Location and premises

Legal prerequisites and building regulations for commercial use of premises in Munich

On this webpage you will find important basic information concerning framework conditions, and contact points. This information is intended to provide an initial orientation to those with limited German proficiency. It does not claim to be a full and exhaustive treatment of all legal aspects. We would like to point out that most of the subsequent links to websites, documents and forms are generally not available in languages other than German.

Step 1: Find an adequate location

Where is the best place to set up your business? That depends on the specific nature of your business project.

Find out what location factors are important for you:

  • Are passing customers important to your business?
  • Or is close proximity to suppliers and partners better?
  • What about the local competitive landscape?
  • Do you need easy access to your premises?

Maybe industry centers, start-up centers, coworking spaces and business centers are a good starting point for you?

More information about commercial space in Munich (in German)

Working from home?

Many freelancers and service providers start by working from home. To be on the safe side, you should first notify your landlord. You will also need to contact the Munich Housing and Migration Office [Amt fur Wohnen und Migration] to check whether your home can be used for commercial purposes and whether you will need an approval and therefore a Zweckentfremdungsantrag is necessary. More information on Zweckentfremdung and an English video tutorial.

In some cases, a home office can be tax-deductable. Ask your tax advisor for details!

Step 2: Check suitability

General requirements

Do the building, the floor-plan layout, the cost and the surrounding environment match up with your plans? If that is the case, pay attention to all relevant industry specific regulations and building requirements.

Industry specific regulations and building requirements for food businesses

Before you decide and sign any rental contract, make sure you know what structural alterations may be necessary to run your business or meet either government or legal requirements. Find out about any building regulations that may affect your plans.

Do you need a request for change of use? Are structural alterations necessary?

Research the following points:

  • Which use is allowed according to the rental agreement?
  • Which use is allowed according to the construction permit?
    Are you going to continue the previous type of commercial use?
    Do you need to pay a transfer fee [Ablöse] to the previous tenant?
    Do you need to request a change of use e.g. previously retail, now catering business?
    You need to deal with building regulations not only when constructing a new building or expanding an existing workspace but also when modifying rooms within a building. And furthermore, building regulations may also be relevant when merely renting premises for your business, depending on the intended use. If you wish to use rooms that were previously used for other purposes than your future business facility, you will need to apply for a change of use. Inquire about any parking requirements, too.
  • Are structural alterations and a planning permission necessary?

Concerning the application for a building permission [Antrag auf Baugenehmigung] various points must be taken into account.

The following regulations for example might be applicable:

All of this must be coordinated in good time with the local authorities. We strongly recommend clarifying building regulations prior to signing any contracts such as a commercial lease agreement, a loan agreement or other legally binding documents.

Two important service points at the City’s Department of Urban Planning and Building Regulations

  1. You can look up and copy the approved plans (permits) at the Central Registry [Zentralregistratur im Referat für Stadtplanung und Bauordnung] if you provide a written authorization of the owner. Please arrange for an appointment!
  2. The service center of the local construction authority [Servicezentrum der Lokalbaukommission (LBK)] can give you advice on building regulations, planning permissions and the necessary documentation before you submit an application. You need to present construction plans and an authorization of the owner.

Portals such as GeoPortal München offer insight into land development and utilization plans. The FAQs contain answers about the use of the GeoPortal. If you need up-to-date maps, plans, or geodata in analogue or digital form, you should contact the “Servicezentrum GeodatenService München” (“Munich Geodata Service Centre”).

More information

Lokalbaukomission (LBK)


HWK: construction law and building regulations

Industry specific regulations: food and restaurant businesses, outdoor seating area

If you start a food business for example you will need to know about public health rules and food legislation in relation to business premises and commercial kitchens. Have a look at our industry specific information for food businesses.

Are you planning to have tables and seating areas outside on the pavement or on public ground? For questions on these “Freischankflächen” you need a special use permit. Apply for it at the Licenses and Consumer Services inspectors office [Bezirksinspektion] that is assigned to this area of the city. To find out which of the Bezirksinspektion offices is competent for you: scroll down this page until header “Ermitteln der für Sie zuständigen Stelle” and enter the street address of your premises into the entry field. Please note that the processing of your application may take up to three months. A separate building permit is required for outdoor seating areas larger than 40 square meters (PDF, 675 KB)

Selling products at markets, festivals and fairs

Selling products at markets, festivals and fairs are one way to test your product with customers or expand an existing business. Most importantly, it allows you to interact with your customers.

Messe München is one of the largest trade fair companies worldwide and facility operator of the Munich Exhibition Center, the ICM International Congress Center, the  Conference Center North as well as the MOC – Event Center. Check their event calendar for ongoing and future events. The trade fair participation programs of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry can provide public funding.

Many fairs, festivals and and markets are listed in the event calander of the Munich Portal

Contact the City of Munich to inquire about any of the following public markets and events:

The municipal “Markthallen München” organisation is handling Munich’s wholesale markets “Großmarkt” and “Schlachthof”.  They also operate Munich’s four stationary food markets (Viktualienmarkt, Markt am Elisabethplatz, Markt am Wiener Platz and Pasinger Viktualienmarkt), the Blumengroßmarkt, a flower wholesale market, as well as more than 40 farmer’s and food markets held in Munich. Contact the market operator directly to discuss availability or suitability. Subscribe to their newsletter in the section “Newsletterlinks – Arbeiten in München” to be the first to learn about availabilites.

The traditional markets and fairs of the City of Munich such as Auer Dulten, the Stadtgeburtstag, the Oktoberfest and the Christkindlmarkt am Marienplatz are handled by the Department of Labor and Economic Development. Information and application papers.