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Operating permit for a catering establishment

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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'). You can find which rules are applicable in your municipality in your local General Municipal By-Law (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening, APV)

Changes to your catering establishment

Depending on the municipality in which you operate, you will need to change your permit or apply for a new one in certain situations. This can be the case 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.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO