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Founding a locksmith's shop: self-employed as a metalworker


Becoming self-employed as a locksmith: prerequisites & requirements

So you want to start your own business with a locksmith. As a locksmith, you have to meet a number of requirements: According to the Crafts Code (HWO), metal construction is one of the crafts that require approval, which means that you generally need a master craftsman's certificate in order to become self-employed as a locksmith or metalworker; the so-called master craftsman's duty takes effect. Alternatively, you can simply hire a locksmith with a master craftsman's certificate as operations manager, you will qualify for an exercise authorization or you will receive a special permit:

Exercise authorization for locksmiths without a master craftsman's certificate

The Chamber of Crafts (HWK) checks whether you meet the requirements according to § 7b HWO:

  • Submission of a journeyman's examination in the metal construction trade
  • Proof of six years of professional experience; two as employees in metal construction, four in a managerial position
  • Proof of required commercial, business and legal knowledge
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Andreas Munck

For over 7 years I have been advising start-ups on their way to starting their own company. I would be happy to call you and help you with any questions you may have about your start-up in a personal conversation.

  • Startup expert
  • 7 years of experience


Exemption in metal construction without a master craftsman's certificate

The HWK can grant an exception authorization for your business start-up according to § 8 HWO. The conditions for this are:

  • Taking the master craftsman's examination would be an unreasonable burden
  • Evidence and knowledge in the metalworking profession are proven
  • Proof of required commercial, business and legal knowledge

Once you have managed to set up a locksmith's shop without a master craftsman's certificate, it is recommended that you still hire a master craftsman as operations manager. In this way you guarantee quality work and your company enjoys a higher reputation.


Establish a locksmith's shop as a GmbH, UG, GbR or sole proprietorship: choose legal form

You have to consider what the long-term goals and plans for your metalworking or locksmith business look like, because depending on your financial possibilities and what security you need, you need a different legal form. Think carefully about which goals you are setting yourself and which legal form is best suited for them. For founders who want to set up a company with limited liability, the establishment of a GmbH or a UG is ideal. The GmbH requires a capital contribution of 25,000 euros, the UG can be founded with one euro of share capital. In addition to the GmbH and UG, there is also the GbR and the sole proprietorship. With these two legal forms, you can set up a business more easily, more cheaply and with less bureaucracy. Please also note that the respective legal forms differ from a tax point of view and you should decide on a legal form that suits your start-up situation.

More about the possible legal forms:

Which company suits me and my business idea?


Our packages for your start-up

After you have decided on a legal form and founded it, there are still a few commercial registrations to be made. You are obliged to register your locksmith's shop as a trade. In the case of the legal forms GmbH and UG, an entry in the commercial register is also required.

Even in the skilled trades, a professional business plan is part of every business start-up. In this you record your long-term goals and your financial plan. Another central aspect of your business plan is the market and location analysis. With a sophisticated business plan, you not only protect yourself, but you can also convince potential investors of your business idea.

Have you already properly insured your locksmith's shop?


Founding a locksmith's shop: Marketing

In order to promote your newly established locksmith's shop, you should first specialize in a few services that you offer or consider acting as a “locksmith for everything”. Then you still have to advertise your company. Traditional advertising materials still work very well in the craft trades, for example printing flyers, having them entered in the yellow pages, placing advertisements, etc. However, you can also reach many people online with an appealing and clearly designed website who can then find out more directly about your offer . You can also use social media to do marketing for your company. Think about where you want to go with your company and who you want to reach, and then you are guaranteed to find the right advertising method.


The information published on our site is all written and checked by experts with the greatest care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness, as laws and regulations are subject to constant change. Therefore, always consult a technical expert in a specific case - we will be happy to put you in touch.

firma.de assumes no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.