Pawnbroking business; application for a license

If you want to work commercially as a pawnbroker or pawnbroker, you need a license.



If you want to work as a pawnbroker, you must provide special securities and evidence.

  • You must provide evidence of the necessary funds or collateral for the first six months. This can be a credit balance or a bank guarantee.
  • You must also take out insurance against fire damage, water damage, burglary and robbery and present it when submitting your application. A safe must be available for jewelry.
  • You must secure your premises against burglary with an alarm system.
  • In the case of car pawnbroking, the question of possible environmental hazards caused by the parking areas of the vehicles must be clarified.

Permission will be refused if:

  • Facts justify the assumption that the applicant does not possess the reliability required for the business operation.
    As a rule, this reliability is not possessed by anyone who has been convicted of a crime, theft, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, breach of trust, forgery of documents, receiving stolen goods, usury or an offense against the law against unfair competition in the five years prior to the application.
  • The applicant does not provide evidence of the funds required for the business or corresponding securities.


You must apply to the competent authority for a license to operate a business as a pawnbroker or pawnbroker.

After the examination, you will either receive the permit or a rejection notice. A permit may be subject to certain conditions.

Special notes

The pawnbroker must notify the competent authority which rooms he/she uses for the business operation at the start of the business operation; furthermore, he/she must immediately notify any change of rooms used for the business operation.

The pawnbroker is obliged to keep records.


You must apply for the permit before starting your business. You are only entitled to exercise the trade after the permit has been issued.

Required documents

  • The following documents may be required:

    • Identity card or comparable identification document (copy)
    • Non-EU citizens: residence permit (copy)
    • Proof of entrepreneurial legal form
      • Company headquarters in Germany:
        • In the case of registered companies: Excerpt from the commercial register and, if applicable, a copy of the articles of association (e.g. in the case of a civil-law partnership (GbR)).
      • Company domicile abroad: documents from this country proving the legal form.
    • Proof of personal reliability
      • Residence in Germany:
        • Certificate of good conduct
        • Extract from the central business register for natural persons and, if applicable, legal entities
      • Residence abroad: Documents from your home country proving that you have the personal reliability to carry out the requested service.
      • The authority may request further documents in individual cases which are suitable for making a statement about your personal reliability as an applicant.
    • Proof of the funds and securities required for the operation of the business
      • Residence in Germany:
        • Extract from the debtors' register
        • Information from the insolvency register
      • Residence abroad: Documents from your home country as proof that you have the necessary means and securities at your disposal
    • Proof of insurance
    • Floor plan of the premises intended for the business


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie

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