Restaurant permit Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

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

Regardless of the restaurant permit covered here and depending on your offer, you may have to fulfill further registration and permission obligations, such as the Trade Code and the Crafts Code.

You operate a catering business if you are a business

  •  in the standing trade, i.e. in a permanent establishment, administer beverages (pub) or prepared food (restaurant) for consumption on the spot or
  •  in the travel industry (from a permanent establishment established only for the duration of an event), administer drinks or prepared food for consumption on the spot.

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

You do not need a restaurant permit if you only

  • soft drinks,
  • free samples,
  • prepared food, or
  • in conjunction with an accommodation establishment Drinks and prepared food to house guests


Special regulations apply to Straußwirtschaften (§ 14 of the Gaststättengesetz [GastG]).

The permit is granted for a specific type of operation (e.g. pub, discotheque, snack bar) and is only valid for the rooms used for the operation. A building permit may also be required.

Any extension of the restaurant and any change to the rooms is also subject to authorisation.

In the case of civil-law partnerships and partnerships, a separate permit is required for each partner. In the case of legal persons and associations with no legal capacity, however, 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 provisional permit on revocation (usually for 3 months) until the final restaurant permit is granted (§11 GastG). With this permission, the operation can also be taken over at short notice.

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

To apply for a restaurant permit, you 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 an 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 
  • IHK certificate (§ 4 of the Gaststättengesetz [GastG]). This proof is the certificate of an IHK about the participation in the restaurant lessons or a comparable qualification, which has been confirmed by the IHK.
  • Identity card or other official identity document with photo
  • Purchase, rental or lease agreement to prove that you have actual control over the premises
  • Floor plan of the rooms intended for the operation of the restaurant and the stay of the employees)

Elektronischer Antrag gaststättenrechtliche Erlaubnis gemäß § 2 GastG (Antragsassistent des Einheitlichen Ansprechpartners Schleswig-Holstein)


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 persons, reliability must in principle be proven by the managing director.

Suitability of the rooms and the local location

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


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

Related Links

  • § 2 Restaurant Act (GastG)
  • § 4 Restaurant Act (GastG)
  • § 14 Restaurant Act (GastG)

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

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Department VIIB3

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