Trade facilites – Alteration

General information

A business facility is any stationary construction serving the purpose of exercising a trade on a regular basis. Examples for business facilities include:

  • Sales rooms
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Garages
  • Parking areas

Business facilities which are subject to authorisation under the Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994) may only be built and operated under a permit issued by the authority (facility permit).

This applies to facilities which, due to their use of machinery and appliances, due to their mode of operation, due to their equipment or other, are likely to infringe certain needs of protection described in greater detail in section 74 paragraph 2 of the GewO 1994 (e.g. protection of clients’ or neighbours’ health or life).

Alteration of a business facility under an existing permit will be subject to authorisation if this is required to satisfy the needs of protection as defined by law for such facilities.


The alteration permit will also include the facility for which a permit has already been issued inasmuch as this is required to satisfy any needs of protection concerning this existing facility.

A request may be submitted to the district administration to clarify whether the alteration of a facility is actually subject to authorisation.

Please note

Business facility law is largely implemented under a one-stop-shop regime. As a rule, the requesting party only needs to approach the district administration, where a number of other necessary federal authorisation procedures (concerning alterations) are centrally administered, and where, if necessary, the procedures required under trade law are coordinated with procedures required under state law (e.g. rules set out in nature protection legislation). This also applies to later monitoring.

Enterprises affected

Businesses intending to alter a business facility for which a permit has already been issued.


Basically, the final decision (i.e. the permit to alter the facility) must have been issued prior to erecting and operating the altered facility (start of construction works).

Competent authority

District administration in whose district the facility is to be erected and operated:


The request for authorisation to alter the facility must be submitted to the competent authority.

The authorisation procedure for alterations is subdivided into the following steps:

  • Submission of request
  • Investigation procedure
    • including, if necessary, oral procedure involving abutters
  • Issue of official decision
    • imposing, if necessary, additional requirements.

Please note

If the conditions for authorisation cannot be met even with the imposition of additional requirements, the request for authorisation of alteration will be rejected.

Required documents

In four copies:

  • Description of business
    • Activity
    • Work processes
    • Operating hours
    • Type of heating
  • List of machinery and other equipment
    • List of machines and appliances including their technical data
  • Necessary plans and sketches
    • Ground plan
    • Location plan
  • Waste management concept

In one copy:

  • Technical documents required in the investigation procedure for assessment of the project and of the emissions expected from the facility.
  • Documents required for assessment of the needs of protection which are to be included by the competent authority, according to other legal provisions, in the authorisation procedure for the facility.
  • Name(s) and address(es) of
    • the owner of the business property;
    • the owners of property abutting this property (if these owners are condominium owners within the meaning of the Wohnungseigentumsgesetzes 2002 – WEG 2002: names and addresses of the facility managers of such residential property.

Exemption: This is not required for requests concerning authorisation of a gas utility or district heating grid.

Costs and fees

Costs depend on the relevant fees and duties ordinances. Please inquire with the competent authority ex ante.

Further information

Appeals against first-instance decisions on the authorisation of alterations can be lodged with the federal administrative court (Landesverwaltungsgericht) in question.

Legal bases

Last update: 12 January 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy