ID cards for specific occupations

Description of the subject matter

To pursue the activities of a tourist guide or private detective, an identification (ID) card is necessary.

Traders as well as their employees have to carry these ID cards with them when pursuing their activities. Upon request, the ID card has to be shown and made available for inspection to the members of the public security forces.

This ID card with photo is issued by the competent authority to the person registering the trade when commencing business activities. It proves the official authorisation of the person to carry on the respective trade.

PLEASE NOTE A request for issuing an ID card for employees may be filed by traders at any time.

An ID card, issued for example to tourist guides, provides information on

  • regional restrictions or restrictions concerning the nature of the authorisation
  • foreign language skills of the trader,
  • if applicable, special skills in specific subject areas.


Statement of reasons for applying for a trade licenseGerman text


No specific deadlines have to be met.

Competent authority

The trade authority with geographical competence for the trade premises:


The application for issuing an ID card may be made – without meeting specific formal requirements or by using a form – personally, in writing or partly also electronically.

Informal applications have to include the following information:

  • Name and full details of the company
  • Principal place of business
  • Trade Register number
  • For each person to receive an ID card:
    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Address

The authority may refuse to issue an ID card for employees of the trader if they were convicted of a criminal offence (ground for ineligibility) – provided that the sentence has not been served – and if it is deemed likely that the respective employee will commit the same or a similar criminal offence.

PLEASE NOTE When an employee or several employees is found to have committed a criminal offence after the ID card had been issued, the ID card will be withdrawn by the authority.

Documents required

  • Official photo ID card
  • For each person to be issued a professional ID card:
    • Two photos
    • Written confirmation of the employment relationship by the social insurance institution
    • For the trade of tourist guides: certificate of professional competence
  • For start-ups: additionally
  • Certificate in accordance with the Business Start-Up Promotion ActGerman text (NeuFöG) issued by the competent Economic ChamberGerman text

Additional information

ID cards are also mandatory for travelling salespersons (traders and their employees) visiting private persons to collect orders. Special rules are applicable.

Legal basis

Sections 62, 108, 129, 130 of the Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994)

Expert information

No expert information is available.

Last update: 11.09.2019

Approved by:
  • Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs

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