In order to operate a cafe/tearoom, restaurant or accommodation establishment, the manager must hold a business permit.
The business permit is granted to the business (either the business manager operating under his own name, or the company he runs) provided that:
- the business executive meets the legal requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity;
- the business has a fixed physical establishment in Luxembourg (no so-called 'letterbox companies').
Compliance with these provisions is verified by the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the time the application for a business permit is submitted.
Depending on the legal form chosen, the applicant must proceed with different registrations/affiliations before starting their activity.
Traders from the Horeca sector who are
legally established abroad
(on the territory of the Swiss Confederation or in a country of the European Economic Area) may provide
temporary and occasional services
Who is concerned
The activities of traders running a licensed or unlicensed establishment (café, tearoom) include:
- selling hot and cold drinks to be consumed on the premises or for take away;
- incidental selling of hot dishes to be consumed on the premises or for take away;
- where applicable, selling various other products (sweets and candy, crisps, tobacco products, etc.).
The activities of traders who are operating an eating establishment (restaurant) include:
- selling prepared dishes to be consumed on the premises, for take away or delivery to the end-consumer;
- selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the premises or for take away;
- where applicable, selling various other products (tobacco products, sweets and candy, postcards, souvenirs, etc.).
The activities of traders operating an accommodation establishment (hotel, boarding house) include:
- leasing furnished rooms;
- serving breakfast, hot dishes and meals on the premises to their lodgers;
- selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the premises or to take away;
- where applicable, selling various other products to the lodgers of the rooms (toiletries, sweets and candy, tobacco products, postcards, souvenirs, etc.);
- the organization of package holidays or related travel services.
The activities of traders in the Horeca sector do not include delicatessen and related catering services (traiteur), which are subject to a business permit for a main craft activity.
In order to justify the qualifications for access to a profession in the Horeca sector, applicants can have:
The stamp duty for the issue of a business permit amounts to EUR 24.
If the establishment is moving to another address, the applicant must notify this, free of charge, to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. In this case, the applicant will receive a new business permit free of charge.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The applicant can submit their application for a business permit in 3 ways:
- by applying in person for a business permit online via MyGuichet.lu, using a Luxtrust product.
The system determines which supporting documents need to be attached to the application depending on the information entered by the applicant;
- or by sending the business permit application by standard mail or email to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises;
- or by using the "House of Entrepreneurship – One-Stop Shop" of the Chamber of Commerce or the "Contact Entreprise" service of the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts who will submit the application for them.
preparing their application
for authorization by:
Documentary proof of qualification
To provide proof of the professional qualifications, the applicant must attach to their file a copy of their certificate of successful completion of the training course 'Accès aux professions de l'Horeca' (Access to professions in the Horeca sector) provided by the House of Training (or an equivalent training course).
Documents attesting to professional integrity
If the applicant has been residing in Luxembourg for more than 10 years, he must demonstrate his professional integrity by:
- an affidavit (sworn statement) concerning any management positions held in businesses during the 3 years prior to the application;
- an extract from the criminal record no. 3.
If the applicant is a non-resident or has been a resident in Luxembourg for less than 10 years, he must demonstrate his professional integrity by:
- a sworn declaration (affidavit) concerning any management positions held in businesses during the 3 years prior to the application;
- a declaration of non-bankruptcy made before a notary;
- an extract from the criminal record no. 3 or equivalent issued by the country or countries in which the applicant has resided during the 10 years prior to the application.
This sworn declaration must state that the applicant has not been involved in the bankruptcy of a business in his own name nor in the bankruptcy of a company.
Failing this, an affidavit (sworn statement) must be provided.
All attached documents must be less than 3 months old.
Other documents to be submitted with the application
The applicant must also attach the following documents to his application:
- for Luxembourg citizens, the European Union, or the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland): a copy of the applicant's ID card or passport;
- for citizens of third countries: a written confirmation from the Minister responsible for immigration that the applicant meets all the conditions for obtaining the residence permit he applied for;
- proof of payment of stamp duty (droit de chancellerie), in the form of:
- either a tax stamp, value EUR 24, purchased at the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (AED);
- or the proof of payment of EUR 24 into the IBAN account LU09 1111 7026 5281 0000, BIC code: CCPLLULL of the Diekirch Revenue Office, with the following communication: 'autorisation de commerce'.
The hotelier must provide a guarantee certificate against insolvency and for repatriation if he organizes package holidays or provides related travel services.
In the event of an online
application for a business permit
via MyGuichet.lu (with a LuxTrust card), the system will automatically generate the list of
supporting documents to be attached to the application
, which may vary depending on the data entered by the applicant.
It should be noted that for applications submitted in the context of a business set up in the form of an SARL-S, the applicant must forward the draft constitutional documents of the SARL-S to the Ministry of the Economy.
Application processing time
Applications will usually be processed within 3 months from the receipt of the complete application. The absence of a response before the end of the 3-month period is equivalent to a tacit authorisation.
A negative decision regarding an application for a business permit is an administrative decision against which the usual means of appeal (informal appeal, judicial appeal) can be used, provided the legal deadlines are complied with.
It is also possible to turn to the Ombudsman.
Registrations/affiliations depending on the legal form of the company
After obtaining a business permit, the head of a sole proprietorship must:
Partnerships (SENC, SECS)
After obtaining a business permit, the executives(s) of a partnership (SECS, SENC) must:
Capital companies (SA, SARL, SECA, SE)
After obtaining a business permit, the director(s) of a capital company (SA, SARL, SECA, SE) must:
Simplified limited liability company (SARL-S)
After obtaining a non-definitive copy of the establishment permit, the manager(s) of a simplified limited liability company (SARL-S) must:
It should be noted that managers of an SARL-S do not need to incorporate their company before a notary. A private deed will suffice.
Sale of alcohol to be consumed on the premises
If the applicant intends to sell alcoholic beverages he will need:
As the number of licences to sell and serve alcohol in Luxembourg is limited, certain intermediaries (namely breweries) offer to make their licence available against a combined lease and alcohol supply contract.
Hotels, motels, inns and restaurants
In order to use certain names such as "hotel", "motel", "pension de famille" (boarding house), "auberge" (inn) or "restaurant", the business manager must have the hotel status.
In addition, the applicant offering
traveller accommodation services
must request an access to the
system in order to declare the persons accommodated. These services also include temporary room rental above a bar.
Obligations of all professionals
Each professional must comply with the following throughout their existence:
- all requirements with respect to obtaining a business permit;
- all laws and regulations with respect to business management.
Professionals without a business permit run the risk of criminal sanctions (imprisonment and fines) and the temporary closure of the establishment.
Forms / Online services
Business permit - online application
Autorisation d’établissement - service en ligne
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung – Online-Vorgang
Business permit application and related notification
Demande d'autorisation d'établissement et notification y relative
Antrag auf Niederlassungsgenehmigung und diesbezügliche Mitteilung
Déclaration sur l'honneur
Extract from the criminal record of a natural person - online service
Extrait de casier judiciaire pour personne physique - service en ligne
Auszug aus dem Strafregister für natürliche Personen – Online-Vorgang
Who to contact