How to Open a Restaurant in Cyprus

The high number of tourists in Cyprus visiting the island each year means that the hospitality industry can be extremely lucrative line of business for any new Entrepreneur or Business Owner. Cyprus maintains an open and free market, where non-residents or citizens can acquire or conceptualise a new business as a restaurant freely using the same procedures as followed by Cypriot citizens, permanent residents and EU citizens.

In recent years, Cyprus has experienced an increase in demand for certain food market groups, such as vegetarian and vegan sector, which has accelerated the supply for alternative protein sources and the utilisation of non-traditional ingredients on the island.

According to the Cyprus Catering and Entertainment Establishments (Law No. 29 of 1986), all new Cyprus catering businesses have to classify their establishment into one of the following restaurant groups:

  • Restaurants & taverns.
  • Cafeterias or pizza houses.
  • Pubs or bars.
  • Music & dance clubs.
  • Snack bars.


Obtaining the Required Licenses & Permits

An Operational License

In order to obtain an Operational License, your restaurant must have an inspection from the Cyprus Tourism Authority (KOT). They will check for general maintenance of the building externally and internally, verify that all electrical installations have been installed correctly, that the building has adequate plumbing conditions & fire exits. The authority also requires that you have sufficient toilet facilities in order to accommodate the restaurants anticipated maximum capacity.

A Drinking License

A Drinking license will be required if alcohol is going to be served. This involves a the Business Owner completing a security check at a Cypriot police station for a complete background that will show any criminal offenses. Only a clean record will allow for obtaining this license.

Do you need a catering license or any help with the incorporation of your new business? Contact us, we have Cyprus based Lawyers that can give you sound, local advice.


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