The operation of shopping centres is a service activity for trade purposes. Shopping centres are complex buildings for miscellaneous purposes, where several traders carry out different kinds of permanent trading activities mainly in shops, and spare time-related service activities are also typical of such shopping centres. The operator is the facility manager, or a person appointed by the facility manager, who is responsible for the management and operation duties related to the shopping centre, and entitled to act on behalf of the facility manager. The operation of shopping centres is classified in the Standard Classification of Economic Activities (TEÁOR’08) as sub-sector 68.02 Renting and operating of own or leased real estate, sub-category 68.20 Renting and operating of own or leased real estate.
From 1 January 2012, it is prohibited to build shopping centres larger than 300 square metres of floor area, or to extend one to larger than 300 square metres (plaza stop). It is only the Minister of National Economy responsible for commerce who may grant exemption from this prohibition on a case-by-case basis.
The procedures for the operation of the shopping centre shall be determined by the operator and the operator shall inform the sellers and customers on such procedures in a notice displayed in a well-visible place. Furthermore, the operator’s name, address, seat and e-mail address (if any) shall also be indicated in the notice.
During the opening hours of the shopping centre, the operator must always keep at hand on the premises of the shopping centre the papers and documents, or copies of such papers and documents, for the verification of his or her entitlement to operate the shopping centre.
The operator of the shopping centre shall be obliged to investigate any written complaints filed in respect of his or her activity and inform the customer on his or her measures and the justification for his measures by regular mail or e-mail within thirty days after receipt of the complaint. In the reply, the customer must be informed on his or her right to apply to the clerk of the municipality of the micro-region or in Budapest to the clerk of the district municipality, if he or she does not approve the reply.
Procedures related to the commencement and pursuit of service activities
Concerning the operation of the shopping centre, the clerk competent in the micro-region where the shopping centre is situated, in Budapest the clerk of the district in which the shopping centre is situated (hereinafter: clerk), shall act as the responsible authority upon the appointment by the Government. The person who wants to operate a shopping centre shall be obliged to apply to the clerk, indicating his or her intention accordingly. The application shall be valid for an indefinite period of time, and the clerk shall advice the applicant on this fact in a certificate issued on the basis of the application.
The facility manager may file an application for the operation of a shopping centre to the clerk either orally or in writing in person, or in writing by regular mail. For technical reasons, the licensing procedure may not currently be initiated electronically, in spite of the obligation prescribed by law. The facility manager’s application for the operation of a shopping centre must include:
- the facility manager’s name, address, seat and e-mail address (if any);
- the facility manager’s company registration number, private entrepreneur’s registration number or registration number in the court register;
- the operator’s name, address, seat and e-mail address (if any);
- name of the shopping centre;
- address of the shopping centre and the topographical lot number of the real estate;
- title for the use of the territory;
- opening hours and time of operation of the shopping centre, and
- the number of shops and sales rooms.
The facility manager must attach to the application a revenue stamp, attached to the application document, to certify payment of the procedural duty.
If the application complies with the requirements and the procedural duty has been paid, the clerk shall confirm the application within eight days.
A general procedural duty of 3,000 HUF shall be paid for the procedure. The duty shall be paid by means of a revenue stamp attached to the application form when submitting the application.
In the procedure relating to the application, the clerk performing supervision of the service shall register the facility manager, the operator and the shopping centre ex officio within fifteen days from the day following the receipt of the application. The clerk shall make available the data of the register kept by him or her on the Internet.
The facility manager of the shopping centre shall be obliged to notify the clerk without delay on any change in the data recorded in the application. The facility manager may notify the clerk on the changes related to the operation of the shopping centre either verbally or in writing in person, or in writing by regular mail. No duties or fees shall be payable for the notification of changes.
The facility manager shall be obliged to notify the clerk on the termination of the shopping centre operation within eight days from termination. After the notification, the clerk immediately cancels the service provider from the register. The facility manager may notify the clerk on the termination of the shopping centre operation either verbally or in writing in person, or in writing by regular mail. No duties or fees shall be payable for the notification.
Failure to comply with the obligation of registration or notification of change shall involve a fine up to 44,000 HUF.
An exemption from the plaza stop may be granted by the Minister of National Economy responsible for commerce, based on the opinion of a Committee including the Minister of National Economy responsible for commerce and the Minister of Rural Development responsible for affairs related to environmental protection and rural development. The application for exemption can be submitted to the Minister of National Economy either verbally or in writing in person, or in writing by regular mail. The procedural duty discharged in the form of a revenue stamp must be attached to the application.
The Minister of National Economy shall evaluate the application within a general administration period of 30 days from receipt, and the clerk may extend this deadline once by 30 days. The general procedural duty of 3,000 HUF must be paid to the Minister of National Economy for the procedure. The duty shall be paid by means of a revenue stamp attached to the application form when submitting the application.
Service activities carried out within the framework of cross-border service provision
In consideration of the fact that operation of a shopping centre presumes existence of a building suitable for this purpose, it is practically excluded to pursue this activity within the framework of cross-border service provision. Accordingly, any person living or registered in another Member State of the European Economic Area or in a third country shall be entitled to pursue this activity in Hungary with the same conditions.
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.
Legal regulations applicable to the service activities and the procedures
- Act CLXIV of 2005 on trade
- Government Decree 55/2009 (III. 13.) on fairs, markets and shopping centres
- Act LXXVIII of 1997 on the formation and protection of the built environment
- Act LXXVI of 2009 on the general rules for taking up and pursuing service activities
- Act CXL of 2004 on the general rules for public administration authority procedures and services
- Government Decree 186/2009 (IX. 10.) on the fines payable in case of failure to register service activities subject to registration, and on the general appointment of authorities performing the supervision of services