The business permit regime has been simplified for certain professional activities covered by the Law of 2 September 2011 regulating access to the professions of craftsman, trader, industrialist and certain liberal professions, as amended (hereafter, the “Law”). The changes made thereto by the amending Law of 18 July 2018 (published on 26 July 2018) came into force on Monday 30 July 2018.
The most significant changes are the following:
i. The specific permit relating to large-scale retail stores (“grandes surfaces”) has been abolished, which translates into a less administrative burden for initiating this type of project.
Indeed, former Article 35 (which has now been repealed) provided for the need for a specific permit for any creation, extension, takeover, transfer or change of the main commercial sector(s) of a large-scale retail store having a commercial space with a sales area exceeding 400 sq. m.
The authors of the amending Law of 18 July 2018 rightly saw this as a duplication of the existing instruments in competition law matters and in spatial and urban planning matters.
According to the same authors, the decision to abolish the specific permit relating to large-scale retail stores should foster the competitiveness of Luxembourg’s commercial sector in the Greater Région1.
ii. The requirement relating to the professional qualification of persons carrying out “commercial activities not otherwise regulated” (“activités commerciales non autrement réglementées”) has been abolished.
Any legal person wishing to carry out an activity regulated by the Law must designate an executive (“dirigeant”) who will appear as such on the business permit to be issued. The executive is the person who effectively and permanently manages the company's activities.
The executive had to prove, among other things, that he or she met the legal requirements of professional qualification and integrity.
From now on, with respect to “commercial activities not otherwise regulated " (i.e. any act of commerce that is not otherwise referred to by the Law, e.g. sales in clothing stores) the executive only needs to prove his or her professional integrity.
This being said, the company concerned still has to prove that it has appropriate premises to carry out its activity, the executive’s effective and permanent management (including his or her power of signature), and the actual and effective relationship between the executive and the company (either an employment contract or any interest in the capital).
iii. The categories “economic adviser” and “adviser in” have been abolished and persons carrying out these activities will now obtain a business permit for “commercial services and activities” under the new regime applicable to “commercial activities not otherwise regulated”.
As a result, any person providing services and advice in micro- and macroeconomic matters, as well as in business management, will no longer have to prove that he or she has the professional qualifications required therefor.