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Licenses Required to Start a Restaurant Business

  • Published on : 05/09/2018


Launching a restaurant business is the dream of many entrepreneurs. However, there are several factors involved such as choosing the right location, hiring employees, getting licenses and marketing the restaurant. One of the most important aspect is acquiring the necessary licenses as the number of licenses varies from country to country. As per the Economic survey, opening a restaurant in China and Singapore needs only four licenses.  However, there is not much awareness about the formalities involved in running a restaurant in India. 

Licenses required to run a restaurant in India

FSSAI License

Also known as the food license, you need to get this license from the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India). Obtaining this license certifies that your restaurant adheres to the food safety standards of India. It is a unique, 14 digit registration number that is given to manufacturers, traders and restaurants. The law mandates to print it on all food packages. For getting this license, login to the FSSAI website. The registration for this license will cost you Rs.100 and the fee for Central License Rs.7,500. 

Liquor License

If your restaurant serves liquor, it is mandatory to get a liquor license from the Local Excise Commissioner. The forms are available at the respective State government websites. At the time of submission of required documents, you have to pay Rs.5,000. An additional amount of Rs.50,000 is required for each additional spirits like whiskey, rum, gin, brandy and vodka.   

Health/Trade license

This certificate is to be issued by the Health Department. It takes around 60 days after you submit the forms and documents. The forms can be accessed from the State Municipal Corporation website or Zonal Citizen’s Service Bureaus. Acquiring this license could cost you somewhere between Rs.500 to Rs.50,000 depending on the state rules and the various requirements. 

Eating House License

This license is issued by the Licensing Police Commissioner of the city where you want to start the restaurant. The approximate cost incurred to procure this license is Rs.300 for three years.

Shops and Establishment License

For running a food business in India, you must register your restaurant under the Shops and Establishment Act. Within 30 days of starting your business, you need to register your restaurant for this license. The license is city specific and you can download the application form from here or the respective state government website. The cost of this license varies between Rs.200 to Rs.4,000 per year depending on the number of employees and the location of your restaurant.  

Fire Safety License

A No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) from the fire department needs to be procured. This is to protect the customers at your restaurant from hazards such as fire. You can find the application form on the respective state government website. 

Lift Clearance

If you are planning to install a lift in your multi-storey restaurant, you need to obtain clearance from an inspector of the Electricity department and the Labour Commissioner of your city. They issue this license after verifying the layout, safety gears and other aspects.

Music License

For playing music at your restaurant, you need to procure a restaurant music license. The body issuing the license is Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL). If a restaurant operates and plays music without getting this license, then they will be imposed with legal penalties.   

Certificate of Environmental Clearance

It needs to be ensured that your restaurant does not cause any harm to the environment. Towards this purpose, you need to obtain the Certificate of Environmental Clearance. For more details click here.  

Signage License

It’s common for restaurants to use signages, posters, graphics and hoardings for marketing their establishments. However, you need to obtain a signage license from the Municipal Corporation or the local authority towards this purpose.  

Parting Words

In India, authorities conduct several inspections to assure the quality and service offered at restaurants. Failing to meet those requirements may invite strict action and fines. Lack of knowledge about procuring the necessary licenses is one of the major hurdles faced by budding entrepreneurs. However, the above guide will definitely prove to be of great help to you in getting the required licenses and conduct business as prescribed by the law.  


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