Operator of drinking and catering establishments

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In order to operate a drinking and catering establishment, the manager must have a business permit.

Who is concerned?

The activities of operators of drinking and catering establishments include:

  • selling drinks to be consumed on the premises or for take away;
  • selling prepared dishes, to be consumed on the premises, taken away or for delivery.
  • where applicable, selling various other products (tobacco products, sweets and candy, postcards, souvenirs, etc.).

The activities of traders in the HoReCa sector do not include catering services (traiteur), which are subject to a business permit for a main craft activity (A list).


Compliance with the conditions for access to the profession is verified by the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the time the application for a business permit is submitted.

Individuals who wish to operate a drinking and catering establishment in their own name, in the context of a sole proprietorship, must meet the legal conditions of professional integrity.

Companies that operate a drinking and catering establishment must appoint at least one natural person, the managing director, who must:

  • meet the legal requirements in terms professional integrity;
  • effectively manage the day-to-day business on a permanent basis;
  • have a genuine link with the company (be the owner or authorised representative registered in the Trade and Companies Register); and
  • have paid all social security contributions and taxes, either in their own name or through the company they manage or have managed.

Business permit

The business permit is issued to the company (either to the manager operating in their own name, or to the company they run) if the manager meets the legal conditions of professional integrity.

The information page Applying for a business permit contains all the information relating to this procedure.

Place of business

The company or sole proprietorship must have a fixed place of business in Luxembourg (no 'letter-box' companies).

Necessary qualifications

Applicants must prove that they have the qualifications required to access a profession in the HoReCa sector by submitting:

Please note: Applicants with one year's professional experience, documented by a certificate of affiliation from the Joint Social Security Centre or an EC certificate from their country of origin, may be exempted from the training course.

How to proceed

Registrations / affiliations depending on the legal form of the company

After obtaining a business permit, the operator of a sole proprietorship must:

After obtaining a business permit, the manager of a:

  • partnership (SCS, SENC);
  • capital company (SA, SARL, SCA, SE);
  • simplified limited liability company (SARL-S);


Please note: the manager of a simplified limited liability company must also file the draft articles of association of the company with the Trade and Companies Register. There is, however, no need to incorporate the company in the presence of a notary. A private deed will suffice.

Obligations of all professionals

Each professional must comply with the following throughout their existence:

  • all requirements with respect to obtaining a business permit; and
  • 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.

Sale of alcohol to be consumed on the premises

If the applicant intends to sell alcoholic beverages they will need:

The number of licences to serve and sell alcohol is limited in Luxembourg. This is why certain intermediaries (namely breweries) offer to make their licence available against a combined lease and alcohol supply contract.

Applicants who sell beverages to be consumed on the premises are required to comply with the obligations concerning the management of a drinking establishment.

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 manager must apply for the hotel status.

In addition, the applicant offering traveller accommodation services must request access to the accommodation forms system in order to declare the persons accommodated. These services also include temporary room rental above a bar.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Department for Authorisations of Establishment)

  • Ministry of the Economy General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Department for Authorisations of Establishment)
    PO box 535 / L-2937 Luxembourg
    Email address: info.pme@eco.etat.lu
    The telephone helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 9.00 to 12.00 and 13.30 to 16.30 (not on public holidays).

House of Entrepreneurship


Related procedures and links


Application for and modification of a business permit Professional integrity Business operations and services: House of Entrepreneurship Commercial activities and services Establishments selling alcoholic beverages - Alcohol licence Managing a drinking establishment (cafe, tearoom or other) Occasional and temporary provision and notification of services in Luxembourg Extract from the criminal record of a natural person


Legal references

  • Loi modifiée du 2 septembre 2011

    réglementant l'accès aux professions d'artisan, de commerçant, d'industriel ainsi qu'à certaines professions libérales

  • Règlement grand-ducal du 2 juillet 1980

    portant modification des articles 3, 4 et 5 du règlement grand-ducal du 12 avril 1963 fixant les conditions de qualification professionnelle visées à l'article 7 de la loi du 2 juin 1962 déterminant les conditions d'accès et d'exercice de certaines professions ainsi que celles de la constitution et de la gestion d'entreprises

  • Règlement grand-ducal du 5 avril 1989

    déterminant le champ d'activité des exploitants d'établissements d'hébergement, de débits de boissons et de restaurants

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