Do you want to setup a catering establishment? Or do you intend to buy or expand an existing establishment? In many municipalities you need an operating permit for a catering establishment (exploitatievergunning horecabedrijf).
Operating permit conditions
An operating permit is permission from the municipality to run a catering business. The municipal authority decides which conditions catering establishments need to fulfil. You must always make sure your catering establishment fits within the municipalities’ zoning plan (bestemmingsplan). The conditions attached to this permit are related to public order, safety and decency in the vicinity of your establishment. You can find which rules and conditions apply in the General Municipal By-Laws (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening, APV) of your municipality.
The management must also meet the requirements for serving alcohol. In addition, the municipal authority may ask you to complete a form under the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Bibob).
Changes to your catering establishment
Do you wish to make 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:
- you change the legal structure of your business
- you intend to carry out new activities
- you intend to extend the building or relocate
- you intend to operate or extend an outdoor pavement area as part of the establishment (terrace)
- you hire other managers
- you want to place a game-of-chance machine
Monitoring and enforcement
The local police will check if you follow the local rules. Local authorities may impose sanctions for violations, such as a fine or even revoking your operating permit.
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.