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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a restaurant permit


If you want to run a restaurant business with alcohol, you basically need a restaurant permit.

Regardless of the restaurant permit discussed here and depending on your offer, you may have to fulfill further registration and permit obligations, for example according to the Trade Code and the Crafts Code.

You operate a restaurant business if you are a commercial

  •  in a standing trade, i.e. in a fixed place of business, administer beverages (pub) or prepared food (restaurant) for consumption on the spot, or
  •  in the itinerant trade (from a permanent establishment only for the duration of an event), administer beverages or prepared food for consumption on the spot.

In any case, the prerequisite is that the operation is basically accessible to everyone.

You do not need a restaurant permit if you only

  • non-alcoholic beverages,
  • free tastings,
  • prepared food, or
  • in connection with an accommodation establishment, beverages and prepared food to house guests


Special regulations apply to wine taverns (§ 14 of the Restaurant Act [GastG]).

The permit is granted for a specific type of business (e.g. pub, discotheque, snack bar) and is only valid for the premises serving the business. If necessary, a building permit may also be required.

Any expansion of the restaurant business and any change to the premises is also subject to approval.

In the case of civil law partnerships and commercial partnerships, a separate permit is required for each shareholder. In the case of legal entities and unincorporated associations, on the other hand, only a single restaurant permit is required.

If you want to take over an existing restaurant business requiring a permit from another person, you can be granted a temporary permit on revocation (usually for 3 months) until the final restaurant permit is issued (§11 GastG). With this permit, the operation can also be taken over at short notice.

A permit for substitution (§ 9 GastG) should be applied for if you want to have the restaurant run by a deputy, who should also act responsibly vis-à-vis authorities and institutions. The deputy must meet the same criteria in terms of personal reliability and suitability as you do.

personal reliability

  • Your reliability will be checked on the basis of your certificate of good conduct and the extract from the Central Trade Register.
  • In the case of legal entities, reliability must always be proven by the managing director.

Suitability of the spaces and the local location

  • The rooms intended for the catering business must be suitable for the type and extent of the intended use and must not be contrary to the public interest with regard to their location, for example with regard to noise protection

To apply for a restaurant permit, you will need the following documents:

  • Application for a restaurant permit
  • 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 Trade Register for Natural Persons for submission to an authority. The extract from the Central Trade Register must not be older than three months when applying for the restaurant permit.
  • Information from the Central Trade Register for Legal Entities for submission to an authority. You must apply for the extract from the central trade register at the public order office responsible for the place of business.
  • If applicable, excerpt from the commercial register or articles of association or articles of association
  • Proof of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (§ 4 of the Restaurant Act [GastG]). This proof is the certificate of an IHK of participation in the restaurant instruction or a comparable qualification that has been confirmed by the IHK.
  • Identity card or other official identification document with photo
  • Purchase, rental or lease agreement to prove that you have actual power of disposal over the business premises
  • Floor plan of the rooms intended for the operation of the restaurant and the stay of the employees)

Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Chambers of Crafts, districts, independent cities, the responsible official administrations or administrations of the unincorporated municipalities will support you in the application process.

The procedure can be carried out through the Network of Points of Single Contact .

You must submit an application for a restaurant permit to the competent trade authority. In doing so, you must enclose the required documents, unless they are obtained by the authority itself. If there are no grounds for refusal, you will be granted the requested permission.

The Restaurant Act only applies in the states of Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein. The remaining nine states have enacted their own state restaurant laws.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Division VIIB3

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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