Licenses Required to Start a Restaurant Business

RestaurantThe restaurant industry in India is a booming and lucrative one, thanks to rapid urbanization and a surge in the number of restaurant-goers. With the food service industry expected to touch revenue of approximately INR 23,000 crores by the end of 2018, there are many upcoming restaurants with unique themes and a range of cuisines to cater to the palate of every visitor.

As attractive and rewarding as it seems to run a restaurant that is never short of customers, it is also essential to be aware of and fulfill all the legal requirements. Here is a list of licenses that every restaurant owner should know about and possess to run a hassle-free business.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) License

In order to run a successful restaurant business in India, it is very essential to get a clearance from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The license registration is a unique 14-digit number that should be mandatorily printed by manufacturers, restaurants, and traders. This license also serves as an approval from the authority to ensure that food served adheres to the safety standards. Priced at INR 2000, this license has to be renewed every year. The license can be easily applied online through the FSSAI portal.

GST Registration

For seamless functioning of the restaurant, it is compulsory for the owner to apply for a GST registration. Effective from July 01, 2017, the Goods & Services Tax registration forms can be filled online at the government website.

License for Health/Trade

The Health Trade license is issued by Health Department or Municipal Corporation of the state. Mentioned in the 11th schedule of the Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 this licence is issued in concern with public health. The cost of the Health/Trade License ranges from INR 500-50,000. Application is easy and forms can be availed from Zonal Citizen’s Service Bureau or online from the state’s Municipal Corporation portal.

Environmental Clearance Certificate

Apart from ensuring safety of customers, restaurants should also keep in mind environmental cleanliness. The Environment Clearance Certificate ensures that operations are legally and morally bound, and are not harmful to nature.

License for Shop and Establishment Act

Any type of eatery be it a food truck, regular or fine dine restaurant, should be registered under the Shop and Establishment Act. The license should be availed within 30 days of business commencement. The fees of this certificate can vary from INR 200-4000 per year, depending on the restaurant’s location and number of employees.

NOC from Fire Department

Safety measures should be of utmost importance for every restaurant. It is essential to protect customers from accidents and injuries that may be caused due to fire hazards. Obtaining a no objection certificate (NOC) from the State Fire Department before construction is mandatory. The forms can be filled and obtained on state government portals for no charge.

Eating House License

This license is issued by the Licensing Police Commissioner of a city, where the restaurant functions. It is priced at INR 300 for three years. Application forms are available on the specific website, which have to be duly filled and submitted along with necessary self-attested documents.


Marketing is crucial factor to keep a business up and running. In order to advertise the restaurant through logos, pictures or posters, it is necessary to obtain signage licenses from the city’s Municipal Corporation.

Clearance Certificate for Lifts

Multi-storey restaurants should compulsorily obtain clearance certificates before installation of lifts. The Electrical Inspector and Labour Commissioner issue the certificate only after verification of restaurant layout and safety gears available.

Liquor License

Restaurants serving liquor should mandatorily have a license duly signed by the local Excise Commissioner.Obtaining this certificate is considered the most difficult as all details are minutely scrutinized by the government.Location of the restaurant is crucial while applying for the liquor license, as outlets near hospitals, schools and temples are not issued this license. Application forms, regulations of which vary with different state governments, can be filled online on the respective website and submitted to the Excise Officer. INR 5000 should be paid at the time of document submission. An additional fee of INR 50,000 is required for liquor brands served at the restaurant.

Music License

Every restaurant plays trendy music to keep its guests entertained and also enhance its ambiance. A restaurant music license issued by Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), to play pre-recorded music, should be obtained to avoid legal notices and hindrances.
To avoid a huge penalty and complete forced shutdown of business, every restaurant should possess all the licenses. Keeping a tab and renewing licenses on time will ensure smooth running of the restaurant.

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