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Government information for entrepreneurs

Operating permit for a catering establishment

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you are setting up or taking over a catering establishment in the Netherlands, some municipalities require you to hold an operating permit for a catering establishment (exploitatievergunning horecabedrijf). The conditions attached to this permit are related to public order, safety and decency in the vicinity of your establishment. These conditions are set out in the General Municipal By-Laws (APV). The management must fulfil these conditions. In addition, the municipal authority may ask you to complete a form under the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (known as a 'BIBOB form').

Changes to your catering establishment

You will have to change your operating permit or apply for a new one if:

  • the legal structure of your business changes
  • you intend to carry out new activities
  • you intend to extend the building
  • you intend to operate or extend an outdoor pavement area as part of the establishment
  • you hire other managers

Online application procedure via Message Box

You can apply for and amend the catering business operating permit also via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

+31 (0)88 602 44 44

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency