Bild Gaststätte

Restaurant

A business is considered to be a restaurant if drinks or prepared food are served for consumption on site and if the establishment is open to anyone or to a specific group of people.

A restaurant business may also be run as an itinerant trade, e.g. if drinks or prepared food are sold for a specific occasion (“food trucks,” food stands at fairs, etc.). The prerequisite here is that the restaurant is open to anyone or to a specific group of people and is designed to allow on-site consumption (seats or facilities to put down drinks/food).

Important notice: Restaurants that serve alcohol always require a permit. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol do not require a permit and this has been the case since 1 July 2005 – they only have to be registered as a business. However, restaurants that do not require a permit must also comply with the regulations for all restaurants (food laws, construction laws, youth protection laws, closing times, special usage rights, etc.).

Where do I register my restaurant?

Both restaurants that serve alcohol and those that do not serve alcohol must be registered with the local trade licensing or regulatory office. If a restaurant intends to serve alcoholic beverages, the restaurant may only commence activities once the relevant permit has been obtained. A restaurant permit may also be requested from the local trade licensing or regulatory office.

Which documents must be submitted?

For a business registration (restaurants WITH and WITHOUT alcohol), normally:

  • Business registration form
  • ID
  • For legal persons: company register or association register excerpt
  • If registered by a representative: power of attorney
  • If necessary, approval certificate (not mandatory, but necessary for the commencement of  business)
  • If necessary, residence permit (not mandatory, but may be necessary for commencement of Business)

For a permit (restaurant WITH alcohol), normally:

  • ID
  • Documents on the building in which the restaurant will be located: two copies of the layout, ground plan and sectional drawings
  • Planning permission and final inspection documents
  • Copy of the lease agreement; the gross lease rate must be stated
  • Information on tax matters from the tax office of the place where you resided or operated your business during the last three years
  • Clearance certificate from the municipal tax office of the place where you resided or operated your business during the last three years
  • Certificate of conduct document type “O”
  • Excerpt from the German Central Register of Companies document type "9"
  • Clearance certificate from the insolvency court of the local courts in whose district you resided or maintained a business presence during the last three years
  • Excerpt from the list of debtors via the Vollstreckungsportal der Länder in accordance with Section 882b of the German Code of Civil Procedure [Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO]
  • Proof of receipt of basic information about food law from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI)
  • For legal persons: excerpt from the company register or association register, or a copy of the articles of association or of the statutes
  • When submitting an application through a representative: power of attorney
  • If necessary, residence permit

The final restaurant permit will be for a specific location, type of operation and persons and will only be issued if you, as the applicant, are considered to be reliable. You can prove your reliability through the documents listed above. The trade department will then determine whether your restaurant may be opened in the desired form.

In certain cases, additional documents may be necessary – you will be informed about this by the competent authorities.

Simple online procedure to help you open a restaurant through the Point of Single Contact for NRW

Would like to open a restaurant? We will be pleased to provide you with information about the necessary steps. You can also process your proposal through our electronic application system.

If you have any questions about individual documents or regarding the competent authorities, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.