You operate a catering business if, in a standing trade, you
- serve beverages for consumption on the spot (tavern) or
- 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 is only subject to licensing if alcoholic beverages are served. If only non-alcoholic beverages and/or prepared meals are served, the catering trade does not require a permit.
The permit is issued for a specific type of business (e.g. pub and restaurant, discotheque, dance café, etc.) and for the rooms used for the business.
Permission is also required for any expansion of the catering business and any change in the form of operation.
In the case of civil law companies and trading companies, each managing partner requires a permit.
If you want to operate a restaurant requiring a permit through a deputy, you need a deputy permit (§ 9 GastG).
If you wish to take over a licensed restaurant business 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.