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What All Documents Are Needed To Start A Bar And A Restaurant?

Do you have any plans to open a bar and restaurant? Hold on. Before you settle in, you have a tonne of work to do. Even after having the ideal location, the right target market, and top-notch staff, there is still something crucial. Indeed, we are discussing about the licences here. Let’s dive deep!

Although opening a restaurant and bar can be very profitable and commercially viable with high returns, it is equally important to meet all legal requirements. The key steps to start a bar and a restaurant are deciding on the capital needed, the location, the number of employees needed, and the licenses required for bar and restaurant establishment.

What Varieties of Liquor Licences Are Necessary?

There are various FoSCos Licence types, and the restaurateur/coffee shop must make sure to obtain the licence that best suits their needs:

Liquor from India may be sold in bulk to other licence holders under an L-1 licence.

  • L-3: Hotels must offer guests foreign alcoholic beverages in their rooms.
  • L-5: Hotels may provide alcoholic beverages in on-site bars.
  • L-7: Private sector retail sales of Indian alcoholic beverages
  • L-11: Microbrewery-produced beer sold in retail establishments
  • Clubs that are L-19 registered may serve alcohol from abroad.
  • L-16: Serving Indian alcoholic beverages in a hotel’s bar or restaurant
  • L-16F: Service of Foreign Liquor in a Hotel Bar or Restaurant to Licence Holders in Form L-16
  • L-17: Independent restaurant serving Indian liquor.
  • L-18: Independent restaurant serving Indian wine, beer, and alcoholic beverages
  • L-49A: serving alcohol at weddings or other events in Delhi

What Categories Do Bar Licences Fall Under?

  • Restaurant licence: A location where less than 40% of profits are retained
  • Personal bar licence: People who sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of legally established businesses
  • Tavern License: License for a bar where sales of alcohol account for half of revenue
  • Beer and Wine License: Restaurants and bars may sell alcoholic beverages with a beer and wine licence.

What Important Documents are Needed To Start A Bar and a Restaurant?

Certain documents are needed to obtain the licences necessary for operating a retro cum bar. But the three most crucial licences documentation requirements are listed below:

The FSSAI issues a special 14-digit registration number, which must be displayed on food packages and at the restaurant or bar’s entrance.

The following documents must be submitted: 

  • A copy of the applicant’s ID
  • A list of food groups
  • Valid phone number and email address
  • A declaration confirming the truth and accuracy of all the information provided on the application
  • Food safety management plan declaration Kitchen layout and design
  • Water testing report approved by an ISI testing facility
  • The owners have provided a certificate of no objections
  • medical certificates for employees
  • Liquor License: The owner must submit an application and speak with the local excise commissioner
  • The owner will need to visit their own State’s Excise website to get a sense of the procedure because state-by-state variations in liquor laws exist
  • Running a restaurant and bar without this licence may subject the owner to steep fines and result in the forced closure of the enterprise.
Serve up success! Discover our FSSAI Registration Service today for a flavorful journey into the food industry’s compliance and growth.

Licenses Required While Setting up a Bar and Restaurant

The first step to starting a restaurant business is to complete the paperwork. This prevents legal restrictions and allows the business to operate smoothly. Once you have your restaurant and bar business plan, you can start working on the legal process. Here is the list of all the licenses required for bars and restaurants one must obtain.

FSSAI License

It is among the compulsory licenses that every restaurant and bar must have. FSSAI Registration acts as the approval from the authority for food safety maintenance and standards.

Liquor License

If you have a bar business plan, it is essential to get a liquor license. The local excise commissioner is responsible for providing the bar license. If you want to know how to get a bar license, you can fill it out through the state government website. The initial bar license cost is ₹5000 while submitting the documents. For additional spirits brands, you are required to pay an extra ₹50,000.

Health and Trade License

This license ensures the complete well-being of the public. The state authorities or health department issue this license. It usually takes a time period of 60 days for its issue. A health and Trade License costs between ₹500- ₹50,000. It depends on the state rules. You can easily apply for this food license online at State Municipal Corporation.

Eating House License

The licensing police commissioner provides this license in the city where you plan on setting up a bar and restaurant. The charges for this license are approximately ₹300 for three years.

Shop Establishment License

If you are starting a bar and restaurant, this is yet among the quintessential licenses. You must get this license, whether a food truck or a well-set restaurant and bar business plan. 30 days from the commencement day, you need to register for the Shop and Establishment License. It varies from city to city. However, the cost ranges from ₹200- ₹4000 every year.

Fire Safety License

Protecting customers from hazardous elements like fire or adulterated food is important. To save the customers from risks, the fire department issues a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) while setting up the bar and restaurant.

Lift Clearance License

Lift clearance is an added quintessential license if you have a multi-storey building. The electricity department inspector issues this license. Before doing so, they check the lift for safety gears, installation and other factors.

Music License

Music surely is a good attraction for customers, enhancing the place’s vibe. However, to do so, you need a music license. Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) issues this license. You will have to pay additional penalties if you do not have this license.

Environmental Clearance Certificate

The restaurant needs to ensure that they do not cause any negative harm to the environment. For this, they must apply for an environmental clearance certificate from the government.

GST Registration

It is among the most hyped and important registrations. While setting up a bar and restaurant, ensure you have your GST registration number. You surely don’t want to incur any excessive penalties. 

Signage License

While opening a bar and restaurant, you need to market it. However, to do so, you need to have a signage license for marketing purposes.

What Are The Requirements To Open A Restro Cum Bar?

Making a specific decision about the type of restaurant or bar one wants to open is essential. After deciding on the Restro cum bar’s format, you can think about the other prerequisites listed below for opening a Restro cum bar:


Due to the fact that the restro cum bar contains a bar, location selection is crucial. The location of the restaurant and bar must be:

  • 75 metres away from any industrial estate or significant construction site
  • A major educational institution, and places of worship.l
  • Over-50-bed hospitals and nursing homes; as well as labourer and harijan colonials

Kitchen Equipment and Raw Materials

Investing in high-quality equipment that lasts a long time and reduces costs over time is crucial because of its high returns and speed. In addition to kitchen appliances, the owner must store containers for storing alcohol and dinnerware.

Service Area

A resto-cum bar will have patrons from both categories—those who prefer food only and those who prefer both food and alcohol—so the service area shouldn’t be overly cramped, and the owner should exercise caution with the layout.


1. How much investment is required to open a restaurant?

The cost of opening a restaurant varies greatly depending on factors like location, size, and type of cuisine. Budget for anywhere between ₹5 lakhs to ₹5 crores. Consider food and equipment costs, rent, staff salaries, licenses, and marketing. Research thoroughly and create a detailed financial plan to secure funding.

2. What is the CL 7 bar license?

A CL 7 license in India permits the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises of a restaurant. It's typically issued for mid-range to high-end establishments offering a refined dining experience. Requirements include a minimum seating capacity, specific infrastructure, and trained staff.

3. What is the CL 5 license?

A CL 5 license in India allows restaurants to serve beer and wine with meals. It's generally easier to obtain than a CL 7 license and has fewer stringent requirements regarding ambience and infrastructure. However, the type of alcohol permitted is limited, and specific food menu conditions may apply.

Conclusion: Start A Bar And A Restaurant

It requires more capital investment in the beginning. Still, once it has stabilised and has met all licence: requirements with the submission of proper documentation, it will only produce high profits for the company. Therefore, to start a Bar and a Restaurant business, the owner must take care and comply with all legal requirements. So if you are planning to open a bar and restaurant and are confused about the legal procedures, connect it with Vakilsearch, India’s number one legal service provider today.

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