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Apply for exemption for entry in the Register of Craftsmen


Entry in the Register of Craftsmen is necessary if you want to operate a craft subject to licensing in Germany independently or if you want to work as a business manager.

This also applies if:

  • You wish to independently exercise a substantial part of a craft subject to licensing.
  • You want to practice several crafts subject to approval independently. In this case, you need to be entered in the register of craftsmen for each craft subject to approval.

For registration in the register of craftsmen, you usually have to pass a master craftsman's examination. If passing the master craftsman's examination is an unreasonable burden for you and you have knowledge and skills equivalent to master craftsmen, you can apply for an exemption for entry in the register of craftsmen.

Exceptions may include:

  • advanced age
  • family situations,
  • serious illness or disability,
  • existence of other tests,
  • long waiting times for master craftsman's examinations.

Each reason for exemption will be examined on a case-by-case basis. In addition, you must prove knowledge and skills that are necessary for practicing the craft.

The exemption may be granted with ancillary provisions. For example, it is conceivable to grant a temporary exemption if taking the master craftsman's examination is only temporarily unreasonable.

  • The master craftsman's examination must represent an unreasonable burden for you.  
  • They must have knowledge and skills to practice the craft.
  • Application for an exemption for entry in the Register of Craftsmen
  • Evidence of the reason for exemption
  • Proof of knowledge and skills relevant to the craft

The specific fee can be found in the list of fees of the Chamber of Crafts, which is available on the Chamber's website.

Not specified

The responsibility lies with the Chamber of Crafts (HWK), in whose district your future business premises are located.

You must submit your application for an exemption and entry in the Register of Craftsmen electronically via online procedure or in writing to your locally competent Chamber of Crafts. The online application is also offered via administration portals. In detail, the following procedural steps result:

  1. Application
  • Go to the website of your locally competent Chamber of Crafts and download the application forms for granting an exemption and for registration in the Register of Craftsmen. You are also welcome to contact your Chamber of Crafts directly and have the necessary documents sent to you.
  • Complete the forms completely and send them together with the required documents to your local Chamber of Crafts.

Alternatively, an online application via administration portals is possible.

  1. Implementation of the administrative procedure for granting an exemption
  • In the procedure for granting an exemption, it is checked whether the following criteria are met:
  • Existence of an exceptional reason (reason why passing a master craftsman's examination appears to be undue hardship, such as family reasons, advanced age or a special opportunity to take over the business)
  • Proof of the necessary knowledge and skills (the scope of the proof depends on the pre-qualification and on whether the exemption is requested for the entire craft or only for a partial sector).
  1. Decision on application

If the legal requirements are met, you will be granted an exemption. On this basis, entry in the Register of Craftsmen can then take place. The exemption may be granted for an unlimited or limited period. A time limit is imposed in particular if the award is associated with the requirement to take the master craftsman's examination within a certain period of time.

  1. Register of craftsmen

On the basis of an exemption permit, the register of craftsmen can be carried out. Together with the notification of registration, the company receives the so-called craft card (§ 10 Abs. 2 HwO).

The Senator for Economics, Labour and Europe of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Handwerkskammer Halle
Graefestraße 24
06110 Halle (Saale), Stadt
0345 2999-0