Establishments selling alcoholic beverages - Alcohol licence

This page was last modified on 06-10-2017

In order to open a licensed establishment serving alcohol to be consumed on the premises, entrepreneurs must apply to the Licensed premises department of the Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des douanes et accises) for a licence to sell/serve alcohol (concession de cabaretage or Schanklizenz).

They must pay an opening tax (a tax payable when a drinking establishment is opened - taxe d'ouverture) as well as an annual tax.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Any natural or legal person wishing to open a licensed establishment serving alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the premises must obtain such an alcohol licence.

The establishment may be registered in the name of somebody other than the person managing the establishment. However, the registration must mention the name of the actual manager who, in this case, is the only person liable for the annual tax.

The sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content below 0.5 % alcohol is not subject to an alcohol licence.


In order to obtain an alcohol licence, the applicant must:

  • hold a business permit to operate a drinking establishment;
  • provide proof of at least 5 years of residence in Luxembourg if said applicant is a third-country national (not a member of the EU).

The number of drinking establishments in a commune may not exceed the ratio of one establishment per 500 inhabitants, except in the case of:

  • villages with between 250 and 499 inhabitants where one establishment may be opened;

  • unconditional licence rights (privilèges de cabaretage), i.e. houses in which a drinking establishment has been run since 27 July 1912 without an interruption of more than one year;

  • the relinquishment of a licence valid for the same commune by the person in whose name the licence is registered or by the owner of a building benefiting from an unconditional licence right;

  • communes where more bars are required to meet tourism needs;

  • other exceptional cases justified for reasons of public interest and approved by the Minister of Finance.


The applicant must pay the competent Custom's revenue office:

  • an opening tax of:
    • EUR 60 in communes with less than 1,000 inhabitants;
    • EUR 120 in communes with between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants;
    • EUR 240 in communes with 5,000 inhabitants and more.
  • plus an annual tax of:
    • EUR 24 in communes with less than 1,000 inhabitants;
    • EUR 49 in communes with between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants
    • EUR 74 in communes with 5,000 inhabitants and more

How to proceed

Licence application

The manager/operator of the premises must complete a demande d'autorisation de cabaretage and have his signature legalised by presenting himself in person with the completed application form and an identity document:

  • either at a police station, at the communal administration or at a notary, prior to sending the application to the Licensed Premises Department (Service Cabaretage) of the Customs and Excise Agency;

  • or directly at the Licensed Premises Department when submitting the application

Supporting documents

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

Licence validity

Following the payment of stamp duty, the operator will receive an excise stamp (vignette de contrôle d'accises - VCA) which is valid for the current year.

The excise stamp - VCA must be affixed and displayed in such a manner that it is visible from the outside of the establishment.

Alcohol licences granted are only valid for one establishment and only in the premises and area specified in the application.

In order to be able to sell alcohol, the manager holding the alcohol licence must be physically present in the establishment.

However, the manager may appoint an assistant manager who will be responsible for selling alcoholic beverages in the absence of the manager.

Renewal / Extension / Transfer / Cessation

The operator must renew his licence each year by paying the annual stamp duty for licensed premises before 31 January each year. The Customs and Excise Agency usually sends out a payment order to operators at the beginning of each year.

Any extension of the establishment to other rooms or locations as well as any temporary transfer / additional establishment requires the prior approval of the Customs and Excise Agency.

Secondary expansions, such as terraces, ninepin bowling alleys, party rooms, restaurants and other outhouses, do not require approval.

In the event of cessation of activity, the manager must submit a declaration of cessation to the licensed premises department (Cabaretage).

Who to contact

Customs and Excise Agency
Centre douanier Luxembourg-Howald
Croix de Gasperich - rue in Bouler
L-1350 - Luxembourg
Postal box B.P. 1122 L-1011 Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 28 18 - 1
Fax: (+352) 2818 - 4150

Opening hours
from Monday to Friday from 08.00 - 17.00