How to legalise your restaurant

The law states that all businesses that provide services to tourists must be registered with the provincial tourism authority.

The law states that all businesses that provide services to tourists must be registered with the provincial tourism authority.

What is a restaurant or eating house?

A restaurant or eating house is a business that sells food. It may or may not be licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises, depending on the licence conditions.

A tavern, on the other hand, is a business that is licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises. It may or may not also serve food.

Check with the relevant department whether you have enough space to cope with the number of people you wish to accommodate in your business.

Your local municipality can advise on the parking requirements for your type of business.

The following questions should be answered regarding the suitability of the site of your business:

l Is the chosen site quiet enough for people to eat or drink undisturbed?

l Are the surroundings well taken care of?

l If liquor is to be sold in a residential area, is the site likely to disturb neighbouring establishments?

l In the case of an eating house that provides live entertainment, it may be necessary to obtain the consent of neighbours for the opening hours of the establishment.

What else to consider?

Make sure that your business site is easy to access by the general public and can be easily found. Your business site must also be accessible by both private and public transport.

Consult the local municipality concerning the erection of direction and advertisement signs.

If new access onto streets is needed, the local municipality will usually construct them at the cost of the developer. Permission must be obtained from the Department of Transport to construct new access points onto main roads outside the local municipal areas.

Approach the local municipality to find out whether the town planning scheme permits your chosen business activity on the site you have selected. The establishment of a new enterprise in which the present land use is substantially changed may require a scoping report to be prepared in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998).

Approach the district municipality to register your business. For the sale of perishable food, a trading licence must be purchased from the Business Licensing Department of the local municipality.

If liquor is to be sold at the establishment, an application must be made to the Liquor Board for a licence in terms of the Liquor Act (27 of 1989). For further information on the application for and issue of licences, refer to the Liquor Act.

A copy of the Liquor Act can be obtained from the Liquor Board at the departments of arts and culture, and of tourism.

Your application for a trading licence will be circulated by the local municipality to the health, fire and building inspectors, the town planning department, and in some cases, the Development Services Board (DSB).

These bodies will ensure that your plans comply with their regulations before the application can be approved.