Opening projects demonstrate the compliance of a commercial premises with regulatory requirements, which allows business to be open to customers. If you are planning to open a store, restaurant, bar or any other type of business that involves operating in a place open to the public, this article will be of interest to you.


License to open – This is a document issued by the mayor's office  which certifies that the premises meet the requirements to open in a safe environment without creating a risk to customers, workers and neighbors, as well as to the environment. Requirements for obtaining a permit will depend on the type of activity that is planned to be developed.

Professional, artistic or artistic activities carried out in a dwelling do not require a license, provided that there is no sale of goods to the public and there is no nuisance or risk to neighbors. In all other cases it is mandatory.

A business license is non-transferable and is issued for one premises and one or more owners. If a business changes ownership, it is necessary to request permission to change ownership from the local council.


Simplified activities are those that do not cause significant inconvenience or risk, and for this reason the requirements are usually more simplified. These could be stores with  regular goods, for example, a clothing store, a stationery store, a lawyer's office, office supplies.

Challenging specialized activities are those that are noisy, generate waste, or require health, safety and/or environmental corrective measures. For this type of activity, municipal city, industrial, sanitary, environmental and legal opinions are issued. For example, a bar (due to the noise it creates) or a place where powerful air conditioning is required would be identified as a more complex activity.

Applying for a business license requires that a competent professional, such as an engineer, technical engineer or technical architect, first certify that the premises and structures comply with all applicable regulations for development of a specific type of activity. This is stated in the  project for opening an activity.

The project for opening an activity includes a description of the activity that will develop in the premises, all kinds of installations (fire, electrical, sanitary) and equipment that will be used, a list of rules that apply , and justify that they are observed. The project will be accompanied by various technical additions and plans.

In cases where no work is required, since the premises fully meet the needs of the activity, the project will justify that the existing equipment complies with the standards and does not require adaptation.

Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing a property they like and concluding a lease or purchase agreement before finding out the necessary requirements from the municipal council.  Such a solution can be very expensive. Even if an activity similar to the one we intend to conduct has already been carried out, there is no guarantee that the premises will meet the requirements. Worse, it may turn out that it is impossible to conduct activities in the premises due to structural inconsistencies (insufficient height, activities are only allowed on the ground floor).

To avoid this, it is best to contact a specialized company directly. In most cases, local municipalities require a technical report and plans drawn up by a professional (architect, quantity surveyor, technical engineer, designer) and approved by their professional association. The company you choose to perform these tasks should advise you and help you choose the premises.

It is almost always necessary to make some changes, the most common of which is adapting the entrance and other elements for people with disabilities. In the case of major works, the local council technician should re-inspect the premises.

What does the cost of obtaining a license to open include:

  • Registration and payment of fees, which vary depending on the municipality.
  • Reports from technical specialists
  • Costs for adapting the premises to standards and work

The mayor's office may take time to approve the opening license. In the case of simplified activities, this may take 1-2 months, and for more complex activities – a little more, but the timing always depends on the municipality.

We spend more time outdoors these days, so it's important for restaurant/bar owners to know how to apply for a patio license to be able to use some of the outdoor space on a public sidewalk where you can place: tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc. It is always better to contact an architectural office that will help you fulfill all the necessary requirements.


Depending on the period during which the terrace will be used, we can classify licenses into:

  • Annual (for 1 year)
  • Seasonal from May 1 to October 31
  • Temporary for certain dates, for example, a holiday

License to open a commercial activity

Requirements vary by municipality. You need to familiarize yourself with the rules of each of them. The main requirement is to ensure the passage of pedestrians without completely encroaching on the public sidewalk and to resolve issues such as the size of tables, chairs, etc.

Contact us to receive qualified advice and implement the project with a license to open.


Contact the Arcostec team to get all the information you need. We will contact you as soon as possible. We are committed to providing our clients with professional and personalized advice.

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