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?
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
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
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.
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.
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:
- Barrier free accessibility
- Municipal fees for the provision of parking spaces may apply [Stellplatzsatzung der Stadt München]
- Noise prevention, protection of historic monuments [Denkmalschutz] and fire safety (advice in Munich is given by the Branddirektion)
- Is housing space being diverted from its intended use? Is a Zweckentfremdungsantrag necessary? More information on Zweckentfremdung and an English video tutorial.
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
- 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!
- 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”).