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Please note:You can only obtain complete information if you indicate the place of residence, the place of business or the building project, depending on the procedure.

Restaurant operation Approval early start of operations

  • If you want to operate a standing catering business, you must notify the competent authority at least 4 weeks before offering drinks or prepared food for the first time.
  • This also applies if the catering industry is only to be operated for a short time.
  • The same procedure shall apply to the operation of a branch, a dependent branch, the transfer of the permanent establishment and the extension of the offer to alcoholic beverages or prepared foods.
  • Deviating from this, the competent authority may allow an earlier start of the catering business if compliance with the 4-week period is not reasonable for you as the operator.

Process flow

  • Submit an explanation together with the restaurant advertisement why it is not reasonable for you to wait 4 weeks before starting the restaurant business
  • After assessing the situation, the competent restaurant authority will inform you whether an earlier start can be permitted.

Who should I contact?

This procedure can also be handled by a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by the municipalities and the state for service providers.

Competent authority

The municipality in whose local area of responsibility the operation is to be commenced.


- You must be able to demonstrate that you cannot reasonably be expected to comply with the statutory period of 4 weeks.

Which documents are required?

  • Identity card or comparable identity document
  • If applicable, power of attorney

What are the fees?

Fees are charged in accordance with tariff number 40.6.2 of the annex to §1 paragraph 1 of the General Fee Schedule of the State of Lower Saxony (AllGO).

Fee: 1,00 - 112,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No
is calculated according to the time spent

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is a considerable interest in adhering to the notification period of 4 weeks before the start of operations. However, if compliance with this deadline is not reasonable for you, you are requested to report the first serving of beverages or the delivery of prepared food for consumption on the spot as early as possible.

Notification Period: 4 Weeks
before offering beverages or prepared food for the first time

Processing duration

If there is sufficient justification, prompt processing will take place.

Applications / forms

  • The request to allow the earlier start of the catering industry can be applied for informally at the competent authority.
  • Online procedure: possible
  • Written form: not required
  • Personal appearance: not required


Administrative court proceedings

What else should I know?

There is a considerable public interest in complying with the 4-week deadline. Early knowledge of an intended restaurant industry is not only important for the restaurant administration but also for other legal concerns such as food hygiene law, building law, etc. is significant. Earlier authorisation can therefore only be considered in particularly justified exceptional cases. This may be, for example, the case that a takeover of a restaurant business becomes unforeseen as a result of serious illness or death of the previous operator.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)