Conditions of access to a profession

All persons must apply for a business permit before engaging in:

  • craft and industrial activities;
  • commercial activities;
  • certain liberal professions.

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.

Journalistic activities do not require a business permit if they are exercised in a 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.

Preliminary steps

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 be able to decide on professional qualifications, the Minister of the Economy may require the applicant to have their diplomas recorded in the registry 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

Commercial activities

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;
  • industrial activities.

Persons who wish to carry out one of these activities as a self-employed worker can seek advice from the House of Entrepreneurship.

The special authorisation for superstores/hypermarkets (sales area > 400 m2) has been removed.

Skilled craft activities

In order to carry out one of the following craft activities (non exhaustive list), the professional must hold a business permit.

Craft activities are divided into main trades (list A) and secondary trades (list B):

  • 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-optometrist, 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

Professionals must have a business permit to exercise the liberal activities of:

Business permits are no longer issued for economic advice and advisory activities. However, the persons concerned must apply for a permit for commercial activities and services.

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.

Liberal professions subject to other permits

In order to carry out certain liberal professions that are not subjet to a business permit, the professional must hold other specific authorisations:

NB: lawyers can now associate in the form of a legal person (including as a commercial company). Lawyers do not need to apply for a business permit in this case either.

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:

Activities as a journalist, freelancer and editor

Journalists, freelancers or editors do not need a business permit if they choose to practice in their own name.

To carry out one of these professions under the form of a commercial company (société commerciale), professionals must apply for a business permit for commercial activities and services.

Who to contact

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