Activity licence for operating a zoo

You are required to apply for an activity licence if you wish to operate a zoo.

A zoo is a place where animals are permanently kept for showing to the public over seven or more days a year.

A zoo is a place where, for the purpose of the Nature Conservation Act, wild fauna specimens, who are, at the same time, wild animals for the purpose of the Law of Property Act as well as alien species are kept. As a rule, a place for solely exhibiting farm animals and pet animals is not considered as a zoo.

The activity licence is valid for an unspecified term and is issued by the Environmental Board.

The activity of a zoo is regulated by:

  • Animal Protection Act;
  • Regulation No. 245 of the Government of the Republic of 08.07.2004 “Requirements for the zoo building design and constructions and requirements for keeping zoo animals”;
  • Regulation No. 237 of the Government of the Republic of 19.09.2003 “List of documents submitted upon applying for a zoo activity license and the procedures of processing and issuing an activity license”.

Requirements for the applicant

The applicant must be registered in the Business Register or in another respective register. Upon applying for an activity license, the applicant must prove the following:

  • The zoo is designed and constructed in a manner that ensures the health and welfare of the animals and prevents their escape.
  • The design of a zoo complies with the requirements established by the Government of the Republic.
  • The health and welfare of animals upon their display to the public in a zoo is ensured by their keeping in compliance with the requirements.
  • The applicant has staff properly qualified to work in a zoo.
  • The applicant has sufficient funds for building the zoo and performing the duties of a zoo.

Before applying for an activity license, the applicant must ensure that:

  • The intended purpose of the property on which the buildings of the zoo are actually located is specified as land of public buildings.
  • The buildings and structures in which the zoo is actually located are registered in the state construction register and all necessary construction permits and authorisation for use have been issued.

Completing and submitting an application

To acquire an activity license, you must submit a respective application and the following supplementary documents if necessary:

  • The land register reference necessary for the operation of a zoo and the land register number.
  • Documents certifying that the land required for the operations of the zoo belongs to the applicant or that the applicant has the right to use it.
  • A list of the animal species of the zoo, which sets out the Latin name of the animal species and the number of specimen planned for the zoo.
  • A list of the management positions of the zoo along with job descriptions and a list of the positions vacant at the time of applying for the licence.
  • If the zoo does not have a statutory veterinary employee, the contract concluded for buying veterinary services from the veterinary providing services to the zoo must be submitted.
  • An overview of the construction works of the zoo or the building design documentation of the zoo along with a description of the level of completion of the construction works.
  • A calculation of the funds required for construction and operation of the zoo in the next financial year along with a description of the planned source of the funds.

The application can be submitted:

Payment of the state fee

For applying for the activity license, you are required to pay a state fee of EUR 20 to the bank account of the Ministry of Finance with reference number 2900081693.

  • SEB – EE891010220034796011
  • Swedbank – EE932200221023778606
  • Danske Bank – EE403300333416110002
  • Luminor Bank – EE701700017001577198

Processing of an application

The application shall be processed within 60 days after receiving a correct application.If the data specified in the application is incomplete, you shall be contacted after the submission of the application via e-mail or telephone and you will be given an additional 30 days to eliminate the inconsistencies.

You will be notified of the issuing of the activity license via e-mail or mail. The activity licence is issued electronically.

Changing the data of an activity licence

In order to amend the conditions of an activity license, a new application for a zoo license must be submitted.

Discontinuation of economic activities

If you wish to terminate the pursuit of economic activities in the respective area, you must submit an application in free form to the Environmental Board by sending a digitally signed application to or by regular mail to Narva maantee 7a, Tallinn 15172.


The Environmental Inspectorate and the Veterinary and Food Board are responsible for national supervision.

Contact details

Substantive information

Margo Tannik, Environmental Board, tel: +372 612 8802,

Registry information and technical questions

Register of Economic Activities, tel: +372 668 7080, e-mail:

Last amended: 25-01-2018 10:11 | Compiled by: Environmental Board