HomeGetting StartedUltimate Guide To Indian Restaurant Licenses

Ultimate Guide To Indian Restaurant Licenses

Restaurant licenses are the starting blocks for setting up a restaurant. The restaurant biz in India has been currently valued at ₹75,000 crores and is growing at a rate of 7% yearly. While the Covid-19 pandemic put a damper on the operations of the entire industry, it has made a comeback with great gusto.

Diners are eager to experiment with it all, be it fine-dining, food trucks or bistros or new cuisines and fusion food styles. There is no time like the present to venture into entrepreneurial opportunities and tap into that dream of opening up your own restaurant.

However, setting up a new restaurant and ensuring its smooth run is no small feat. There are multiple licenses to be acquired, various permissions to be taken and certain laws to be aware of. It is of utmost importance that you take all the necessary permissions and mandatory restaurant licenses before starting even the most basic work on your restaurant.

If you are setting up a dine-in space, there are certain restaurant licenses which are required before you begin the construction work on your restaurant. Furthermore, post the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities have established stricter food quality laws.

Essential Restaurant Licenses For Starting A Restaurant

Types of Restaurant Licenses- needed in india

Here, we’ll give you a detailed description of the licenses required to get your restaurant up and running and ensure its smooth sailing after the initial set-up:

FSSAI License

Cost: Registration: Rs. 100

State License: Rs. 2,000 per year

Central License: Rs. 7,500 per year

Time: Basic: 7 – 10 working days

Central and State: Up to 30 Working Days

Every restaurant owner has to register for the FSSAI license to carry on their food business. It is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is a 14-digit number unique to every restaurant. This restaurant license is not only a food business license but also assures the customers of the food quality served by the eatery. It is also an exclusive way to draw a crowd to your house. The type of FSSAI license depends on the revenue generated by your business.

You require the following documents to acquire an FSSAI License:

  • Valid Email ID and Contact Number
  • FSSAI form duly filled and signed by the Restaurant Owner
  • Identity and Address Proof
  • List of Main Stakeholders and their identity proof
  • Partnership Deed/ Affidavit of Proprietorship (in case of business operated on other premises or case of partnership firm)
  • Declaration of Food Safety Management Plan
  • Kitchen Layout Plan
  • List of equipment required to be used
  • List of Food Category
  • Proof of possession of the premise
  • NOC from the local Municipal Corporations or local body
  • Water Testing Report provided by ISI-certified organization
  • Medical certificates of employees

Eating House License

Cost: Rs. 300 issued for 3 years

Time: 30 – 60 days after submission of application

This is one of the first restaurant licenses to be acquired by the proprietor because this decides and locks in your place of business. It is only after getting this license from the Local Commissioner that you are allowed to commence construction of your restaurant.

You require the following documents to acquire an eating house license:

  • Trade license
  • FSSAI license
  • Fire NOC for seating capacity greater than 50
  • Photographs of site and site plans
  • Documents of the restaurant building and NOC from the property owner
  • Photocopy of valid NDMC/MCD/DCB/ Airport Authority of Indian trade license and valid fee receipt
  • Undertaking the installation of a CCTV camera with a minimum of 30 days’ recording stored

Fire Department License

Cost: Free of Cost

Time: 15 – 20 days after the inspection

It is mandatory to obtain a No-Objection Certificate from the fire department which guarantees the safety of the customers and employees alike from any and all fire hazards. It is issued after ensuring that all safety equipment is in place by the Chief Officer.  

You require the following documents to acquire a fire department license:

  • Arrangements of Building intends to comprise of building format, examination report, and the type of oversight.
  • The structure plan should be as per the data recommended by the bye-laws of the state.
  • Checklist survey questionnaire with answers
  • Building Model certified agenda by Architect.
  • Building Stability declaration.
  • Applicant’s id card- a copy of Aadhar Card.
  • Photographs of the setup building clicked from outside.
  • Quantity and finishing endorsement of Electric wiring should be given from a perceived position.

Health/Trade License

Cost: Ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 50,000

Time: 60 days

Public health is a priority and this restaurant license is to ensure that the restaurants maintain a standard level of hygiene and an above-par quality of food served to the consumers. These licenses are issued by the local municipal corporations.

You require the following documents to acquire a health/trade license:

  • Three copies of the site plan
  • Electricity and Water bills
  • Rent Agreement or NOC from landlord
  • Sewer Connection Proof
  • Proof of property tax
  • Letter from local police
  • Plan and Layout of the restaurant
  • Indemnity bond for Rs.100
  • Structural Stability Certificate signed by the concerned Structural Engineer
  • Water Testing Reports
  • Medical Certificates of Employees

Liquor License

Cost: Starting from Rs. 5,000

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Time: Varied

Obtaining this restaurant license is an arduous task. It is issued by the Excise Department of the city/region of the state. The rules governing the license, along with the various costs involved, vary by state and type of license. For every individual alcohol brand, you will need to get licensed. Penalties include imprisonment with heavy costs. 

Following are the types of liquor licenses issued according to the specifications:

  • L-1  Company, society or partnership running with manufacturing units
  • L-3 Working distilleries or bottling plans that are issued by the state or the central government
  • L-6 Retail vendors for liquor and beer by the state government
  • L-10 Sale of foreign liquor and select Indian brands
  • P-13 Temporary licenses are provided to hotels, pubs, and restaurants which are licensed to sell liquor inside or outside the premises for one particular day
  • P-10 For serving liquor at a particular time and place in the city other than public parks for a particular party or a function

You require the following documents to acquire a liquor license:

  • Address proof of the restaurant
  • The original application and a copy with business details
  • NOC from the fire department and municipal corporation
  • List of all directors of the company
  • MOA and AOA if the applicant is a company
  • Copy of the latest IT returns
  • Concern applicant photographs
  • Affidavit of the applicant stating there are no criminal records under their name

how to get Liquor License for bars and restaurants in India

Shop and Establishment License

Cost: Rs. 200 to Rs. 4,000 per year

Time: 7 – 10 working days

For regulating the rights of the employees and for their fair treatment, this restaurant license is vital. It is compulsory if your employee count crosses 10. This ensures good working conditions, humane hours, regular payments etc.

You require the following documents to acquire a shop and establishment license:

  • Details of Employer/Manager
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association/Trust deed/Partnership Deed
  • Lease Rent Agreement /Premises purchase Agreement
  • List of Directors/Managers/ Partners
  • Bank Account Number details
  • First Income Tax Assessment order/PAN
  • BMC declaration
  • Date of commencement of business

GST Registration

Cost: Free of Cost

Time: 5 – 7 working days

The Government of India made GST registrations mandatory for all business owners, including the food industry. If your restaurant has outlets in different states, then each outlet will have a separate GST registration number.

You require the following documents to acquire a GST registration:

  • Applicant details
  • Mobile number
  • Email Id
  • Pan card number
  • Proof place of business
  • Copy of valid rental agreement/lease agreement
  • Valid bank account from India
  • Provisional ID and password received from the state’s VAT department

Environmental Clearance License

Cost: Free of Cost

Time: Unknown

An Environmental Clearance License is necessary to ensure that your operations are not causing any negative impacts on your surroundings and on the environment. Oftentimes, a place of dining causes nuisance through unsanctioned littering, garbage throwing, and emitting strange smells resulting in being harmful to the environment. Thus, this restaurant license is needed to ensure that you will keep the surroundings pollution-free

You require the following documents to acquire an environmental clearance license:

  • Letter of intent from the Ministry of Industry
  • NOCs from the State Pollution Control Board and the State Forest Department if the project talks about forestland

Signage License

Cost: Unknown

Time: Unknown

A signage license permits you to legally advertise your restaurant through graphics, photos etc. For any advertising of your restaurant or even basic signage like your logo, restaurant name etc., a signage license is mandatory. This license can be obtained from your city’s civil authorities such as the local Municipal Corporation.

how to get Signage License for restaurants

Music License

Cost: Rs. 10,000 per year for Metro Cities

Rs. 5,000 per year for Non-Metro Cities

Time: Unknown

The mood of a restaurant is often set by the type of music played there. However, all restaurants need permission and a legal license to play music at their restaurants, cafes, banquets etc. in compliance with the Copyright Act, 1957. This license is required irrespective of whether there is a live band playing or being played on TV or blasted through speakers. Three Indian Copyright Societies have the right to issue music licenses and it can be obtained by making an application to the respective society. Failure to obtain a music license results in serious penalties up to Rs. 2 lakh.

You require the following documents to acquire a music license:

  • ID proof such as PAN card, Aadhar card, 
  • Address Proof such as electricity bill, Voter ID card, Drivers’ License, 
  • If the business is a registered company, you have to submit the certificate of registration
  • Your playlist of the music which you wish to play

Additional Info to Keep in Mind

Apart from the above-mentioned licenses, other licenses are also necessary according to your stipulations.

Lift License

For instance, if your restaurant is more than one story high and you are looking to install an elevator, then it is necessary to acquire a lift license before furnishing one in the building. A lift license can be procured only after an inspection from the electricity department. The Labour Commissioner of your city also has to grant permission. They conduct a thorough inspection of the layout plans of your restaurant and verify that the installation of a lift will be safe. 


One other crucial factor to take care of is insuring your property and its assets. Insurance can be obtained from any insurance company to protect your building from natural calamities like fire, floods etc. It is also recommended to take insurance against products and public liabilities.

Obtaining these licenses is a sure-shot way of ensuring that your restaurant rolls and cooks uninterrupted. Just be sure to keep a tab on renewing the licenses as and when required and all there’s left to do then is to deliver delicious lip-smacking goodies!

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Shanaya Udeshi
Shanaya Udeshi
From being a practicing lawyer to a writer, the only thing that has remained constant about me over the years is my love for food. I talk food, dream food and now even write about food!


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