604 / L-1016
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).
Phone : (+352) 42 39 39-440Fax : (+ 352) 42 39 39-824
The Companies Exchange of the Chamber of Commerce7, Alcide de Gasperi
Phone : (+352 ) 42 39 39-362Fax : (+352) 42 39 39-824