Preconditions for a business activity falling under trade law
The preconditions for a business activity falling under trade law are activities carried out
- for the entrepreneur's own account and at the entrepreneur's risk,
- regularly and
- with the intention of realising an economic benefit or profit.
To which entrepreneurial activities does the Trade Act apply?
The Trade Act applies to all business activities carried out in a regular, independent and profit-making way, unless they are forbidden by law (such as drug dealing) or expressly exempted (for example mining, agriculture and forestry or independent professions like physicians, pharmacists, public notaries, that are regulated by other legal provisions).
Categories of trades / list of trades
There are regulated trades and non-regulated ("free") trades (see the respective lists - in german only).
- Regulated trades (reglementierte Gewerbe) require a certificate of qualification (Befähigungsnachweis); examples include joinery, metal engineering or engineering consultancy.
Regulated trades include so-called associated trades (verbundene Gewerbe). Associated trades refer to trades where activities associated with another trade may be carried out without the need for an additional certificate of qualification. These trades are closely related from a technical point of view and are expressly designated as such in the Trade Act (e.g. metalworking for metal and mechanical engineering; metalworking for blacksmiths and vehicle manufacturing, metalworking for agricultural machinery).
- Non-regulated ("free") trades (freie Gewerbe) do not require any proof of qualification.
To carry out any kind of trade or business
activity, you need a trade licence (Gewerbeberechtigung).