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Business Permit Application: decryption

Leading up to a business launch, all entrepreneurs have to embark on the question of the governmental authorizations necessary for the implementation of his/her business. In principle, the Luxembourg legislator subjects all commercial, craft, industrial and certain liberal professions to the obligation of an authorization under a law of establishment.


The authorization issued by the Ministry of the Economy is called «establishment authorization» (in French: “autorisation d’établissement”), also called “business permit”. Under the term “establishment” is meant the regular and sustainable exercise of an activity defined in the law of establishment. If this activity is carried out regularly and permanently in Luxembourg, the  freelancer (also called «sole-proprietor» / «business in its own name» / «independent person») or the company (e.g. S.à r.l. (-s) or S.A.)) that exercises the activity must establish itself on the Luxembourg territory and manage its affairs from a fixed establishment.

In this article, we detail for you the application form for the business permit, which is essential to make your project a reality.

The main form for an application for a business permit is entitled “Business Permit Application (including the declaration of honour)”.

Personal information

Activity covered by the application

In this field, precisely describe the activity(ies) you want to perform if you have chosen to fill out the downloadable PDF form. In case you fill out the online form, you will need to check your activity from a list of proposed activities. If you can’t find your activity on the list, you can describe it as well.

Project under the "Start Your Business" initiative (ADEM)

If you are participating in the “Start Your Business” initiative, organized by ADEM, please check the “Yes” box. If not, check “No”.

Please note that if you receive unemployment benefits paid by ADEM, these are in principle not cumulative with obtaining a business permit (outside the «Start Your Business» pathway). Please contact your ADEM advisor, if necessary, for more information on this procedure before requesting your business permit (!).

Modification of existing business permit

This section does not apply to you in the case of a new business creation. It applies only to people who wish to notify a change in an existing business permit. Please do not complete anything.

Contact details of the owner of the business / director of the company

In this section, please enter your personal details and your Luxembourg social security number, if you have one.  Attention, if you indicate your contact information, it means that you are the future holder of the business permit with a real link to the business as owner, if you create a sole proprietorship, or as a shareholder and/or manager (= manager registered as such in the Luxembourg Business Register, if you create a company.  In that case, you are the applicant from perspective of the Ministry of the Economy.

Information about your business

On page 2, you will need to complete either section 2a. Application in own name / personal application” if you wish to establish a sole proprietorship or section “2b. Application on behalf of the company” if you are creating a company.  If you already know the address of your future business, its headquarters must be written in the corresponding section (2a for sole-proprietors or 2b for a company).

Application in own name/ personal application

Regarding section “2a. Application in own name/personal application", the self-employed, also called «sole proprietor» or «freelance», have no company name to indicate since there is no legal entity.  It is therefore only necessary to indicate the address.  However, it will be possible to register a “commercial name” on the RCSL-LBR portal when registering the commercial sole proprietorship business.

Application on behalf of the company

For section “2b. Application on behalf of the company”, please enter your company name. We remind you that it is possible to consult the availability of a company name on the portal, which is usually done by the notary, except for the S.à. r.l.-s. Please also check if the company name is not protected by a trademark protection.

Very often, the headquarter (“Address of the registered office”) of the company is the same as the place of operation (“operating address"), yet this may also not be the case. For example: your administrative headquarter is declared at your home in Mersch, but your physical shop, the sales space you rent, is located in Luxembourg-city. In this scenario, the two separate addresses must appear on the form (“Address of the registered office” and “Operating address”).

Address Details

Please note that a business headquarters’ address cannot simply be a post office box and must be a real and physical office adapted to the exercise of the proposed activity.

The Ministry of the Economy will send you its letters at the headquarters of the business, which is why it is important to fill in the address of the company.

Finally, the applicant himself who submits his file without yet having a known place of business must check the box "To be defined (not yet known)" (possible for sole proprietors as well as for companies).

In this specific case, if the rest of the file is complete and admissible, the Ministry of the Economy will issue an «agreement in principle» and the applicant will have to, once its headquarter is found, send the proof of that headquarter, meeting the requirements of the law of establishment, to the said Ministry. This proof will be either a copy of a lease agreement, a letter of disposition of an office or a certificate of residence, if the office is at home in Luxembourg (please contact your municipality to check if you have the right to have a headquarter at home).

For more details on choosing the headquarter, you can refer to the dedicated article here.

Specifics by company type

If you have chosen to start a commercial company, meaning a legal person (SARL, SA…) will be heading your activities, the name (known as the “corporate name”) of your future company must also be provided. As a reminder, you can verify whether a company name is available on the RCSL-LBR portal. This is usually done by a notary, other than for SARL-S type companies.

If your company has already been incorporated when you are applying for the business permit, the official identification number should be provided below the company name. You can proceed in either order. Do note that the process is sightly different for SARL-S companies and no identification number is required. Just the corporate name, which must match the name in the articles of association.

Self-employed persons, also known as “freelancers,” are not required to provide a company name since no legal person is involved. The field entitled “In case of establishment as a commercial company” must be left empty.

Any applicants filing a request without knowing the future address of their business must check the box “to be defined (not yet known).”

In that specific case, so long as the rest of the application is complete and admissible, the Ministry of the Economy will issue a tentative agreement. Once the applicant has found an address, they must send proof of their business space in accordance with business permit prerequesites. Documents that can be used as proof are either a copy of the lease, a letter attesting to the provision of an office or a certificate of residence.

For more information about choosing a business venue, you can see this article.

Final stretch!

Access of the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

On page 2, we recommend checking the first box under section “3. Access of the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”. This allows the Department to conduct additional audits with other administrations. For example: check the existence of unpaid VAT. If you check “no”, you will need to provide any additional evidence yourself.

Declaration of Honour

On page 3 is the Declaration of Honour to ask you whether, during the three years preceding the application, you had a managerial function or influence/control over other companies, in Luxembourg or abroad. Read carefully the four different possibilities to check the right box(es) according to your professional history, indicate the companies concerned in the table (if any) and do not forget to date and sign the form!

Online steps

Finally, some practical tips on downloading the form and sending the file to the Ministry of the Economy.

The form we reviewed together is available for download on the business portal, under the heading Applying for a business permit. The  document is available in an interactive Adobe PDF version.  You will need to have downloaded the latest version of Adobe, then download and save the file on your desktop to be able to open and fill it.

The completed document, signed, dated, and accompanied by all other documents required according to your activities, can then be sent by post to the address in the right corner of the form. We recommend sending it with acknowledgement of receipt in a single envelope.

It is also possible to make your complete request via the digital assistant. The form is directly integrated into the online process and an electronic signature will allow you to validate your application. If you opt for this solution, you will need a Luxtrust or eIDAS (European digital identity) ID to secure your steps and you will have to create your personal professional space on beforehand. If you do not have a luxtrust or eIDAS product yet, visit Attention, if you fill in the online form via, the declaration of  honor is to be downloaded and to be filled out separately, you will find it at the bottom of this page.

You now know how to fill out the main form of your file! If you still have doubts, the House of Entrepreneurship can answer your questions.

Do you need help?

The House of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ministry of the Economy and the Chamber of Crafts (Chambre des Métiers), is the national contact point dedicated to future entrepreneurs and managers. The (future) entrepreneur can contact the  House of Entrepreneurship in order to concretize their business creation/ takeover project, to be accompanied when starting their business, or to be put in contact with relevant structures and partners.

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