Business activities are governed by the Law on commercial companies and articles 1832 to 1873 of the Civil Code.
Legal forms for businesses
The different legal forms for a business are:
- sole traders and partnerships:
- public limited company (société anonyme - SA);
- private limited company (société à responsabilité limitée - SARL);
- limited partnership (société en commandite par action - SECA);
- European Company ('societas europaea' - SE);
- cooperative (société coopérative - SC);
groupings and associations of companies :
- economic interest grouping - EIG (groupement d'intérêt économique - GIE)
Business activities and related rules
Most commercial, craft and industrial businesses and some liberal professions require an incorporation permit granted beforehand.
Business plans and evaluation
The process prior to setting up a business plays a major role in the final outcome.
To succeed, a new business needs a sound commercial strategy and secure financing.
Some standard requirements to be completed when setting up a business are the same as when opening a branch.
The Centre de formalités (Chamber of Trades) and the Espace entreprises (Chamber of Commerce) provide help with formalities and administrative procedures.
The Guichet entreprises business portal provides online forms.
Registering a company
You first need to contact the Ministry of Small Enterprises and Traders (Ministère des classes moyennes) to obtain an incorporation permit for the business. Activities covered by this include:
- all commercial activities (crafts, industry and trade);
- trade-related liberal professions (architects, engineers, surveyors, tax advisers, accountants and financial advisers, etc.);
Tax and social security registration
You must also take other steps, such as:
- registering with the Trade and Companies Register ;
- requesting a value added tax (VAT) number from the Luxembourg Registry (Administration de l'enregistrement et des domaines);
- filing an initial declaration with the Direct Tax Administration ;
- filing an initial declaration with the Joint Social Security Centre ;
- registering with professional chambers.
If you are planning to recruit staff, you must inform the Employment Administration.
The web sites of the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trades provide a wealth of useful information to anyone setting up a business.
The portal of the Trade and Companies Register describes the various available legal structures.
The Luxembourg innovation and research portal offers information on support mechanisms for innovative businesses.