What is the Legal Procedure to Open a Restaurant in Kolkata?

Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021
Open a Restaurant in Kolkata
Restaurants opened their bars after five months in West Bengal on 1st September 2020- following an order from the state excise department. Safety protocols were however in place with occupancy restricted to 50 percent of the sitting capacity.


Kolkata, once the colonial capital of the British East India Company has now grown to be one of India’s most jubilant cities. It is home to 14 million people of different races and religions.

The long and ancient culinary tradition has fused almost perfectly with modern culinary genius. The result of this fusion is a city that is rich with endless food options from around the globe. But with a special taste of Kolkata fused in it.

It has and will always be, in some form a metaphorical and quite literal, melting pot of culture and especially cuisine.

Sweet and Savory Kolkata

A random stroll across the streets of Kolkata will often lead you to common yet otherworldly sight. On almost every creek and crevice of this historic city, you will find a local food joint. Hawkers frying and serving delicious egg rolls and chowmein by the roadside where people stop their cycles and cars alike to eat.

Somewhere else you will find a traditional Bengali sweet shop from which the savoury fragrance of mouth-watering. Sandesh and Misti Doi will fill up your nostrils with flavours of all kinds.

Kolkata, in short, is a haven for the foodie and the cook alike. Tourists and the natives of this city are both extravagant in their consumption of local delicacies. Due to this, opening up a food joint or restaurant business in Kolkata can be a very profitable venture.

But with every business, there is always a legal aspect that should be thoroughly understood before starting a restaurant in Kolkata.

get FSSAI license

Food Business and Law in Kolkata

Throughout India, FSSAI certification is a mandatory legal document that every business operating in the food industry must possess. But even apart from this, there are various legal certificates and licenses that you will be needing to be a safe and consumer-friendly business.

Let us have a look at all the licenses and certificates that you will be needing

FSSAI Certificate

Every business which falls under the category of the food business requires to have an FSSAI certificate. This is basically for public safety concern and having this certificate guarantees that your establishment serves food which is safe for human consumption and is also meeting the basic safety regulations. Additionally, if you are wondering how to start a restaurant in Kolkata, getting an FSSAI Certificate will be your first step.

GST License

Having unified its tax system, GST becomes mandatory for most business types. Considering you are starting a restaurant, you will be needing a GST license to function as a legal business and conduct transactions.

Professional Tax Registration

Once you start, you will be needing professional managers, chefs, and service staff. You will be requiring a professional tax registration to be able to legally hire and pay your staff. This is billed every month on your employees’ salaries and is much similar to income tax.

Business Registration

In tandem with the previous licenses and certification, you should also legally register your business under the local Kolkata municipality. This will fortify your business and help you in covering all the legal aspects which you will be requiring to start a restaurant in Kolkata.

Shops and Establishments Certificate

This certificate is also known as Gumasta License in local lingo across the country. You need to register your business and its place of operation with the local municipal corporation. This is to open your shop and function like a commercial business. Shops and Establishments Certificate will enable you this security. Moreover, It will also allow you to legally employ workers and labour for your restaurant.

Liquor License 

A liquor license is only if you plan to serve liquor and alcoholic drinks.

Eating House License

If your restaurant will be serving food at your premises, which is the case in most situations, you will be needing an eating house license.

NOC from the Fire Department

Ensure your establishment is safe and equip to deal with fire hazards.


If you have been planning on starting a restaurant business and were wondering about how to start a restaurant in Kolkata, connect with Vakilsearch today. Therefore, here are all the legal steps to start a restaurant that you will be needed to fulfil before starting up.


Senior Executive - Content in Vakilsearch