Actual Merchant Dictionary Definitions Part I

If you are a are running commercial enterprise , then you have, according to the Commercial Code in accordance with § 1 the status of a merchant, and between here in most cases Istkaufmann , Can Kaufmann can be distinguished, and other species. It does not matter here whether you run the trade alone or whether your company is a company. A distinction is made between different types depending on the nature of the commercial activity and the form in which it emerged from the status of merchant. One type is the actual salesman .

Actual merchant definition

A Istkaufmann is by definition a natural person , the one engaged in Trade . This is stipulated by law in Section 1 (1) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) . There it is described that every business enterprise whose type and scope is set up in a commercial manner and must be designed in such a way for the exercise of the activity. The operator of such a business is called an actual salesman .

The term businessman by virtue of activity is also used as a synonym for the actual businessman . The legislature does not provide for a right to vote on this point. Commercial law describes every commercial trade as a business operation in Section 1 (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) . There is only an exception for the actual businessman if no commercial manner is necessary for business operations .

Difference between actual merchant, optional merchant and form merchant

As already mentioned, there are different types of merchants . According to the German Commercial Code, the difference between the actual businessman and the optional businessman results from the following points:

  • Reaching the turnover and profit limits (definition of small business )
  • Option of voluntary entry in the commercial register
  • Legal form or type of operation

Another difference between an actual businessman and an optional businessman is when you liquidate your business . As an optional merchant, you dissolve your trade by deleting it from the commercial register. For you as an actual merchant, the deletion only comes into effect when you delete it from the register AND abandon your trade.

Definition of can-do trader

The definition of the can- do trader seems a bit more complex at first. If you are a merchant because of your job, you are actually automatically counted among the actual merchants. However, if you are below the limit of 600,000 euros in sales or below a profit of 60,000 euros per year, you are referred to as a small business owner. So you are still a businessman in terms of your work, but you are exempt from the obligation of proper bookkeeping ( accounting obligation ) and exempt from the obligation to draw up a balance sheet ( accounting obligation ). This means that you no longer belong in the actual salesman category, but in the category Kannkaufmann , provided you decide to voluntarily register yourself in the commercial register.

In addition, you do not count as an actual clerk if you work as a farmer or forester , i.e. if you run a business in this branch in a commercial manner. However, you can voluntarily register yourself in the commercial register and thus become an optional merchant .

Important: The term can-do merchant results from the fact that you have the choice here and CAN voluntarily register yourself in the commercial register . After registration, you are therefore a can-do trader although you are below the statutory turnover and profit limit or run a forestry and agricultural business.

Definition of a mold merchant

The same applies to you as a trader if you have chosen a company as your legal form , because the limits mentioned apply to you here as well. In this case you are a molding merchant according to § 141 AO .

What does Mustkaufmann mean?

The term must merchant is synonymous with the term actual merchant. The term must merchant was used until the reform of the Commercial Law Act in 1998 and was then replaced by the term actual merchant .

Positive and negative example for the actual businessman

To make it clear to you exactly when you are an actual salesman and when you are not, here are two practical examples for you.

Actual merchant Not an actual merchant
You grew up with bikes and you love bikes. So you set up a bicycle workshop. At first you did this business on your own, fixing bikes in the garage.
Now your company has grown and you already employ 17 people. In the year you can refer to a proud 100,000 euros in profit.
You have been an avid reader since you were a child. A great many books have accumulated over the years. To make room for new ones, you occasionally sell your old books on different platforms.
The profit, however, is minimal and enough to buy new books.

Actual Merchant