Urban planning permits for Brussels-based retailers

Transforming a retail business into a snack bar or a restaurant into a bar, requires first obtaining an urban planning permit. This is also the case when you want to put up a sign, do construction, demolition, renovation or transformation work on a building.

What is the urban planning permit ?

What is an urban planning permit ?

An urban planning permit is authorisation for a building which defines its use, outer appearance, supporting structures, etc. Some types of land use are also covered by a planning permit.

You need to find out if your project requires a new planning permit for particular activities or work (e.g. construction, demolition, change of use, felling a tall tree, significant change to the relief of the ground, erecting a sign, chimney or window shutter, replacing a bay window).

Note: Prior to signing a lease, always check the zoning of the premises with the municipality’s urban planning department.

When do you need a planning permit?

To determine if your project requires a new permit for certain actions or works, you will have to:

  1. Know the current legal planning status of the property
  2. Identify which works require an urban planning permit
  3. Obtain the necessary permits

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How do you obtain an urban planning permit ?

As a general rule, you must submit a single application for all planned actions and works, as well as any requiring regularisation. In some municipalities, you must file a separate application for actions and works with a limited duration (such as placing a sign).

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Sample plans

We provide some examples of tailored plans, to illustrate the types of plans to attach to your urban planning permit application.

Do you need help to prepare your urban planning permit application ?


hub.brussels’ urban planning and environment team provides free, personalised and confidential support to companies in Brussels, for issues relating to town planning in the Brussels-Capital region:

  • information about your obligations related to plans and regulations
  • feasibility study for the project with respect to urban planning permits
  • support to prepare your application and accompanying documents
  • assistance understanding the decisions of the administrative authorities

You can attach them when you fill out this form or via email at: permit@hub.brussels.

The urban planning department of each municipality

If you need to know the current urban planning situation of certain premises or want to view its plans, contact the urban planning department of the municipality in which the premises are located. We recommend that you first contact the urban planning and environment team at hub.brussels to find out what you should ask and look for.

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