Apply for a restaurant permit

If you want to run a catering business that serves alcohol, you generally need a permit.

Important notes


  • personal reliability
    • Your reliability will be checked, among other things, on the basis of your certificate of good conduct, the excerpt from the central trade register and a certificate in tax matters.
    • In the case of legal entities, reliability must always be proven by the managing director.
  • Suitability of the rooms and the local location
    • The rooms intended for catering operations must be suitable for the type and scope of the intended use and their location must not contradict the public interest, for example with regard to noise protection
  • Irrespective of the restaurant license discussed here and depending on your offer, you may have to fulfill other registration and license requirements, for example according to the trade regulations and the craft regulations.

Documents required

You need the following documents to apply for a restaurant permit:

  • Application for a restaurant permit
  • Identity card or passport with last registration certificate
  • Purchase, rental or lease agreement to prove that you have the actual power of disposal over the business premises
  • Floor plan of the rooms intended for the catering business and the stay of the employees
  • Certificate in tax matters,
  • Certificate from a chamber of industry and commerce or a chamber of commerce, according to § 4 Gaststättengesetz -GastG, about the participation in a restaurant course or about the acquisition of a comparable qualification.
  • Information from the federal central register (certificate of good conduct) for authorities. The certificate of good conduct must not be older than three months when applying for the restaurant permit.
  • Information from the central business register for natural persons for submission to an authority. When applying for the restaurant permit, the excerpt from the central trade register must not be older than three months.
  • Information from the central trade register for legal entities for submission to an authority. You must apply for the excerpt from the central trade register at the regulatory office responsible for the place of business.
Information from the federal central register and from the central commercial register can also be requested from the responsible specialist office for consumer protection, trade and the environment
  • If applicable, extract from the commercial register or articles of association or articles of incorporation
  • If applicable, residence permit if you are a foreigner and not a citizen of an EU or EEA country
  • Only when serving meals: Certificate of instruction in accordance with the Infection Protection Act

Please note

A restaurant permit or concession is only required for those who want to serve alcoholic beverages in their establishment. However, it should be noted that the business registration and a building permit are still required.

Spatial changes are changes to the catering law permit, such as enlarging the bar area or changing the adjoining rooms (kitchen, storage rooms, etc.).
A change in the mode of operation is a change in the mode of operation - for example from a bar without any special operating characteristics to a bar in the discotheque mode of operation.

If you want to take over an existing restaurant business that requires a permit from another person, you can be granted a provisional permit that can be revoked (usually for 3 months) until the final restaurant permit is issued. With this permission, the company can also be taken over at short notice.

A representative permit must be applied for if you want to have the restaurant run by a representative who is also responsible to the authorities. The same requirements regarding personal suitability apply to this person as to you.


Deadline Type: Application Deadline

Comment (for more information on the deadline):

The catering trade must be reported before opening the business. The sale of alcohol is only permitted once the requested permit has been granted.

Procedure & Fees


You must submit an application for a restaurant permit to the responsible department for consumer protection, trade and the environment.

  • You must enclose the documents required in each case, unless these are obtained by the authority itself.
  • If there are no grounds for refusal, you will be granted the requested permission.

Processing time

Duration: 1 month to 3 months.

Remark for further information on the processing time:

The processing time depends on the completeness of the documents


Cost type: variable

Cost: from 495 EUR to 595 EUR

Description of costs: Fee

Payment method: Girocard

If necessary, additionally: transfer/payment slip

Legal notes

Legal remedies

  • contradiction

  • administrative lawsuit

Legal basis

§ 2 Restaurant Act (GastG)

§ 4 Restaurant Act (GastG)

Schedule of Fees for Business Administration

§ 14 Restaurant Act (GastG)

Service description

If you want to operate a restaurant business with alcohol serving, you generally need a restaurant permit.

You run a catering business if you do it commercially

  • in a permanent business, i.e. in a permanent place of business, provide drinks (tavern) or prepared food (catering) for consumption on the spot or
  • in the itinerant trade (from a permanent establishment only for the duration of an event) provide drinks or prepared food for consumption on the spot.
You don't need a restaurant license if you're purely
  • soft drinks,
  • free samples,
  • prepared meals or
  • in connection with an accommodation establishment, drinks and prepared meals to house guests

Special regulations apply to ostrich farms.
Permission is granted for a specific type of operation (e.g. pub, discotheque, snack bar) and only applies to the rooms used for the operation. A building permit may also be required.

Any expansion of the restaurant business and any change to the rooms is also subject to a permit.

In the case of companies under civil law and commercial partnerships, each partner requires their own permit. In the case of legal entities and non-incorporated associations, on the other hand, only a single restaurant permit is required.

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