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The Prussian Law on Freedom of Trade, signed by State Chancellor Hardenberg and King Frederick William III (September 7, 1811)

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4. In reference to § 19 of the Edict of November 2, 1810, soldiers in the ranks may not purchase a trade license without the written permission of the head of the regiment. [ . . . ]

6. In accordance with the regulations of §§ 1 to 5, a person who was not previously a member of a guild may practice any trade on the basis of his trade license, without being compelled thereby to join a guild.

7. He is therefore also entitled to accept apprentices and helpers.

8. In such cases, the apprenticeship period or the duration of service, the possible apprenticeship fee, the wage, food, and medical treatment are determined solely by the free contract.

9. Whichever of these things is not determined will be handled in accordance with local custom.

10. Should a dispute arise, the police office of the locality shall decide what the local custom is.

11. A master or employer may not withhold from departing apprentices and assistants an attestation of their conduct and demonstrated skill.

12. This attestation will count as a certificate of apprenticeship or notification, if the local police authorities confirm that the issuer is known to be a man of integrity who personally practices the mentioned trade, that he has acknowledged the correctness of its content before them, and that nothing to the contrary is known to them.

13. No one may take on apprentices or assistants whose good reputation and right to thus oblige themselves has not been demonstrated in accordance with the general police laws.

14. Anyone who previously belonged to a guild may withdraw from the guild organization at any time.

15. However, the elder or senior master must be informed of this withdrawal in writing.

16. The withdrawal also does not free a person from liability for all guild obligations that exist on the day of the withdrawal as though the withdrawal had not taken place. The head of the guild is obliged to make this obligation explicitly known to every single departing person. [ . . . ]

18. Apprentices who belong to guilds may also work for non-guild members without any disadvantage to their guild rights.

19. Every guild may dissolve itself through a joint resolution. The decision is made by the majority vote of the masters. [ . . . ]

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