You are considered to be operating a restaurant if you are regularly
- offering beverages or prepared food for consumption on site on a commercial basis and from fixed premises and if those premises are open to the public or to a particular group of people.
You always require a licence, if alcoholic beverages are served.
You do not require a license
, if you serve:
- non-alcoholic beverages
- free samples
- prepared food or
- beverages and prepared food to guests staying in an associated lodging establishment.
Approval is granted for a particular type of business (e. g. public house, discotheque, takeaway food outlet) and it shall apply only for the business premises. Planning permission may be required.
Permission is also required for any expansion of the restaurant or changes to the premises.
In the case of business partnerships (e. g. GbR, OHG, KG), each managing partners is considered a business person. In the case of legal entities (GmbH, UG or AG) permission is granted to the company.
If you intend to take over an existing restaurant that requires licensing from another person, preliminary revocable permission (usually for a duration of three months) may be granted until a definite restaurant licence is granted.
This type of permit allows for a business to be taken over at short notice.
Approval of representation should be applied for, if you intend for a representative to manage the restaurant, if they are going to act on behalf of the business towards authorities and institutions. The representative must meet the same criteria as yourself, with regard to personal reliability and suitability.