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These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
My experience involves alcohol, what things should I think about?
If the Experience involves taking your Guests to your favorite licensed bars and restaurants, you in principle do not need to have an alcohol license yourself. However, if you plan to serve alcohol as part of your Experience, be aware that you may need to get a specific license and that you will need to follow specific rules that apply to the serving of alcohol.
I plan to serve or provide alcohol as part of my experience - what licenses do I need for that?
According to the German Restaurant Code (Gaststättengesetz), anyone operating a business selling or serving alcohol publicly, e.g. a bar or restaurant, or any location which is publicly accessible or, as the law says “to a specific group of people”, (Schankwirtschaft) will need to undergo a licensing procedure to obtain a liquor license (Gaststättenerlaubnis). You can find out more information about this license here. Furthermore, a business registration is required, for further information see our Responsible Hosting Page on [Business Registration]. You can also get in touch with your local Office for Public Order (Ordnungsamt) or contact the chamber of commerce in Berlin here if you have questions and would like to get more information.
In case you intend to offer an experience that falls under the above referenced alcohol categories, whether you need such a special license (Gaststättenerlaubnis) depends on whether you would be deemed to be a business (for the criteria please see our Responsible Hosting Page on [Business Registration]). The intent to make a profit is an important element that will be taken into account to determine if you are a business.
You should also keep in mind that, under zoning laws, the operation of a “drinking business” (Schankwirtschaft) is only allowed in zones which allow for “drinking business” use. Locations generally already have a specific designated use. For example, some locations are intended for residential purposes prohibiting other types of use. If you want to change the purpose or allowed use, you may need to get a building license allowing such change of use (Nutzungsgenehmigung). Further, in Berlin there is also a special regulation regarding the misuse of residential property (Zweckentfremdungsverbotsgesetz und -verordnung) which largely restricts the use of residential property for other than residential purposes. In case you have questions about the zoning laws, the allowed uses of your space or the requirement of a building licence, please contact your local District Office.
If my experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes. In Germany, you should be aware that the law has three drinking ages regulated by the Protection of Young Persons Act (Jugendschutzgesetz):
- At 14, children are allowed to drink beer and wine as long as they are with a parent or legal guardian.
- At 16, children are allowed to consume beer and wine without their parents or legal guardians present, but they are not allowed to drink distilled spirits.
- 18 is the legal drinking age.
Germany has strict rules with respect to the protection of minors, and violation of these laws can result in fines. You can read more about it here.
You also need to comply with the Non-Smokers' Protection Act (Nichtraucherschutzgesetz). You can find further information regarding the Non-Smokers´Protection Act (Nichtraucherschutzgesetz) here.
If you run a “drinking business” (Schankwirtschaft), you further need to follow the rules of the German Restaurant Code and the specific Berlin rules on “drinking businesses”. For example, you need to comply with specific rules around closing times (Sperrzeiten) and building requirements. The competent authority may also impose further requirements, e.g. in order to protect guests or neighbors.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing food, we recommend that you take a look at our information about [Experiences involving food]. If your experience will involve combining alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour of an area), please take a look at our other information sections such as [Guiding Tours] and [Business Registration in Berlin] to check if any other rules might apply to your activity. If you are in any doubt, we recommend you consult with an accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).