In the Standard Classification of Economic Activities (TEÁOR’08) system, funeral services belong to sector 96: Other service activities, to sub-sector 96.0: Other service activities and sub-category 96.03: Funeral and related activities.
Funeral services can be provided by a person who
- has no criminal record and is not subject to a prohibition from pursuing funeral service activities based on his or her profession,
- is professionally capable,
- has sufficient financial capacity,
- has a site that meets basic funerary requirements and the provisions concerning performing this work in a manner that does not harm the dignity of the activity and does not endanger the health of people living in the vicinity of the site or the environment,
- has no conflicts of interest and
- in the case of an economic operator, has at least one active partner or employee, or in the case of an independent entrepreneur - if he/she does not personally perform the activity - has at least one employee who has the necessary qualifications.
In case of an independent enterprise these conditions must be met by the independent entrepreneur, the manager of the company or the partner of the independent company.
Financial capability is sufficient, if
- it is certified that all tax, customs and contribution obligations are fulfilled (that is there is no debt owed to the state),
- has a permanent financial guarantee - cash deposit, bank guarantee or liability insurance deposited and managed separately at a financial institution - which can only be used for direct compensation of indemnity claims caused by funeral service activities.
The amount of the financial guarantee is HUF 200,000 when commencing the funeral service activity. Two years after commencing the activity, or when a contract is extended, the amount of the financial guarantee will be calculated based on the net revenue according to the Act on accounting
- HUF 200,000 below a net revenue of HUF 1,000,000;
- HUF 400,000 in case of net revenue between HUF one million and five million;
- HUF 600,000 in case of net revenue between HUF five million and ten million;
- HUF 1,000,000 above a net revenue of HUF ten million.
A funeral service provider who intends to continue its activity must pay the additional financial guarantee immediately, or within 30 days at the latest. The financial guarantee can only be discontinued after the performance of all of the obligations and three months after terminating the activity.
A separate room must be ensured on the site for the reception of clients,
- If burial also takes place on the site (funeral office), and
- If the activity of the funeral office includes a demonstration of accessories (demonstration room).
A funeral office can only be operated at a site with an office room not used for housing purposes that is appropriate to ensure the dignity of the deceased. However, a service provider with several sites (in a settlement with less than 1,000 inhabitants) may operate a funeral office within a private home but in a separate room appropriate to ensuring the dignity of the deceased.
The deceased can only be kept on the site if the funeral service permit includes this activity. The refrigeration of the body must be ensured on site. However, the refrigeration or the preparation of the deceased cannot be performed on a site where within 200 metres of the premises there is any entrance to an inpatient health care institution, sanatorium, social care institution, residential or accommodation building, resort accommodations, educational, instruction or cultural institution or catering business or venue. The vehicle for transporting corpses can only be disinfected on site if the funeral service permit includes this activity.
Due to a conflict of interests, funeral service activities cannot be performed by
- within a health care institution: doctors, employees with managerial positions performing health care tasks, or employees carrying out health care tasks (cannot be an independent entrepreneur or partner, manager or employee of an independent enterprise or company providing funeral services),
- a close relative of the people described above (spouse, registered partner, direct relative, adoptive, step or foster child, adoptive, step or foster parent or sibling) in the same county.
Funeral service provision qualifications are required for this activity.
For professional and examination requirements, see:
Furthermore, the activity of transporting corpses requires an appropriate purpose-built vehicle that fulfils public health and epidemiology regulations and basic funerary conditions, as well as a coffin with a lid (transportation coffin). The deceased can only be transported in this vehicle and transportation coffin.
For cremation services it is an obligation that the service provider have a cremation facility established in line with the settlement’s spatial plans and based on a construction permit. Traditional graves and crypts cannot be established in an estate used for cremation purposes, unless the facility is located in a cemetery. A body that according to the autopsy report, is ready to be cremated can be delivered to any crematorium in Hungary; however, the cremation of a body of unknown origin is not permitted.
The transportation of the body must be performed by at least two people, the laying out and relocating the body to the grave by at least four persons. The display and relocation of the urn can be performed by one person.
The funeral service provider is obliged to provide the permitted funeral services, being continuously available, and observing the funerary rights. Those involved in funeral services must behave in a dignified manner, and carry out their work in clothes appropriate to the needs of the funeral services.
Procedures in connection with commencing and providing the service
In connection with funeral services, the competent authority is (based on the appointment of the government) the clerk of the settlement where the funeral service provider is headquartered, or in the case of Budapest, the central district clerk (hereafter: central district clerk).
Funeral services can only be provided with a permit issued by the central district clerk; the funeral service provider can only perform the following activities on permitted sites outside the cemetery, crematory and the funeral memorial areas:
- funeral office activities, the preparation of the deceased and providing accessories for the burial, and furthermore
- the refrigeration of the deceased and the storage of the transportation vehicle.
The application for a permit for funeral service provision can be submitted either in person (in writing or verbally) or by post to the central district clerk (at the mayor’s office, or the office of government issued documents) of the settlement where the headquarters of the service provider is located. Due to technical reasons, electronic administration is not possible at the present time.
The following data must be attached to the funeral service permit application:
- a land registry sheet, no older than three months, proving the ownership of the site(s) where the service is provided
- in the event that the real estate is owned by someone else, documents proving the entitlement for utilisation, and furthermore, the statement concerning the owner’s consent to the provision of the service on the site,
- documents proving the availability of a financial guarantee,
- the certification of the qualifications of the people named in the application,
- a statement of the applicant concerning the non-existence of conflict of interest,
- the applicant’s lack of a criminal record, and an official certification that the applicant is not subject to a prohibition against provide funeral services, or the request that the relevant data be forwarded to the central district clerk by the authority maintaining criminal records,
- a copy of the transfer slip or the cash order proving the payment of the procedural service fee.
The central district clerk must assess the application within 30 days. This deadline may be extended by the central district clerk once, for an additional 30 days. If the application, and the applicant or employee with the appropriate qualifications, as well as the site indicated by the applicant meet the legal requirements, the clerk may issue the funeral service permit.
An administrative procedural service fee of HUF 15,000 must be paid to the central district clerk.
The administrative procedural service fee must be paid via bank transfer or by cash payment at a post office to the budget settlement account of the local municipality. For the account numbers see:
The authority issuing the funeral service provision permit keeps a record of licensed funeral service providers.
Service provision activities in the framework of cross border service provision
In connection with the funeral service provision activities there is no sectoral regulation based on which those who provide services legally in an EU or EEA member state would be obliged to initiate a separate notification or permit procedure concerning cross-border service provision performed in Hungary without being established in Hungary, either on an occasional or temporary basis. This does not exempt the person providing cross border funeral services from the substantive law requirements of funeral service provision.
Cross-border service provision
If you wish to launch this service in the form of cross-border service provision, please click here to read the general conditions of cross-border service provision in Hungary.
Regulations on the service activity and the procedures
- Act XLIII of 1999 on Cemeteries and burial services,
- Gov. decree 145/1999. (X. 1.) on the implementation of Act XLIII /1999 on Cemeteries and burial services,
- ÖM decree 28/2009. (X. 29.) on the administrative fee for issuing funeral service provision permits,
- Act LXXVI of 2009 on general rules on the commencement and pursuit of service activities,
- Act CXL of 2004 on the general rules of official administrative proceedings and services,
- ÖM decree 25/2008. (IV. 29.) on the content and requirement of exams providing professional qualifications in the competence of the minister for local municipalities and urban development.
Please find a non-exhaustive list of legal acts recommended for study prior to the activity or to initiating the relevant permitting procedure:
- Act CLIV of 1997 on health care,
- Act LIII of 1995 on the general rules of environmental protection.