By- Lakshita Sharma (L.L.B from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi)

Wish to open a Restaurant? To move ahead in your journey for opening a restaurant, get to know all the legal permits you are supposed to acquire for legally establishing a restaurant in India. 

To start a restaurant in India, you need to obtain some necessary licenses to avoid any legal hindrances in the future... Here, we are presenting for you the array of essential licenses and procedure-related therewith. 

(1) FSSAI: License from Food Safety and Standard Authority of India.

FSSAI license, commonly known as food license, is one of the most important licenses to start a business related to food. Display of this License ensures the customers that the food of that particular restaurant affirms to the food safety standard of India. It has a unique 14 digit registration number that is issued to eligible traders, manufacturers, and restaurant owners which needs to mandatorily be printed on food packages. It instills a belief in customers that they are dining at a right place which adheres to all necessary standards of food safety.

Given below are the practices to be taken into consideration for obtaining FSSAI license.

•    Display of notices/license/certificates.

•    Regular monitoring of the food handler's health status.

•    Proper knowledge of food handling practices.

•    Special Instruction on the packaged product, If required.

Essential Documents to apply

•    Id Proof and Address Proof.

•    Email Id.

•    Contact Number.

•    Affidavit.

•    Declaration Of Food Safety Management Plan.

•    Kitchen Layout Plan.

•    List Of Food Category.

•    Water Testing Report from ISI approved Facility.

•    No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the owner or the partner.

•    Medical Certificates of Employees.

How to apply

You can apply online on the website of FSSAI. Print out of the filled up online application form is to be submitted to Regional/State Authority within 15 days with all the supporting documents, to ensure the further consideration of your online application.

(2) Liquor License

To serve liquor legally in your restaurant, you need to apply for the liquor license. It can be procured from Local Excise Commissioner and application can be filed online on the website of respective state government. It is important and must to have the license to avoid any legal consequences and penalty related therewith. Liquor License is not issued to restaurant/shops serving liquor near temples, schools, and hospitals.

Documents required to obtain a liquor license

•    Legal Documents proving the legal status of the restaurant/hotel, types of setup, whether its a company, partnership firm, etc.

•    Documents showing legal possession of the plot

•    Certificate validating the completion of the restaurant building

•    Trade license from MCD/NDMC local authority.

•    Eating house license 

•    Documentary proof of applicant being the income taxpayers and sales taxpayer 

•    Layout plan of the establishment, site plan of the license outlets and the liquor stores. 

•    Fire Safety NOC

How to Apply

After inspection of the restaurant premises, the concerned Excise Officer prepares a report and submits it to liquor granting authority. If approved by the authority then the applicant needs to submit fees as per guidelines, then the license is issued.

(3) Trade/Health License

Purpose of this license is to give supreme importance to public health. This license is issued by local civil authorities like the state's MCD or Health Department.

Documents Required

•    Documents proving ownership, rent agreement or NOC from the landlord.

•    Site plan and layout.

•    Indemnity Bond for Rs.100.

•    Certificate of structural stability.

•    Proof of sewer connection.

•    Electricity and water bills.

•    NOC fro Delhi police for swimming pools.

•    Reports of quality of water test.

•    Medical status of Employees.

•    Document of Property Tax.

•    Certificate of Lal Dora property, If applicable.

How to Apply

The applicant can apply online on the website of State's Municipal Corporation. Authorities have the power to close down the restaurant not having a Trade/Heath License.

(4) Eating House License

This license is Issued by Licensing Police Commissioner of the State.

Documents Required

•    Documents proving ownership, rent agreement or NOC from the landlord.

•    Site plan and pictures of Eating House showing its usage.

•    Copies of Trade license and fee receipt.

•    Residence proof of the applicant.

•    Affidavit on stamp paper of Rupees Ten.

•    In case sitting capacity is 50 or more than Fire Safety NOC.

•    The undertaking of amusement activities.

•    The undertaking of installations of CCTV cameras with the facility of 30 days recording.

How to apply

Apply online on the related website, upload all the necessary documents and fix an appointment with the license issuing authority.

(5) Shop And Establishment Act

It is mandatory to register your restaurant under Shops and Establishment Act. The registration must be done within 30 days of the commencement of your business.

Document Required 

•    PAN Number

•    Valid ID proof

•    Residence Proof of the Owner/proprietor/partner

•    Particulars of the workers/employees.

How to Apply

Application along with all the required document has to be submitted to the Local Chief Inspector of the shop or other Inspectors. After complete verification, he registers the restaurant in the Register of Establishment and issues a registration certificate to restaurant owner. This certificate mandatorily is displayed at your restaurant and must be renewed before its expiration.

(6) GST Registration

GST registration is must to run a restaurant. GST registration is a simple process as Individual, Partnership Firm or Registered Companies can obtain it online at www.gst.gov.in. 

Document required

•    Certificate of legal possession/transfer Memorandum.

•    Registered lease deed.

•    PAN Number of the firm.

•    Adhaar card and passport size photo of all partners.

•    Mobile Number.

•    Latest bank Statement.

•    Details of Items to be traded/manufactured.

•    Digital signatures of the partner.

•    Authority Letter in favor of dealing partner.

(7) Fire Safety NOC

Fire Safety NOC is a must to obtain to run a restaurant. It ensures the safety of customers and the restaurant's asset from all dangerous happenings, be it hazard such as a fire.

How to Apply

The applicant can register online on the website of the State's Fire Department before the building construction begins. After installing all the fire fighting mechanism and safety equipment in the building, the applicant must invite the Chief Fire Officer for inspection and issuance of NOC.

(8) Lift Clearance Certificate

In case multi-story restaurant having a lift, lift clearance is must obtain from an inspector of the electricity department and Labour Commissioner of that city. After verification of Installation of lift, safety gears, layout, functioning condition, Lift clearance certificate is issued.

(9) Music License

Its must to obtain a music license from Phonographic Performance Limited for playing pre-recorded music in any commercial or non-commercial establishments. The legal penalty is charged if a restaurant plays music without having a music license.

(10) Signage License

This license is required in case you want to market your restaurant wither through logos, posters, pictures, word of mouth and symbols. It is issued by a local civil authority like NDMC.

(11) Environment Clearance

It is the legal and moral responsibility of a restaurant owner to ensure that its operations do not pollute and harm the natural environment. Therefore to ensure a clean environment, the restaurant needs to apply for a certificate of Environment Clearance.

How to Apply

The application can be filed on the website of Ministry of Environment, forest and climate change. Obtaining Environment clearance involves assessment, screening, and impact on the environment.

(12) Insurance

It is not mandatory but useful to get your assets and liabilities insured

You can consult your insurance agent regarding the insurance of public liabilities, product liabilities, building, other assets, fire policies.


Obtaining some of the licenses can be easy while getting a few of the other licenses can be tricky and necessary involves a complex legal process. In these cases, you need to take the advice of legal experts.

Let eStartIndia help you with all the legal and financial aspects of your food business. eStartIndia can help you to get all the needed licenses timely and thus you may get time to invest your efforts, mind, and energy to other aspects related to the smooth functioning of your restaurant.


eStartIndia Team

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