Procedure descriptions
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Organising trade fairs, exhibitions and markets on a commercial basis

If you want to organise a trade fair, an exhibition or a market, you need a so-called licence from the relevant authority. Once you have this licence, you may host the trade fair, exhibition or a market, at the same time however you are also obliged to carry out the event. Trade fairs, exhibitions and markets are not required to comply with the provisions of the law regulating shop opening hours and the law regulating trading on Sundays and public holidays. However, a licence will only be granted for the event by the relevant authority, if the prerequisites of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung) are met.

You can find detailed information on the organisation of weekly markets in the procedure description "Carrying out Weekly Market" ("Durchführung von Wochenmärkten").

Responsible department

the lower administrative authority (Untere Verwaltungsbehörde)
The lower administrative authority is the city council (Stadtverwaltung) or the rural district office (Landratsamt) depending on the location at which the event should take place.

Details

Prerequisite

  • personal reliability of the applicant
  • fulfilling the requirements of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulations Act (GewO) specified for the relevant type of event, or
    • if provisions have to be made to protect visitors,
    • the provisions of the law distinguish between wholesale markets, weekly markets, special markets and fairs
  • suitable venue (e.g. specialised markets may not be located in retail outlets)

Procedure

You have to apply for the licence. Some administrative authorities provide a form and/or put it online as a download. Generally it is sufficient to make an informal application with the following details:

  • Name of the organiser
  • Date, time and venue
  • Brief description of the event
  • Information on the range of products
  • As soon as a licence has been granted for the event, you will receive written notification. The licence can be subject to conditions.

Please note: The licence for the event obliges you, as the organiser, to carry it out.

Generally anyone may attend a trade fair, an exhibition or a market. As the organiser, you can restrict the event to specific groups of suppliers or visitors or exclude individual interested parties for objectively justifiable reasons. However the selection criteria for the applicants have to be objective and verifiable. They include criteria such as the attractiveness, balance, versatility and novelty of the business operated by the applicant.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Required documents

  • completed application form
  • copy of the identity card or comparable identity documents
  • for proof of the corporate legal form
    • If the location of your company is in Germany, you will need:
      • for registered companies: an excerpt of the Commercial Register (Handelsregisterauszug) and if applicable a copy of the shareholders agreement (e.g. for a company constituted under civil law, (GbR)).
    • If your company is located abroad, you will need documents from the country where it is located which prove its legal form.
  • for proof of personal reliability
    • If your place of residence is in Germany, you will normally need:
    • If your place of residence is abroad, you will need documents from your native country, which prove that you have the personal reliability to provide the requested service.
  • Expected list of participants
  • Allocation plan of the specified rooms/areas
  • If applicable, conditions of participation
  • If applicable, proof of the public market tender (text and place of publication of the tender conducted before the application)
  • Directory of the type of goods to be offered

When checking the personal reliability, in individual cases the authorising authority could request alongside the documents listed additional documents, which are appropriate to make a statement about your personal reliability as applicant.

In the case of legal entities (GmbH, corporate companies, AG, registered cooperatives) the application form only has to be completed by the legal entity itself. All personal documents have to be submitted for all natural persons authorised to manage the company (e.g. certificate of good conduct, personal documents). In addition, an excerpt from the Central Trade Register has to be applied for in the case of legal entities.

In the case of partnerships, which as such are not capable of holding a licence (GbR, KG, OHG, PartG, GmbH & Co. KG), each of the managing partners requires the licence. I.e. an application form and all personal documents are required for each person.

Costs

The amount charged is based on the local regulations governing the fees.

Miscellaneous

Generally anyone may attend a trade fair, an exhibition or a market. As the organiser, you can restrict the event to specific groups of suppliers or visitors or exclude individual interested parties for objectively justifiable reasons. However the selection criteria for the applicants have to be objective and verifiable. They include criteria such as the attractiveness, balance, versatility and novelty of the business operated by the applicant.

If you would like to take part in a trade fair, exhibition or market, you will find the required information under "Licence for Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, Wholesale Markets, Weekly Markets, Special Markets and Annual Fairs" ("Zulassung zu Messen, Ausstellungen, Großmärkten, Wochenmärkten, Spezialmärkten und Jahrmärkten").

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Finanz- und Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 04.08.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.