Obligation to register for prostitutes

Obligation to register for prostitutes (Anmeldepflicht)


Since 1 July 2017, it has been mandatory for prostitutes to personally register their work. Anyone just starting out may only start work once they have registered. Anyone who worked as a prostitute in Germany before 1 July 2017 must register no later than 31 December 2017. This obligation to register applies to all persons providing sexual services.

When they register, prostitutes are provided with information about their rights and obligations as well as on health and social advisory services and on how to access help in an emergency.

The informational and advisory interview during registration has a similar function. The interview will take place in a confidential setting. The interview will be held in a language that the person being advised understands. The public authority may appoint an interpreter for this purpose. Other persons may be present only if the registration authority and the person being advised agree.

The public authority in the place you wish to work most of the time is responsible for registration. To find out which public authority is responsible, please get in touch with the citizens’ centre (Bürgerbüro), the health office (Gesundheitsamt), or consult the website of the relevant city or administrative district. If you wish to work as a prostitute in several cities or federal states, then this must be declared when you register. The places will be entered into the registration certificate. Any new locations added later will also have to be entered into the certificate. If, however, you do work in a different location on a particular occasion without having planned to do so, then it is not necessary to add this to the certificate afterwards.

When they register, prostitutes are provided with information about their rights and obligations, advisory services, and how to access help in an emergency.

The current legal situation of prostitutes in Germany

(Die aktuelle rechtliche Situation von Prostituiertenin Deutschland)
You can exercise your rights only if you know them. On 1 July 2017, Germany introduced new rules for prostitutes and prostitution establishments. The aim of the new regulations is to provide people who work as prostitutes with information about their rights and obligations, and to encourage them to exercise their rights and seek help if they need it.

The most important regulations for prostitutes are outlined below.

Voluntary prostitution is generally allowed in Germany. Prostitution describes the provision of sexual services, i.e. sexual acts performed for money when at least one other person is present. Prostitution is also called “sex work”. The minimum legal age for prostitution is 18. Underage persons are prohibited from working as prostitutes. Furthermore, pimping and exploitation, forced prostitution, human trafficking, and the sexual abuse of minors are also prohibited in Germany. Violators can be prosecuted.

The Prostitution Act (Prostitutionsgesetz) and the new Prostitute Protection Act (Prostituiertenschutzgesetz) apply throughout Germany to all prostitutes, their clients, and the operators of prostitution establishments. For more details about the two acts, visit http://www.bmfsfj/prostschg.de.

Which other laws and regulations prostitutes should know about and observe depends, among other things, on whether they are self-employed or employed, and in which federal state or which municipality they work. A federal ordinance (Landesverordnung) or a so-called restricted area ordinance (Sperrbezirksverordnung) may prohibit prostitution in a municipality or in a particular area. In some federal states, prostitution is prohibited in general in smaller towns. Before registering or when they want to work in another municipality for the first time, prostitutes should inquire with the local authorities about regional regulations.

The Prostitution Act (Das Prostitutionsgesetz)


The Prostitution Act has existed since 2002. It has significantly improved the legal situation of prostitutes. It gives prostitutes the right to demand that clients pay the agreed fee, and they have the right to go to court if necessary. Clients can no longer refuse to pay the money, for example, because they allegedly were unsatisfied.

Furthermore, employment contracts and other contracts between prostitutes and operators of a brothel, an escort agency, etc. can now be legally entered into. The contracts are valid only if they comply with legal regulations and do not infringe the rights of prostitutes.