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How to open a restaurant in Germany

If you want to open your own restaurant in Germany, there are certain things you should be aware of and pay attention to. Just like in other countries this kind of activity often requires special permits, and in this article we are going to let you know the main steps you should take when opening a restaurant in Germany. So, if you are wondering how to start a restaurant in Germany and what the approximate cost of opening a restaurant in Germany would be, please keep reading.

Please note that laws and rules in Germany vary depending on the state. The exact procedure should always be clarified individually and taking the specific situation into account. Here we are going to describe the general course of actions how to open a restaurant in Germany that would suit most cases.

Watch our video on how to open a restaurant in Germany:

1. Business plan and concept

Opening a business requires thorough planning. You’ll need a clear and detailed business plan and concept not only if you plan to look for financing but also to obtain the required licenses.

2. Finding space

You need to find a suitable space for your restaurant. This is one of the main expenses when it comes to cost of opening a restaurant in Germany. The place has to meet certain safety and other guidelines. For example, if there is space for over 200 guests in your restaurant, it has to have restrooms for the guests. In case you need to rebuild the place to meet this or other requirements, you’ll need to obtain a building/construction permit.

3. Registering a company

To start the business itself first of all you need to register a company in Germany. This will require correct document preparation and notarization. You can find more details about company formation and its nuances in our previous article.

4. Business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Just like any other business, your restaurant business needs Gewerbeanmeldung before you can start any business activity. The application is made through the competent Trade Office (Gewerbeamt) and costs between 10 and 65 euro depending on the region.

5. Restaurant license (Gaststättenkonzession)

If you plan to serve alcoholic beverages in your restaurant by the glass to be consumed on the premises, you usually need a license. The license is issued by the competent Public Order Office (Ordnungsamt). Depending on the region and complexity of the situation it can cost between 100 and 1500 euro. It is suggested to apply for the license at the same time as you apply for business registration.

For the license application you’ll need to prepare a package of documents including those that confirm your personal reliability, professional knowledge as well as suitability of the chosen space to be used as a restaurant.

Please note that the procedure may vary depending on the region. Some German states require the confirmation of personal reliability as a part of business registration and do not issue a separate restaurant license. Each case should be evaluated individually to figure out how to start a restaurant in Germany correctly.

6. Health certificate (Gesundheitszeugnis)

If you work with unpacked foods, you and your employees need health certificates to work at the restaurant. They should be obtained at the competent Public Health Office (Gesundheitsamt).

7. Food safety and hygiene control

All restaurants get visits from the Food Inspection and Veterinary Office (Lebensmittelüberwachungs- und Veterinäramt). Such visits are usually unannounced and are intended to control the food safety and hygiene of your business. So it is important to make sure that your business complies with all the food safety and hygiene requirements at all times to avoid not passing the control and possibly even getting fined.

When looking into how to open a restaurant in Germany all these aspects should be considered thoroughly.

Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH provides turn-key solutions: from establishing a company to obtaining all necessary permits. We can also assist you with obtaining the German residence permit because of business. Since all projects are guided by certified Project management professionals (PMP) you get a working business in Germany and ensured quality of performance. On time and on budget.

Contact us to open a business in Germany and move to Germany:


This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.

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