In contrast to a commercial activity in an established trade, the exercise of a travel trade does not require a trade notification, but an official permit (travel trade card) (Section 55 (2) of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung - GewO)).
The district administrative authority in whose district you have your usual place of residence has local responsibility for issuing the travel trade card.
A travelling trade is exercised by anyone who offers, sells, distributes or purchases goods or offers services or seeks out orders for services outside of his or her commercial establishment or without having such an establishment without a prior order (Section 55 (1) No. 1 GewO). This includes, in particular, visiting homes or businesses (door-to-door sales) without prior order or offering goods and services on the street or in squares, e.g. from non-fixed sales stands.
A travelling trade is also exercised by anyone who carries out entertainment activities as a showman or in the manner of a showman (typical fairground business; Section 55 (1) No. 2 GewO).
If the owner of the business is a partnership without its own legal personality, a travel trade permit must be issued for each partner engaged in the travel trade.
Certain activities are exempt from the travel trade card (§ 55a GewO), e.g. the offering of goods occasionally at trade fairs, exhibitions, public festivals or on special occasions with the permission of the responsible municipality, or the sale of home-grown agricultural and forestry products, vegetables, fruit and horticultural products, poultry farming and beekeeping, hunting and fishing.
However, some of the trades that are exempt from the travel trade card are subject to a notification requirement with the competent municipality (§ 55c GewO), unless the trade is subject to a trade notification requirement anyway (§ 14 GewO). These are:
- the offering of goods for sale, soliciting orders, offering services or soliciting orders for services in the municipality of his residence or commercial establishment, provided that the municipality does not have more than 10,000 inhabitants (Section 55a (1) No. 3 GewO),
- the distribution of foodstuffs or other goods for daily consumption from a non-fixed point of sale or other establishment at regular, shorter intervals in the same place (Section 55a (1) No. 9 of the Trade Regulation Act)
- the offering for sale of printed matter on public ways, streets, squares or other public places (Section 55a (1) No. 10 GewO).
Certain activities are prohibited in the itinerant trade, e.g. the sale of poisons and goods containing poisons, broken tapes, electromedical devices, securities, precious metals (Section 56a GewO).
Showmen must take out liability insurance for certain activities (Showmen's Liability Ordinance).
The holder of a travelling trade permit is obliged to carry it with him while carrying on the trade, to show it to the competent authorities or officials on request and to cease his activities on request until the travelling trade permit has been obtained. Upon request, he shall present the goods he is carrying.
If the holder of the travel business card does not carry out the activity in his own person, he shall be obliged to hand over a duplicate or a certified copy of the travel business card to the persons employed in the business if they are to come into direct contact with customers; this shall also apply if the employees work at a different place than the holder (Section 60b GewO).