Restaurant license; application by non-EU citizens

If you want to operate a restaurant business serving alcoholic beverages, you need a restaurant permit. The restaurant permit is issued both for a specific person and for a specific room.


You operate a catering business if, in a standing trade, you

  1. serve beverages for consumption on the spot (tavern) or
  2. serve prepared food for consumption on the premises (catering),

if the business is accessible to everyone or to certain groups of people (§ 1 Gaststättengesetz - GastG).

In any case, you must register the business with the responsible municipality in accordance with § 14 GewO.

The catering trade only requires a permit if alcoholic beverages are served. If only non-alcoholic beverages and/or prepared meals are served, the catering trade does not require a permit.

Permission is granted for a specific type of business (e.g. pub and restaurant, discotheque, dance café, etc.) and for the premises used for the business.

Permission is also required for any expansion of the catering business and any change in the type of business.
In the case of civil law companies and trading companies, each managing partner requires permission.

If you wish to operate a restaurant requiring a permit through a deputy, you require a deputy permit (§ 9 GastG).

If you wish to take over a restaurant operation requiring a permit from another person, you may be permitted to operate the restaurant business on a revocable basis (usually for a period of up to three months) until the permit is issued (provisional permit).
The same applies to the granting of a provisional deputy permit (§ 11 GastG).

After the death of the permit holder, the restaurant business may be continued on the basis of the previous permit by the spouse, life partner or minor heirs during the period of minority. The same applies to executors of estates, guardians of estates or executors of wills up to a period of 10 years after the inheritance. If you wish to continue a business on this basis, you must notify the Elraubnisbehörde without delay.

If the gastronomic activity requiring a permit is only temporary catering on the occasion of an event (special occasion, e.g. club, town, music festival, etc.), the operation of the catering business can be permitted by the municipality under eased conditions (as a rule, no proof of instruction and no building permit is required) in accordance with § 12 GastG. The responsibility for this lies with the municipality.


In principle, a residence permit is required, which allows the self-employed activity to be carried out.

The requirements for the permit are the reliability of the trader, a certificate of instruction from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce on the main features of the food law knowledge required for the intended business, and spatial and location-related requirements including barrier-free access.

With regard to reliability, the applicant is generally required to submit an official certificate of good conduct or an extract from the criminal record of his or her home country or an equivalent document and/or a certificate of good conduct for public authorities (Section 30 (5) of the Federal Central Register Act) and information from the Central Trade Register (Section 150 (5) of the Trade Regulation Act). If, on the basis of the foreigner's previous residence, it can be assumed that facts relevant to trade law are no longer or not yet contained in the aforementioned certificates and proofs, submission of the foreign or German certificates can be waived.

The instruction on the necessary food law knowledge (if you operate a pub and restaurant business) is certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (following a 6-hour course) (certificate of instruction). In the case of legal entities, these personal permit requirements must be met by the authorized representatives (managing director, board of directors).

A further prerequisite for the granting of the permit is that the rooms intended for the operation of the business or the stay of the employees are suitable, the rooms intended for guests can be used without barriers and the business does not conflict with the public interest with regard to its local location or the use of the rooms, and in particular does not give rise to fears of harmful effects on the environment or other significant disadvantages, dangers or nuisances for the general public.

In particular, a building permit must be available for the intended type of operation.


The restaurant permit must be issued before the start of operation, so a timely application (approx. 4 weeks before the start of operation) is required.

Required documents

  • Non-EU foreign nationals: Residence title permitting self-employed (independent) activities

  • Identity card; passport

  • Proof of reliability

    Official certificate of good conduct or extract from the criminal record of the home country or an equivalent document and/or a certificate of good conduct for public authorities (Section 30 (5) of the Federal Central Register Act) and information from the Central Trade Register (Section 150 (5) of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act).

  • Proof of instruction


  • Lease/rental agreement or proof of ownership of premises

  • Floor plans and site plans, building permit

  • Documents for restaurant permit (non-EU citizens)

    in the case of registered companies, an excerpt from the commercial register or comparable registration documents from abroad (with German translation) in the case of civil law companies, articles of association in the case of a limited liability company being formed, a copy of the notarial deed of formation and a power of attorney from the founders, according to which the commencement of business is to be commenced before the entry in the commercial register

  • particulars and documents relating to the applicant and his representatives

    in the case of applications for authorisation to act as proxy

  • Authorization: Written power of attorney and the ID cards of both the grantor of the power of attorney and the grantee of the power of attorney


    • Restaurant permit: 100 to 6,000 EUR
    • Substitution permit and temporary permit: 50 to 600 EUR
    • provisional deputy permit: 30 to 300 EUR
    • Certificate of good conduct and extract from the commercial register: 13 EUR each
    • Instruction with confirmation (certificate of instruction) at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce: 80 EUR


Administrative court proceedings; information

administrative claim


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie

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