Starting a Business
Information on how to set up a business in Luxembourg; the documents needed when applying for a business permit and the legal obligations when setting up a company...
Both foreign individuals and companies may set up to trade in Luxembourg. The Chamber of Commerce has an Espace Entreprises (Business Information Centre) providing detailed information and application forms for people wanting to set up a business in Luxembourg. It can also oversee the application procedure and help with compiling the appropriate documents. It publishes numerous brochures in English on all subjects related to operating in Luxembourg.
- Chambre de Commerce - Espace Entreprises
At: 7 Rue Alcide de Gasperi, L-2981 Luxembourg-Kirchberg
Tel: 42 39 39 330
The Luxembourg government business website (Luxembourg for Business) has comprehensive information in English on starting a business in Luxembourg.
- Detailed information on setting up a business in Luxembourg
Luxembourg Chamber has a cross border business exchange organisation with much information available in English on business structures and the tax system in Luxembourg. See guichet.public.lu.
- For more information on starting and developing a business
Types of Business Entities in Luxembourg
- Sociétée en Nom Collectif (SENC): Partnership
- Sociéte en Commandité Simple (SECS): Limited partnership
- Société Anonyme (SA): Public Company or Corporation
- Sociéte en Commandité par Actions: Partnership limited by shares
- Société à Responsabilité Limitée (SARL): Limited Liability Company
- Société Cooperative (SC): Cooperative Company
- Detailed information on different legal forms
It is also possible to set up as a Sole trader (Commercant en nom propre), the most straightforward way of setting up a business.
The Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg is able to provide information to entrepreneurs on the different company structures.
Procedures for Setting up a Company
In the vast majority of cases, it is necessary to apply for a business permit (autorisation d'établissement) before undertaking any activity regulated by the Law of Establishment in Luxembourg. All industrial, commercial, craft businesses and some independent professions (for example accountants, architects and financial consultants) require this permit. The person must prove their professional qualifications and management skills before the permit will be granted.
If the business activity will take place in Luxembourg on an ongoing basis, then a permanent place of business must be established in the country.
Applying for a Business Permit
The autorisation d'établissement may be applied for on MyGuichet via a Luxtrust card, through through the Espace Entreprises of the Chamber of Commerce or the Contact entreprise service of the Chamber of Trades who will submit the application for the applicant. The Business Permit Application can also be sent by mail to:
- Direction générale PME et entrepreneuriat
Ministère de l’Économie
At: Forum Royal, 19-21, Boulevard Royal, L-2449 Luxembourg
Tel: 24 78 47 15
Fax: 24 78 47 40
- Download the application form (PDF in French)
The following documents are required:
- Application form
- Proof of identity
- Documents attesting professional qualifications for the planned activity
- Documents attesting to professional integrity
- Tax stamp (can be obtained from the Espace Entreprises)
- Commercial companies need to provide drafts or articles of association, these must also be registered with the Registration and Domains Department (Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines)
As well as applying for a business permit, sole traders and commercial companies must register at the Companies Registry (Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés - RCSL). A commercial company must provide the articles of association.
- Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés (in French)
At: Centre Administratif Pierre Werner, Bâtiment F
13, Rue Erasme, L-1468 Luxembourg-Kirchberg
Tel: 26 428-1
Fax: 26 42 85 55
A notary can take care of the registration of incorporated companies with the appropriate Registre de Commerce. The RCSL arranges the publication notice of company formation in the Legal/Government Gazette.
Some new companies must also apply for an operating licence, known as the Commodo-Incommodo procedure. Hotels, restaurants for more than 50 people, some manufacturers and some industrial activities fall into this category. The appropriate professional organisation should be contacted for information on the procedures.
- Learn more about operating permit for classified establishment
Other obligations for the future business owner include the following:
- Registration for VAT
- Registration with the revenue office
- Registration at the Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS)
- The Employment Office (L’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi - ADEM) must be informed of any vacancies
- Business Plan Toolbox is a website which provides help to plan a business project and comply with the formalities associated with creating a business in Luxembourg