How to open a restaurant, cafe, coffee house, street food in Armenia?

Last updated: 10.05.2023
Expected read time: 6.87 мин.

Table of contents:

  1. 1. How to open a cafe or restaurant?
  2. 2. Room selection: requirements
  3. 3. Recommendations when concluding a lease agreement
  4. 4. Where can I get a commercial real estate lease agreement template?
  5. 5. Contract form
  6. 6. Getting permission
  7. 7. Additional Permissions
  8. 8. Expenses
  9. 9. How not to lose permission?
  10. 10. Checks

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The article was written based on materials Move2Armenia Business. Move2Armenia Business — consulting for businesses and individuals

How to open a cafe or restaurant?

Catering must be registered.

Registration algorithm:

  1. Register in the state register as an entrepreneur (legal entity, individual entrepreneur);
  2. Choose a tax regime;
  3. Decide on the site;
  4. Sign the lease agreement at the notary;
  5. Register an agreement with Cadastre Committee;
  6. Obtain permission to open a restaurant;
  7. Register as a food chain operator - in the food safety authority.

Room selection: requirements

Catering facilities can operate only in public buildings. To select a premise for a business, you need to know the purpose of the building.

The law allows the organization of public catering in residential buildings, if its purpose is changed to public. But this is a very laborious and lengthy process.

When concluding a lease agreement, make sure that the owner has no obligations to the community of Yerevan (property tax, garbage collection fee, etc.). Otherwise, the permit will be denied.

Recommendations when concluding a lease agreement

  1. Check that the landlord has the original certificate of state registration of ownership of the property. Please note: the contract under which the owner acquired the property is not proof of ownership. First, the contract may be forged. Secondly, the landlord may be an irrelevant owner.
  2. Make sure there are no outstanding utility bills.
  3. Make sure that the selected premises meet the requirements of the law: the purpose of the building is public.
  4. If there is something in the contract that you don't understand, ask for it to be changed. Don't explain, just change. Clauses of the contract cannot have an ambiguous interpretation.
  5. Only an agreement drawn up in the Armenian language has legal force. If you do not speak the language, you can use online translation services. However, please note that such a technical translation may not be correct. For your peace of mind, the contract can be bilingual, some real estate agencies provide such a service.
  6. Be careful when signing any documents. In order not to fall for scammers, we recommend contacting lawyers Move2Armenia.Business.

Where can I get a commercial real estate lease agreement template?

On Cadastre Committee website there is a constructor of contracts, including real estate lease agreements. The constructor is common for both a residential lease agreement and a commercial real estate lease agreement.

The site offers to choose the parties to the contract: citizens or organizations. Although the site can be opened in Russian, you can only fill out the contract in Armenian. If you speak the language, this is a great way to form a contract without violating the RA legislation.

Contract form

If you want to use the standard form of an agreement from the Cadastre Committee website, you do not need to certify such an agreement with a notary. But there is one condition: you cannot change the terms of the contract or add new ones.

If you want to make changes, detail the contract, you need to contact a notary and certify the agreement.

In addition, according to Armenian law, all real estate transactions must register at the Cadastre Committee. Otherwise, such an agreement is considered invalid, since it has no legal force. Deviating from the requirements of the law, you run the risk of encountering difficulties in your relationship with the owner of the home.

Getting permission

An application for a permit can be submitted electronically, on Yerevan website.
To do this, you need to provide documents:

  • extract from the state account/registration for the organization;
  • a copy of the certificate of ownership / use of the building or structure;
  • a copy of the receipt of payment of the local duty;
  • a copy of a certificate issued by the head of the administrative district of Yerevan confirming that the applicant has no obligations to the community of Yerevan;
  • color photograph of the front of the object.

The application is reviewed within 10 working days, after which you will be issued a permit or your application will be rejected.

Additional Permissions

Additional permission must be obtained if you want to organize verandas in the surrounding areas, summer or covered winter ones.
The permit is issued by the mayor of the city. You must submit the permit in paper or electronic form and attach documentation:

  • extract from the state account/registration for the organization;
  • a copy of the certificate of ownership / use of the building or structure;
  • a copy of the receipt of payment of the local duty;
  • architectural and artistic design proposal in accordance with the established requirements;
  • a copy of the permit for the organization and implementation of public catering.

Once approved, you must comply a number of requirements:

  • ensure the passability of the sidewalk;
  • requirements for used canopies;
  • requirements for decorative fences;
  • furnishing requirements for the winter season;
  • requirements for architectural and artistic style
For your information:

In some areas of Yerevan, forbidden organization of seasonal catering services:

  • on the territories adjacent to the Freedom Square and the sidewalks adjacent to it;
  • in areas outside the building line of M. Mashtots Avenue;
  • at the sections of Sayat-Nova-Teryan and Sayat-Nova-M.Mashtots intersections of Sayat-Nova Avenue;
  • on Spendiaryan street;
  • in the Ring Park and adjacent sidewalks;
  • as well as green areas.

Additional Permissions city halls are also required for:

  • sales of alcohol and alcoholic beverages; tobacco and tobacco products;
  • work after 24.00.


In addition to the obvious costs of renting a space, there are many more local and state fees:

  • quarterly local fee after obtaining permission to organize a catering. The size depends on the area of the room;
  • quarterly local fee for permission to organize verandas in the adjacent territories (10 thousand drams per sq.m.);
  • quarterly state duty for permission to sell alcohol;
  • annual state fee for work after 24.00

How not to lose permission?

  • have equipment and property to ensure the technological process;
  • have a bathroom, the necessary signs, access and pedestrian roads;
  • have a sign that meets the requirements of the law;
  • have a menu indicating the mass of the dish and its price;
  • do not use food additives that are not permitted by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia
  • provide employees with overalls;
  • provide employees with primary and periodic medical examinations with the issuance of a sanitary book;
  • hire kitchen workers only with relevant professional education;
  • issue a badge to employees with a photo, full name and position of the employee;
  • issue invoices to visitors with mandatory information: last name, day of service, names of dishes, quantity, weight and final price;
  • comply with sanitary and hygienic standards. Here you can find the requirements in compressed format.
  • comply with fire safety regulations.
For your information:

If the catering is located in a rented premises, fire safety is regulated by the lease agreement. We recommend that the contract indicate that at the time of transfer of the premises to the tenant, the owner of the premises guarantees compliance with all fire safety rules and measures and is responsible for violations.


In public catering organizations can be carried out:

  • check for sanitary, fire and technical safety;
  • verification of compliance with the requirements of labor legislation;
  • checks carried out by the State Language Inspectorate;
  • inspections carried out by the commission for the protection of competition, etc.

Every year, before December 1 of the current year, the state bodies carrying out the inspection approve the annual program of inspections for the next calendar year. The inspection program is drawn up taking into account the riskiness of business entities.

On the official websites of government agencies, you can find the full names of business entities subject to verification. Checks are carried out exclusively on the basis of checklists.

In addition, verification is carried out only on the basis of an order. At least 3 working days before the start of the check, 2 copies of the order are sent personally or by mail to the head of the catering. The head must sign the order as proof that he has been notified of the inspection in relation to the catering organization.

Thus, you will always be notified when the checks start. But there are exceptions to this rule. Unannounced inspections may be carried out for:

  • keeping an employee without concluding an employment contract or complying with other requirements of labor legislation;
  • compliance with the requirements for the maintenance of equipment and premises for production;
  • compliance with the requirements for the use of disinfectants and means of combating rodents and parasites;
  • food security.
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