Operating a superstore (surface area > 400 m2)

This page was last modified on 22-11-2017

Entrepreneurs planning to operate a sales area exceeding 400 m2 need a specific permit (called 'autorisation grande surface') from the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship (Direction générale PME et Entrepreneuriat).

This authorisation is issued on the basis of conditions relating to land use planning, quality of urban planning and consumer protection.

Sales areas exceeding 2,000 m2 are subject to additional conditions.

Who is concerned

The future owner, the property developer or the future operator must have a specific permit in case of:

  • creation, takeover or transfer of a superstore;
  • extension of an existing surface area (as soon as the total sales area exceeds 400 m2 or is located in a shopping centre);
  • change of the main commercial sector(s) of a superstore;
  • or when such a sales area, vacated following a transfer request, is reused for retail trade.


The superstore project must contribute to the town's balance through the development of activities in the city centre and urban areas.

It will be assessed based on its impact:

  • on the national and regional centrality structure (development centres and attractions) depending on the size and type of commercial offer;
  • on traffic flows and its integration in collective transport networks;
  • and based on its compliance with land use planning rules and the sector master plan on 'economic activity areas'.

How to proceed

Preparing the application

Sales areas exceeding 400 m2

The special permit application must include the following information and documents:

  • the identity of the applicant:
    • if the applicant is a natural person: surname, first name and address;
    • if the applicant is a legal person: company or corporate name, legal form of the company, address and company object;
    • trade name or commercial name used, where applicable;
    • a copy of the business permit (where applicable);
    • the mandate if the application is submitted by a representative;
  • the capacity of the applicant (property developer, future owner or future operator) and, where the applicant is a property developer, the promotion contract with the contractor;
  • a topographic map extract at a scale of 1:10,000 or less indicating the geographical location of the project;
  • a cadastral map with the plots concerned and the total surface area
    • the cadastral map must show the definitive location of the building(s), the external infrastructures and the surroundings;
    • an extract of the general development plan (plan d'aménagement général - PAG) on a scale of 1:2,500;
  • the description of the project:
    • for a new commercial project: the total sales area of the project and the sales area broken down by main commercial sector;
    • for the extension of an existing sales area: the total existing sales area and the additional sales area requested including the breakdown of the surface by main commercial sector;
    • for a transformation, transfer or takeover of a sales area already authorised: the total existing sales area and the additional sales area requested including the breakdown of the surface by main commercial sector;
  • where applicable, a list of the stores exceeding 400 m2 in the shopping centre where the project is located;
  • information on the parking possibilities for clients and personnel;
  • the number of jobs created with the project;
  • a map showing the limits of the customer catchment area (estimated geographical provenance of clients);
  • public transport possibilities to the commercial area under consideration, including detailed information on the possibilities and conditions of access by road, train and bus;
  • the project's impact on the balance between urban and rural areas, more specifically between city centre and outskirts;
  • the project's impact on on traffic flows and its integration in collective transport networks;
A certain number of specialised intermediaries (planning/engineering consultancies, architects, fiduciaries, etc.) can offer assistance with regard to the formalities to be completed with the administrations.

Sales areas exceeding 2,000 m2

When the specific permit is for a total sales area exceeding 2,000 m2, the application must also include:

  • the delimitation and population of the customer catchment area concerned by the project and a justification of this delimitation:
    • a list of the concerned communes and their population as of the last census;
    • the total population concerned;
    • the household consumption expenditures of the area, broken down by the project's main commercial sectors;
  • the commercial equipment in the catchment area;
    • the list of the existing superstores that are impacted by the project (with the sales area for each sector concerned);
    • the number of existing stores for the same commercial sector(s).
This information is not needed in the event of an extension of a sales area not exceeding 200 m2 in an already authorised shopping centre.

Submitting the application

Applicants must send the application to the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship.

Within one month of reception, the Minister of the Economy acknowledges receipt of the application and indicates the missing documents where applicable.

Once the application is complete, the Minister informs the applicant in writing and refers the application to the commission of commercial equipment.

He must process the application within 3 months. Tacit authorisation is granted if no decision is sent within the time allowed.

Permit validity

The special permit loses its validity if, within 2 years after issuance:

  • the project has not been finalised;
  • no work site has been set up.

If the applicant makes a justified request, the validity of the special permit may be extended only once for a maximum duration of one year.

The permit for a superstore is issued before the building permit, where applicable, or before the project is carried out, if no building permit is required (e.g. transformation of existing premises).

The commune only issues the building permit if the permit for a superstore has been granted.

Who to contact

Ministry of the Economy

B.P. 535 - L-2937 - Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247-74700
Fax: (+352) 247-74701
Email info.pme@eco.etat.lu

Opening hours
The telephone helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 13.00 to 17.00 (not on public holidays).