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How to start a liberal activity in Luxembourg?



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 ING Luxembourg

Is it complicated to exercise a liberal profession in the Grand-Duchy? The answer depends on your personal situation. Are you a landscape architect or a general practitioner? For how long have you been residing in the country? Here is some useful information to help you find your way around.

First of all, you have to know that liberal professions are divided into two categories in Luxembourg: those requiring a business and those subject to other permits. 

Liberal professions requiring a business permit

The first category includes chartered accountants, landscape architects or engineers, patent attorneys, town and country planners, independent engineers, architects and consulting engineers in the construction sector. Obtaining a business permit is relatively simple. You must satisfy two conditions. First, your business has a fixed physical establishment in the country, equipped with the administrative and technical installations suitable for your activities. Then, you meet the legal requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity. To prove your professional integrity, you must attach to your business permit application an extract from the criminal record and a declaration of honour indicating any business management position during the three years before the application. If you have been residing in Luxembourg for less than ten years, you must also provide a notarial declaration of non-bankruptcy.

You can submit your business permit application in three ways. You apply online via MyGuichet.lu. You send your application by standard mail or email to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises[1]. You apply through the House of Entrepreneurship at the Chamber of Commerce

Depending on the legal form you choose (sole proprietorship or commercial company), you must then proceed with different registrations/affiliations before starting your activity.

Liberal professions subject to other permits

The second category includes audit professions, general practitioners and medical specialists, dental practitioners and specialized dentists, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists, nurses, midwives and other regulated healthcare professions (surgical assistants, dietitians, osteopaths, psychomotricity educators, etc.).  To work in the audit professions, you must hold the title of statutory auditor (réviseur d’entreprises) and receive the approval of the Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier – CSSF) if you want to carry out statutory audits of accounts. For the other professions, you must submit a licence to practise to the Ministry of Health, Department for Healthcare Professionals (Service Professions de Santé). To obtain such a licence, you must satisfy the conditions of professional competence, morality, good reputation and physical and mental required by your profession.

Regulated professions

There is also the question of the recognition of diplomas. Most liberal professions are regulated. Depending on your profession and the country where you were graduated, you must follow a specific procedure. Disciplines such as pharmacists and physiotherapists are covered by the European professional card (EPC). The EPC is an electronic procedure you can use to have your professional qualifications recognized in another EU country. Some professions - practitioners, dentists, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists, midwives, nurses and architects - are regulated with automatic recognition provided that your diploma has been obtained in an EU State member and conforms to EU standards. If not, you belong to the list of regulated professions without automatic recognition. This list includes several other activities such as dietitians, osteopaths or independent engineers and requires the diploma recognition if you didn’t obtain it in Luxembourg.

For more information, you can consult the pages of guichet.lu dedicated to access to a profession. You can also get help by contacting the House of Entrepreneurship at the Chamber of Commerce (+352 42 39 39 330) or the information desk at the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (+352 247 74700).

The professional offers of the banks

Most banks in Luxembourg can also be helpful. They offer a broad range of tailor-made services and products. Thanks to the support of a dedicated relationship manager, you can rely on a professional structure able to answer your professional queries, especially the financial and tax aspects of your profession. You can benefit from various personalized loan solutions such as overdrafts, investment loans, equipment loans, bank guarantees and leasing. And if you are looking for optimal returns on your cash reserves, they can propose flexible cash management solutions.  

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[1] Postal address: B.P. 535 – L-2937 Luxembourg. Mail: [email protected].