Trade – Succession in Title – Re-Establishment

General Information

In cases of re-establishment (mergers, conversions, contributions, concentrations, asset splits and demergers) the original trade licence is transferred to the successor (in title) to the business.

Entitlement to continue exercising the trade arises with re-establishment being entered in the Companies Register once the successor (in title) to the business meets the requirements for exercising the trade in question.

Please note

In cases of takeovers and acquisitions which are not re-establishments (e.g. purchase, lease, gift, inheritance), the party taking over the business must acquire a new trade licence for the trade exercised in the business taken over.

Enterprises Affected

The successor (in title) to the business


  • The successor to the business must meet the requirements set out in trade law
  • Legal entities (capital companies, associations, etc.), registered commercial partnerships and sole traders without proof of qualification need to:
    • appoint a managing director under trade law


Any such changes must be reported within six months of their entry in the Companies Register.

Competent authority

Trade authority locally competent for the business location in question:


Re-establishment may be reported by the successor in title – either with or without the use of an official form – personally, in writing or (partially) by electronic means. Information provided in the informal report will depend on the kind of re-establishment and the kind of trade.

Please note

If the requirements for continued exercise of a trade following re-establishment are not met, the trade authority will issue a negative decision.

Required documents

The documents required will depend on the kind of re-establishment and the kind of trade. Please inquire with the competent authority.

Costs and fees

There are no stamp duties and federal administration fees (see section 333a of the Gewerbeordnung 1994).

Further information

For the successor (in title) to the business, entitlement to exercise the trade will end after six months of entry of re-establishment in the Companies Register if she or he fails to report the transfer of rights within this deadline and/or no managing director is appointed within this deadline.


If the trade in question is subject to section section 95 of the Gewerbeordnung 1994,entitlement will not end after six months in cases where, although approval of the appointment of a managing director has been requested within the defined deadline, this approval has not be given prior to expiry of the deadline (with the related declaratory decision becoming legally effective).

With the trade licence being transferred to the successor to the business, the latter will also acquire the right of the original licence holder to exercise this trade in any additional places of business.

Legal bases

Sections 11, 333a of the Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994)

Expert Information

No expert information is available.

Link to form

Not applicable

Authentication and signature

Not applicable

Means of redress or appeal

Not applicable

Assistance and problem-solving services

No Support- and Problemsolvingservices are available.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 18 July 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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