Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Professional qualifications

If you want to set up your own business, you should have professional skills related to your business idea. For some professions, you need to provide evidence of your qualifications through appropriate degrees in order to be able to set up a business in that profession in Germany.  This applies, for example, to start-ups in professions in the health service, legal advice and educational sectors, but also in the skilled trades. If you have acquired your professional qualification abroad, you must apply for recognition of your qualification. Only when your qualification is recognized as equivalent to the respective German qualification can you set up a business in the respective profession. You can find out how the recognition procedure works for various professions in the section “Recognition”. Please note: Even professional qualifications acquired in the European Union are not automatically recognized.

Skilled trade professions

Special rules apply for skilled trade professions: For some skilled trades, it is not enough to have learned the trade in question. When setting up a new business, you need a master craftsman's certificate (Meisterbrief), which you can obtain by completing certain further training. If you can present a vocational qualification obtained abroad that is deemed to be equivalent to the master craftsman's examination, you can independently practice a skilled trade that is subject to authorisation. This includes, for example, the following trades: bricklayers and concrete workers, road builders, painters and varnishers, precision mechanics, electrical engineering technician, cabinetmakers, butchers, opticians, etc. If, on the other hand, you hold a professional qualification which is equivalent to the normal German qualification without a master craftsman title, you can obtain your master craftsman title through appropriate further training. Which possibilities you have to attain a title of master craftsman (Meistertitel), we have summarized for you in the section "Vocational Training in Germany”.

Regardless of your professional qualifications, you should also be proficient in commercial matters. In special seminars or workshops, you can, for example, learn methods of bookkeeping, price calculation and cost accounting or refresh your knowledge.

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