The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga’s licensing system is a core element of the success of the Bundesliga.

The licensing procedure not only sets out the economic framework of the 36 clubs in the league association, it also stipulates the numerous criteria that must be met in order for a licence to be issued. Such a licence is the prerequisite for permission to participate in Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches. The licence comes into force through a contract between the league association and the club and is valid for one season.

The clubs imposed this strict system on themselves through their league constitution and created a great deal of planning security. The licensing system regulates a range of factors including sustainable youth academies through to professional working conditions for the media and the state of stadia in general. This secures an organised and functioning competition year in, year out and has ensured that no club has ever been unable to complete a season due to financial reasons in almost 60 years of the Bundesliga. Such economic stability heightens the quality of the Bundesliga and as a consequence, increases the potential of the clubs and the league.