Open a Restaurant in Cyprus

Open a Restaurant in Cyprus

Updated on Friday 12th April 2019

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open-a-restaurant-in-cyprus.jpgThe food industry is one of the oldest and most developed sectors in economies all over the world. In Cyprus, there are numerous well established, romantic and luxury restaurants, as well as takeaways in towns and villages. In this article, our lawyers in Cyprus explain the different aspects connected to setting up a Cypriot restaurant.

Foreign investors can also rely on our lawyers for support in opening a restaurant business in Cyprus.

The food industry in Cyprus

In the last several years, Cyprus has registered an increase in certain food market groups, like the vegetarian or vegan sector, which has accelerated the demand for protein sources and the utilization of herbal medicinal items and supplements as an alternative to chemical medicines.
Because of its particular climate conditions, Cyprus can become an important production country for these items and further attract investments in the agricultural industry. Our Cypriot lawyers can provide further information on this matter.
Even though it has its challenges, Cyprus is a country with great potential, being adaptable, robust and able to respond to these challenges with vision and imagination.

Business registration for opening a restaurant in Cyprus

The first step related to opening a restaurant business in Cyprus is to register a company with the Trade Register. It is important to note that according to the Ministry for Tourism, the following persons and corporate entities are allowed to open restaurants or other types of food establishments in Cyprus:

  • -          Cypriot citizens are allowed to set up any type of food business, in accordance with the national laws;
  • -          foreign citizens with residency in an EU country can also set up restaurants or other types of food businesses in Cyprus;
  • -          foreign companies with headquarters in other EU countries are also welcome to set up operations in the restaurant sector in Cyprus;
  • -          foreign citizens from non-EU countries must obtain a residence permit prior to setting up a restaurant.


In other words, only Cypriot and EU residents can set up restaurants in this country. With respect to foreign companies from non-EU states, the branch office and the subsidiary are the preferred choices.

In order to set up a restaurant in Cyprus, the business owners must prepare the Articles of Association of the company which must contain information about the activities of the business in accordance with the NACE codes. The documents must be filed with the Trade Register in Cyprus which will issue the business license for the restaurant.

Following the company registration, the business owner must obtain the restaurant establishment license from the Ministry for Tourism.

Our law firm in Cyprus can handle the procedure of registering a business with the purpose of opening a restaurant on behalf of foreign investors.

Requirements for setting up a restaurant in Cyprus

Cyprus represents an open and free market, where non-residents and non-citizens can acquire or begin a new business as a restaurant freely and in the same procedure followed by Cypriot citizens, permanent residents or EU citizens.
When opening a restaurant in Cyprus, a license is required from the relevant authorities, no matter whether the business is started by a Cypriot citizen or a non-resident.
In Cyprus, restaurants have to obtain a Local Authority permit and a Health Ministry Certificate. Our attorneys in Cyprus can assist you with the entire procedure of acquiring these permits and certificates.

How to obtain a restaurant establishment license in Cyprus

The licensing procedure of a Cypriot restaurant is not complicated; however, the business owner must pay attention to all the documents which need to be prepared. For example, in the case of new buildings which will host the restaurant activities, a construction permit is required. For this, the owner will also need to obtain a planning permit with the Planning Authority in the city the restaurant will operate.

Then, the catering establishment license must be obtained. The documents for obtaining such a license must be submitted one month prior to the opening of the Cypriot restaurant.

The following documents must be filed with the Ministry for Tourism:

  1.           a copy of the property title of the business (it can be obtained from the Land Registry in Cyprus);
  2.           a copy of the identification papers of the business owners (ID or passports are required);
  3.           a declaration of the business owner related to the operations to be completed by the company;
  4.           information about the manager of the restaurant (the person must also have specific qualifications);
  5.           a copy of the planning permit issued by the authorities which must specify the exact use of the building;
  6.           the residence permit(s) of non-EU citizens who will work in the Cypriot restaurant.


The business owner will also need to have the premises of the restaurant inspected by the Medical Services and Public Health Services which will issue the health certificate. This certificate must also be submitted with the Ministry for Tourism.

The business owner will also be required to submit a price list of the food and beverages to be served on the premises of the restaurant.

In the case of corporate owners, the following documents must be filed:

  • -          the company’s Articles of Association (copy);
  • -          the company’s Certificate of Registration (copy);
  • -          the Certificate of the Directors and Secretary (copy);
  • -          the Certificate of the Registered Address in Cyprus (copy).


Our attorneys in Cyprus can explain all the legal requirements to be respected when opening a restaurant in this country.

Other requirements related to opening a restaurant in Cyprus

Apart from the licensing requirements a Cypriot restaurant is subject to, the business owner must also consider the fact that the manager of the establishment is subject to certain criteria in order to be appointed.

The manager must have graduated a hotel or tourist occupations school or have a 6-year secondary school certificate and one year of experience in the food and beverages industry. If these conditions aren’t met, the manager must have at least 3 years of experience in the same industry. The manager must have a clean criminal record.

It is also important to note that the trade name of the Cypriot restaurant must be approved by the Ministry for Tourism. The restaurant must also comply with the operating hours, as imposed by the Ministry.


Responsibilities and duties of owners or managers of catering businesses in Cyprus

Owners and managers of catering businesses in Cyprus have some of the following obligations:
According to the Catering and Entertainment Establishments (Law No. 29 of 1985), the catering businesses in the country are classified into:
     o Restaurants or taverns;
     o Cafeterias or pizza houses;
     o Pubs or bars;
     o Music and dance establishments;
     o Discotheques;
     o Snack bars;
     o Cabarets.
The plans of the newly proposed business, connected to a newly built real estate or the renovation or transformation of an existing one, have to be submitted to the Cyprus Tourism Organization for approval. That is after securing the town license planning;
Other responsibilities: our lawyers in Cyprus can offer further details on what these other obligations consist of.
For more details on the licenses needed to open a restaurant in Cyprus, please get in touch with our Cypriot law firm.