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Major components of commercial law are:

Gewerbeordnung (Commerce Regulation Act - federal law)

Business operations are basically desirable. Therefore, a licence is generally not needed, but only an application.

The commercial provisions are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Commerce Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung, in short GewO).
(This link leads to a range of information that is only available in German)

In addition, the employment relationship or the employment contract are laid down in detail by the provisions of the Sections 105 to 110 GewO (employer's reference, management powers, etc.). The GewO is also used to protect against any threats to public safety. The penal provisions of the GewO (Sections 148-148b) belong to criminal law statutes in addition to those of the Penal code. The GewO also contains provisions for the Central Trade Register of the Federal Office of Justice.

Handwerksordnung (Regulation on skilled crafts - federal law)

The law on the regulation of skilled crafts (Handwerksordnung, in short HwO) regulates the exercise of skilled craft in fixed trade, vocational education and training in the crafts and the self-administration of the business sector.
(This link leads to a range of information that is only available in German)

Gaststättengesetz (Law on Catering Establishments - federal law) and Gaststättenverordnung (Rheinland Pfalz Regulation on Catering Establishments)

The term "law on catering establishments" is derived from the fact that the operation of a restaurant requires a special permit or specific monitoring rules are adopted by laws and regulations. There are special provisions under the superordinate Commerce Regulation Act (lex specialis). Moreover, this term refers to all of the rules also from other jurisdictions. The law on catering establishments equally applies to, for example, accommodation establishments in most cases, especially insofar as they operate their own, public catering establishments.

Click here for the Law on Catering Establishments and for the Rheinland-Pfalz Regulation on Catering Establishments.
(These links lead to ranges of information that are only available in German)

Ladenöffnungsgesetz Rheinland-Pfalz (Rheinland-Pfalz Law on shop opening hours)

In Germany, the federal states are responsible for regulating the shop opening hours. In Rheinland-Pfalz, legal shop closing times from 10 pm to 6 am on weekdays apply. The stores must remain closed on Sundays and public holidays. General exceptions are possible up to four shopping Sundays.

The approvals must be issued by the concerned councils, in general. Special rules for sale on Sundays and public holidays continue to apply to certain outlets (pharmacies, gas stations and retail outlets in tourist areas, at railway stations and airports) as well as for the sale of certain goods (flowers and plants, confectionery and bakery goods as well as agricultural products).

Click here for the Rheinland-Pfalz Law on shop opening hours.
(This link leads to a range of information that is only available in German)

Personenbeförderungsgesetz (Passenger Transport Act - federal law)

The provisions of the Passenger Transport Act is subject to chargeable or commercial transport of passengers by trams, trolleybuses and motor vehicles.
(This link leads to a range of information that is only available in German)

EU Directives

EU Services Directive

The EU Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC) aims at the creation of the European internal market in the services sector. It was adopted on 12.12.2006.

Since the Services Directive is a framework directive, it includes all services, which are offered by service providers in a Member State, and which are not explicitly excluded or mentioned in other Directives.

The Services Directive aims at clearing bureaucratic obstacles that may arise in the cross-border provision of services, so as to facilitate it.

To facilitate service providers from the EU on their way to employment in a different EU country, the institution of the Point of Single Contact was established, which provides information about the necessary approvals and permits for engaging in activities and can handle a part of the administrative procedure on behalf of the Applicant.

EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications

The EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC) lays down a system for accreditation of professional qualifications in the European Union (EU), which may extend to other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland under certain conditions.

Its purpose is to contribute to the flexibility of labour markets, to bring about further liberalisation of services, to promote increased automation in the accreditation of qualifications and to simplify administrative procedures. The Directive defines rules for the mutual accreditation of qualifications between the EU Member States, EEA countries and Switzerland.

It applies to all nationals of EU Member States, EEA countries and Switzerland, who want to be self-employed or employed in a regulated profession in a country that is different from where they obtained their professional qualifications. The procedures according to this Directive may also be handled by the Point of Single Contact.

Other laws
Occupational safety and health

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz) is a federal law on occupational safety and health. It is described in detail as follows: Act on the implementation of occupational safety measures for improving the occupational safety and health of employees. The aim is to safeguard and improve the health of all employees.

For more useful information on this subject in the European context, see Your Europe - Health and safety.

Environmental law

Hazards from industrial installations are governed by the Federal Pollution Control Act (Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz).

(These links lead to ranges of information that are only available in German)

For more useful information on this subject in the European context, see Your Europe - EMAS certification and Your Europe - EU Ecolabel.