Meaning of Salesman 2

In contrast to a “normal” self-employed entrepreneur, as an optional businessman you will be assumed to have appropriate experience and knowledge of the economy and trade. It follows that, for example, you enjoy a warranty for commercial purchases according to §§ 373 ff. HGB , but at the same time you are much more strictly liable, since verbal guarantees are fully valid.

What advantages do you have as a can-do trader?

As before, the status as a merchant creates significantly more trust. It can be an advantage for business partners as well as customers to appear as a company. Your company is considered to be orderly, professional and, above all, transparent in terms of finances. You are officially recognized and have to act according to the regulations of the HGB, which gives your customers security.

Thanks to the bookkeeping with balance sheets , inventory and profit-loss accounts, you can keep an overview of your finances at all times. This allows you to better plan future investments and lead your company to success faster.

What dangers can you face?

By registering as an optional merchant, you accept some disadvantages from a legal point of view. So you have to be liable for verbally pronounced guarantees. In addition, the applicable protective regulations for promises of debt do not apply, as you, as a businessman, are assumed to be familiar with all of the consequences of business life. In business dealings between you and another merchant, you are considered less worthy of protection than you would be as a normal consumer.

Examples for you as a salesman?

In order to better understand this complex topic of “can do business man”, you will find two illustrative examples below:

  1. Matthias’ flower shop: Matthias owns a small flower shop in the center of Cologne. He neither employs staff nor does he have a particularly high income. Since he is considered a small business owner, he is spared a detailed accounting obligation and thus a lot of work and costs for the tax advisor. Now Matthias wants to expand because more and more of his customers come from the country and he would like to save them the trip to work. It can be entered in the commercial register for better transparency. Even before his flower shop generates more income, he is a businessman, which makes it easier for him to better plan costs for his expansion.
  2. The farmer Wagner: Cattle breeding and arable farming have been practiced on the Wagner farm for generations. Since the Wagner family belongs to the forestry and agricultural branch, they do not have to be entered in the commercial register so far. Now she has received a permanent order from a food manufacturer and generates significantly more income. In addition, there are now a number of employees working on the Wagner farm. The family therefore decides to be entered in the commercial register.

However, in contrast to Matthias’ flower shop, the Wagner farm is already a large company, which is why registration as a merchant is almost mandatory. In principle, it is always better to be entered directly in the commercial register in order to avoid later bureaucratic effort or even legal consequences.

In a nutshell: Frequently asked questions on the subject of Kannkaufmann

What is meant by a can trader?

A can trader is a trader who voluntarily allows himself to be entered in the commercial register as a trader and acts in accordance with the HGB.

When is one an optional merchant or who is an optional merchant?

You are a skilled trader if you run a small business that can be entered in the commercial register. However, this entry is not mandatory, which is why the term can-do trader was used.

What is the difference between an actual businessman and an optional businessman?

In contrast to the can-do merchant, the actual merchant runs a company in the commercial trade which, in terms of the type of activity and the scope and size of the company, necessitates a commercially managed business operation even before the entry.

Due to the nature of his activity, but the rather smaller company structure, the can-do merchant can voluntarily have himself entered in the commercial register.


With the entry in the commercial register you enjoy some advantages, such as better transparency, the trust of new customers and the possibility of simplified trade between merchants. If you work in forestry, agriculture or as a small business owner, you have the free choice whether you want to be registered or not. This means that you have merchant characteristics and are an optional merchant. From a certain size of the company, from an accounting point of view it makes perfect sense to have the entry made in the commercial register.


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