License for financial services providers according to the Trade Commerce and Industry Regulation Act
Financial service companies come under the businesses requiring a license. Therefore, if you want to work as a self-employed financial service provider it is not sufficient just to register your business.
You require a License according to § 34c Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung - GewO) for the following activities:
- to act as a broker concluding contracts to acquire
- share certificates in an investment company,
- foreign investment certificates,
- other financial assets offered on the open market which are held in joint account of the investor,
- shares in a corporation or limited commercial partnership offered on the open market or
- securitised loans to a corporation or limited commercial partnership and also
- the commercial investment counselling (even without procuration) of domestic and foreign investment certificates
- to prove the opportunity to conclude such contracts
Note: You possibly also need a License for financial service providers in accordance with the German Banking Act for other financial services. Before making an application, please check which license is required for your business.
The license is valid in the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany and is not restricted in time (unless it is cancelled).
You can only apply for the license if your activity fulfils the criteria of a commercial activity. These are:
- Self-employment (You have to work on your own behalf for your own account)
- The aim to make a profit
- Long term (your activity has to be designed to be repeated)
The license can only be granted if
- the applicant has not been legally convicted of a crime or theft, embezzlement, blackmail, fraud, betrayal of confidence, forgery of documents, handling stolen goods, usury or fraudulent trading and
- no insolvency proceedings have been initiated against him/her and he/she has not been entered into the debtor's files.
Note: No proof is required of professional qualifications (e.g. corresponding work experience or professional training.
Both natural persons and legal entities are entitled to make an application. You can get the "Application for a license in acc. with § 34 c GewO" at the relevant office and also have to submit it there.
N.B. Each managing partner requires his/her own license in the case of partnerships without their own entity – e.g. Limited Liability Company (GmbH), General Partnership (OHG), Limited Partnership (KG).
The responsible authority checks your authorization on the basis of your details and documents. If you have worked as a managing director of a GmbH, as a general partner of an OHG or KG or as owner of a sole proprietorship in the last five years, then the relevant Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) can be heard at the proceedings.
- Certificate of Good Conduct
- Excerpt from the Central Trade Register
- Certificate from the tax authorities regarding tax matters
- Proof that there are no entries in the debtor's files (Schuldnerverzeichnis) and no insolvency proceedings are pending
The charges for issuing the license vary - depending on the scope of the activity applied for.