How to Get a Bar and Restaurant License in India

Last Updated at: Jun 02, 2021
Food License
The excise department of the Delhi government has recently allowed a waiver of license fees for pubs, restaurants, and hotels serving liquor for about five months as they were closed due to the lockdown.  The license fees had been allowed to reduce for 168 days — the period of lockdown from March 25 to September 8. The competent authority has also allowed adjustment of the license fee to be paid for the excise year 2021-22


Opening a restaurant requires careful thought and planning. If you wish to open a bar-cum-restaurant, then the process becomes even more complicated. The number of licenses, registrations, and compliance measures increases significantly. However, it allows you to have a diverse business model by generating revenue from both your food and the liquor you serve for that, get bar and restaurant license.. While choosing the right location and hiring quality staff is essential, getting the proper licenses is a make-or-break aspect of opening a bar or restaurant. Are you planning to apply for a bar and restaurant license for your business? If so, then go through this guide to learn more about how to obtain a permit for bars and restaurants in India.

Licenses required to run a bar-restaurant in India

Let us take a quick look at all the bar and restaurant licenses you will need to start operating within India.

FSSAI License

The Food License, issued by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, is one of India’s most essential licenses for any establishment dealing in food products. It essentially serves as approval from the FSSAI, certifying that the establishment meets the required standards of food safety. The unique 14-digit registration number should be displayed on your food packages, and at the entrance of your restaurant or bar.

Documents Required
  1. ID proof of the applicant
  2. Applicant’s Address proof
  3. Valid email id and Phone number
  4. Affidavit
  5. Declaration of a Food Safety Management Plan
  6. Kitchen layout and schematic
  7. List of food categories
  8. ISI testing facility-approved water testing report
  9. No Objection Certificate from the owners
  10. Medical certificates of employees

get fssai license

Applying for an FSSAI License for your Restaurant

Once you have all the documents, here’s what you need to do;

  1. Visit the FSSAI’s official website and register yourself by providing the required details.
  2. Log in to the website using your credentials.
  3. Fill an application form for the license and attach the required supporting documents.
  4. Submit a copy of this filled application form to your Regional Authority of the FSSAI.
  5. Make sure you submit this form along with the required documents, within 15 days of filing an online application.

Liquor License

Any restaurant that wishes to serve liquor in India requires an appropriate Liquor license. To apply for the same, you must contact your Local Excise Commissioner. Since liquor laws vary from state to state, you will have to visit your state’s official Excise website to gain insights into the process. Operating a bar without this license can lead to a huge penalty and a forced shutdown of your business. Therefore, make sure you go through your state’s liquor laws and file for the right type of license.

Bar and Restaurant License Cost

In certain states, there is a fixed annual licensing fee depending on the location of your restaurant. Top tier cities have an annual licensing fee of INR 10 lakhs, while tier 4 cities have a fee worth INR 2.5 Lakhs. In other states, you will need to pay a processing fee of INR 5,000 when you submit the documents. Following this, the restaurant owner must pay INR 50,000 for each spirit brand or type he or she wishes to sell in their restaurant.

Documents Required
  • Business registration or incorporation certificate
  • Proof of address of the business premises
  • Completion certificate of the restaurant or bar
  • Trade License
  • Eating house license registration from the DCP
  • GST registration
  • NOC from the State Fire Department
  • Affidavit ensuring the applicant has no outstanding dues or criminal history.

Applying for a bar and restaurant liquor license

  1. Go to your respective State Excise website to find the liquor license application form.
  2. Also, make sure you go through the website to learn more about the documents required for your respective state.
  3. Send a duly-filled form along with the prescribed documents to the concerned Excise Officer.
  4. The officer will analyse and verify the documents. In case something is amiss, they will inform you regarding the lack of information. The officer will also inspect the bar and restaurant premises before sanctioning the license.
  5. In most states, before approval, there is a notice period wherein people from the community can object to the license if needed.
  6. In case such an objection arises, the restaurant or bar owner has the right to defend their establishment. A hearing will then take place to allow the authority to decide on whether to grant the license or not.
  7. In case there are no objections, the authority will grant the owner a liquor license.

Trade License

The Health and Trade license ensures that your bar and restaurant follow the protocol laid down by the Health Department. It also rules out the possibility of health hazards at your establishment and roughly takes 60 days to obtain. The cost of applying for a bar and restaurant Trade license ranges from INR 500 to 50,000 depending on the state, nature, and size of your establishment. The application for the same is made via the CSB or online. The forms are available on the Municipal Corporation website. You can also pick them up from your Zonal Citizen’s Service Bureaus.

Documents Required
  1. Proof of address of the business premises
  2. NOC from landlord and copy of the rental agreement, if on rent
  3. Site plan and layout
  4. Indemnity bond worth INR 100
  5. Structural Stability Certificate
  6. Power and Water Bills
  7. Proof of Sewer Connection
  8. Letter from police
  9. Water Testing Reports
  10. Lal Dora Certificate, if applicable

Eating House License

Provided by the district ct Police Commissioner, the eating house license is necessary if you will have in-house guests. The average cost to obtain an eating house license is INR 300 for a three-year license. To obtain this license, the duly-filled form and required supporting documents must be submitted to the City Police. They will verify the documents, inspect the restaurant, and then approve the certificate.

Documents Required
  1. Proof of address of the business premises
  2. NOC from landlord and copy of the rental agreement, if on rent
  3. Site plan and schematic
  4. Photographs of the business premises
  5. Copy of the Trade License
  6. Applicant’s ID and Address Proof
  7. Affidavit on an INR 10 stamp paper
  8. NOC from the Fire Department for housing more than 50 people
  9. Undertaking regarding CCTV installation with the facility to record footage for 30 days


Shop and Establishment License

To run any business in India, you need a Shops and Establishment License. Since the license is city-specific, go through the laws of your locality to gain a better understanding of the registration process. Therefore, businesses should file for a Shops License within 30 days of commencing their operations. Moreover, it will cost you between INR 200 and INR 4000 annually depending on the number of employees and your location. You can obtain the application form for the same from your official State government’s website. Submit the filled form along with the supporting documents to the Local Chief Inspector. After verification, they will register your business in the Establishments Register and issue a certificate.

Documents Required
  1. Pan Card
  2. Identity Proof
  3. Address proof
  4. Details of the employees
  5. Address proof of the establishment

For other licenses, you will require to include:

  1. Fire Safety License from the State Fire Department.
  2. Lift Clearance if you wish to install a lift in your bar or restaurant from the electricity department and Labour Commissioner’s Office.
  3. Music License through the Phonographic Performance Limited, if you wish to play music at your establishment Certificate of Environmental Clearance to ensure your operation does not harm the environment.
  4. Signage a License from the Municipal Corporation if you want to market your bar and restaurant.
  5. GST Registration to file your taxes on time and ensure that your business maintains compliance.

The GST rates for such establishments are as follows;

  1. Restaurants and hotels (AC or not, serving liquor or not) 5%
  2. Catering – 5%
  3. Outdoor catering – 18%

Types of Liquor Licenses

  1. L-1 license – For the wholesale supply of Indian liquor to other license holders.
  2. L-3 license – For hotels to provide guests with foreign liquor in their rooms. (Requires approval from Tourism Department)
  3. L-5 license – For hotels to serve liquor in bars within its premises.
  4. L-19 license: For registered clubs to serve foreign liquor to members.
  5. L-49A license: For serving liquor at marriages, or parties at a particular location in Delhi.
  6. Tavern License: Establishments that make 50% of their profits through the sale of alcohol
  7. Beer and Wine License: To allow restaurants and bars to sell milf liquor such as beers and wines
  8. Restaurants License: Establishments that make less than 40% of their profits from the sale of alcohol.
  9. Personal Bar license: Allows individuals to sell alcohol on behalf of a registered and licenses business.