In contrast to a commercial activity in an established trade, the exercise of a travelling trade does not require a trade notification but an official permit (travelling trade permit) (Section 55 (2) of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung - GewO)).
The district administrative authority in whose district you have your habitual residence has local responsibility for issuing the travelling trade permit.
A travelling trade is exercised by anyone who offers, sells, distributes or buys goods or offers services or seeks out orders for services outside his or her place of business or without having such a place of business without a prior order (Section 55 (1) No. 1 GewO). This includes, in particular, visiting homes or shops (doorstep selling) 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; § 55, para. 1, no. 2 GewO).
If the proprietor of the business is a partnership without 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 competent municipality or the distribution of home-grown agricultural, forestry, vegetable, fruit and horticultural products, poultry farming and beekeeping as well as hunting and fishing.
However, some of the trades that are exempt from the travel trade card are subject to notification to the competent municipality (§ 55c GewO), unless the trade is subject to trade notification anyway (§ 14 GewO). These are:
- the offering for sale of goods, seeking orders, offering services or seeking 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 another establishment at regular, shorter intervals at the same place (Section 55a (1) no. 9 GewO)
- the offering for sale of printed matter on public ways, streets, squares or other public places (Section 55a (1) No. 10 of the Trade Regulation Act).
Certain activities are prohibited in the travelling trade, e.g. the sale of poisons and goods containing poisons, broken tapes, electro-medical 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 produce the goods he is carrying.
If the holder of the traveller's permit does not carry out the activity in his own person, he is obliged to hand over a duplicate or a certified copy of the traveller's permit to the persons employed in the business if they are to come into direct contact with customers; this also applies if the persons employed are working at a different place than the holder (Section 60b GewO).