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Restaurants and outdoor catering areas

Find out about the permit requirements before acquiring the business facility for your restaurant.

A restaurant or café can only be established in facilities accepted for the purpose. A construction permit is always required when the intended use of an apartment is changed, facilities are expanded, or a new restaurant is built. Find out about the permit requirements before acquiring the business facility for your restaurant.

A construction permit is required, for example, when the facilities of a shop or café are to be used as a restaurant. Not all facilities can be changed into restaurants. This may often be the case when the facilities have previously been used as offices, storage facilities, or residential apartments. Old buildings in particular may require sizeable changes,

so it is good to ensure in advance that the required changes for your intended purpose are possible and that they fit your budget and schedule. You will need a Construction Planning Officer, and in most cases, a HPAC Planning Officer and Structural Planning Officer.

The housing company or owner of the building usually applies for the permit.

Come to a preliminary negotiation at the Building Control Services

Once you have settled all your basics, come to a preliminary negotiation at the Building Control Services, where the required plans and documents are discussed.

Please remember to reserve enough time for the planning and construction. Your Chief Planning Officer will create the required drawings and can assist you in applying for the construction permit.

In the permit application stage, the facilities are checked for emergency exits, sufficiency of ventilation, soundproofing of structures with neighbours on the other side, sufficiency of toilet facilities, and accessibility.

The check list in the picture shows some significant issues to note.

When the intended use of a facility is changed into a restaurant facility, at least the following plans and documents are usually required:
• Application form and power of attorney, or electronic application at http:/, with authorisation from the possessor of the property.
• Clarification of right of possession and minutes from the board meeting.
• Report on your Planning Officers.
• Two master plans, site plan with town plan markings, floor plan drawings, façade drawings, elevation drawing.
• Ventilation report.
• Accessibility report.
• Soundproofing report.
• Two structural drawings (if the structures are to be changed).
• The sanitary and ventilation plans for the property (HPAC).
• Façade drawing, if necessary.
• Photo of the building (if the façade is to be changed).
• Report on the processing of the construction and demolition waste

Restaurant terraces

The Helsinki Public Works Department rents out street areas and other public areas in its possession for outdoor serving purposes. Among other issues, the agreement defines the location and number of customer seats of outdoor serving areas.

An action permit or construction permit from the Building Control Services is always required for outdoor recreational facilities covered with a roofing and separated from the street areas by wall-like structures. Outdoor advertising equipment may also require a permit. Please request approval for your terrace project from the Public Works Department before applying for a permit for the fixed structures at the Building Control Services.

Read more from the instructions

The Building Control Services' instructions offer further details about applying for a construction permit and the matters to be considered when establishing a restaurant or café, as well as the planning and permit application process for the fixed terrace structures.

The City Planning Department’s Terrace instructions in Helsinki control the establishment of terraces on street areas. The Environment Centre has separate instructions for submitting a notification on the establishment of a food establishment.

For advice on founding a company, please contact NewCo Helsinki.

On a wide screen, the links to the instructions can be seen in the top right corner of the page, and on a narrow screen, below this text.

Contact information for preliminary negotiations

Your Planning Officer will make a building control preliminary negotiation appointment with the regional permit secretary regarding the construction of a new restaurant or permits for the fixed structures of a terrace. Street areas for ordinary terraces are rented out by the Public Works Department.

For appointments regarding changes to the intended use of a restaurant, your Planning Officer will call the following contact persons:

Permit secretary Niina Pulkkinen, tel. 09 3102 6368, 9 am–noon
Permit secretary Sofia Faezi, tel. 09 3102 6364, 9 am–noon

21.08.2020 11:12