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Luxembourg

Starts up

Updated 01/2010

Legal requirements

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:
  • stock corporations:
    • 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.

Administrative procedures

One-stop shop

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

Business registration

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.

Resources

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.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Guichet entreprises business portal offers various services to future company directors, from advice and project evaluation to online forms.

The Espace entreprises run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Contact entreprise of the Chamber of Trades offer support and advice to anyone setting up or taking over a business to help them to succeed.

The single service point for SMEs (Guichet unique PME) provides free support to companies established in one of the 21 municipal authorities taking part in the project.

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

If you wish to establish a business or perform temporary cross-border services in the EU/EEA area (the 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), turn to the ‘Points of Single Contact (PSC)’ - Members of the EUGO network - that will help you to complete all necessary administrative procedures on-line! Get the information you need and submit your applications to the responsible authorities online. You no longer have to worry about contacting several different authorities one by one - the PSC will do it for you!

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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