What is Trade Office?

Are you planning to start your own business ? Or have you just finished your foundation ? Then you probably also know the trade office. At least in Germany, there is no way around the trade office if you want to become self-employed.

What is the trade office?

The trade office, abbreviated as GA for short, is an important point of contact for traders. The trade office is responsible for issuing the trade registration . In addition, the trade is entered in the so-called trade register here. Anyone who needs information on commercial activities or applications is also at the right place at the trade office.

The trade office is also an important point of contact for business founders. As part of a start-up, you can find out everything you need to know about the requirements for the issuance of a trade license. In Germany you can usually find the trade office in the town hall or in the so-called community centers. It is very often the case that the trade office and public order office also share areas, as many of their tasks and activities overlap.

What tasks does the trade office have?

Trade office and trade registration may also be inextricably linked for you. But if you think that these are the only duties of the trade office, then you are wrong. As with many other authorities, the trade office is divided into various tasks. The trade office is responsible for the following tasks.

The duties of the trade office
  • Registration of a trade and further processing of the registration
  • Compliance with the trade regulations
  • Implementation of consulting services for various trades and their regulations
  • Issuing permit documents and concessions
  • Provide information on data from the trade register. For this, however, according to ยง 14 of the trade regulations, both private and public persons must have a justified interest. Inspection is not always permitted, however, as the trade register is not a public register
  • Business license extensions
  • Deregistration from trades
  • Creation of travel business cards
  • Organizing weekly markets, folk festivals and other markets within the respective municipality
  • Prosecution and prosecution of administrative offenses
  • Regular transmission of data to different authorities and to the tax office

Differences at the trade office depending on the federal state

As a rule, the legal framework for traders in Germany is the same. The trade office as an authority is subject to the federal states. This means that there can be differences when it comes to the business registration office, especially when it comes to business registration. This does not affect the trade regulations that apply uniformly for the whole of Germany, but it does affect the organization.

In some municipalities in certain federal states, for example, it is possible that you can register your business using an online form. In other federal states, however, personal appearance is required. There are also differences in the designation in the federal states.

  • In most federal states one speaks of the trade office, in Berlin the public order office is responsible.
  • There is no trade office in Hamburg. Here the tasks of this authority are taken over by the Chamber of Commerce.

To find out which position is the contact person for you in matters of business, you can find out more on the homepage of your municipality.

What documents do you need for the trade office?

If you want to register or re-register a business with the trade office, you need the following documents to submit:

  • Business registration form
  • Identity card
  • Extract from the current commercial register
  • When founding a company of legal persons, a partnership agreement that is notarized or a statute

Who does the trade office inform after the trade registration?

After you have registered a business, the trade office takes on the duty to provide information to other authorities. These are the following:

  • Notification of the tax office
  • Notification of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, if necessary also notification to the Chamber of Crafts
  • Notification to the state statistical office
  • Notification to the trade supervisory authority


The trade office works for tradespeople in a variety of ways. The GA is responsible for accepting registrations, re-registrations and cancellations. The trade office also takes over the examination for prerequisites in some professional fields. There are definitely areas in which your reliability and your professional aptitude must be present.

This can include the submission of a police clearance certificate to the trade office. The trade office also carries out controls and initiates sanctions in the event of violations. The trade office is not run under the same name in every federal state and other authorities or chambers take on their tasks.

Trade Office