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Terrace permit and rules for your terrace

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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Do you want to add a terrace to your pub or restaurant in the Netherlands? Or do you want to extend your existing outdoor terrace? In most municipalities you need a terrace permit (terrasvergunning). This applies to terraces placed on public property as well as on private property. You apply for a terrace permit to the municipal authorities.

Is a terrace permit mandatory?

It depends on your municipality if you need a terrace permit. In some municipalities you may add a terrace without a permit if you meet specific criteria, such as predetermined size limits or location-based conditions. Other municipalities allow you to change or extend your existing licence under the Alcohol Act or All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects. In these cases, you do not need a separate terrace permit. Consult your municipality for the requirements if you want to add a terrace.

Applying for a terrace permit

You apply for a permit to your municipality. You can apply digitally using Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies. If you are applying for a licence under the Licensing and Catering Act or an operating permit for a catering establishment, state on your application that you have a terrace.

Rules for your terrace

The rules or conditions for a terrace vary from one municipality to another. Consult your municipality for more information. However, some rules apply throughout the Netherlands:

  • A terrace is only allowed outside an existing catering establishment.
  • A terrace may not cause any damage to the road
  • A terrace may not pose a danger to road users
  • A terrace may not form an obstacle to road management and maintenance

Monitoring and enforcement

Your municipality will monitor if you follow the rules. For example if you comply with local noise regulations (in Dutch). Local authorities may impose sanctions if you violate the rules. They can for instance temporarily close your terrace or revoke your terrace permit.

Terrace season

Some municipalities have a terrace season. In that case, you receive a permit for the duration of the season. The terrace permit states the period for which it has been issued. If your municipality does not have a terrace season, you can have a terrace throughout the entire year.

Cost of a terrace permit

In most municipalities you will have to pay municipal administrative charges (leges) for a terrace permit. The amount of those charges is specified in the municipal administrative charges by-law (legesverordening). If your terrace is located on land of the municipality, then you must pay a municipal tax on encroachments on or above public land (precariobelasting).

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Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO