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What Is The Legal Procedure To Open A Restaurant In Kolkata?

In this article, we shall discuss the legal formalities and regulatory requirements to be fulfilled in order to open a restaurant business in Kolkata.

Kolkata is well known for many things. From its colonial history, its literature and cinema and most importantly its street food. Kolkata is well known for its street food and sweets. So it goes without saying that the food business is one of the most lucrative and common businesses in Kolkata. This blog discusses in detail about the procedure to open a restaurant in Kolkata.

But any business that deals in products that can cause immediate and considerable public health risk is always required to fulfil more regulatory formalities than most other businesses that deal with products that are not deemed as ‘possible health hazards’.

The edible food industry is one such industry which falls under the category of businesses that can cause public health hazard if not regulated and monitored properly given that businesses are known to cut corners to maximise profitability. But cutting corners in the edible foods industry, especially in areas of hygiene and quality standards, can cause considerable health concerns to unsuspecting consumers. So there are additional regulatory formalities that a food business has to perform during the time of incorporation and periodically during the course of business as well.

So what are these legal formalities that need to be completed in order to open a restaurant, espcially in a lucrative environment like Kolkata?

FSSAI Registration

The FSSAI was established as a government organisation under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act) legislature. All Food Business Operators or FBOs must either get registered or obtain a licence from this authority to operate their business. There are three types of FSSAI License registrations that are issued by the authority. They are as follows:

  • FSSAI Basic Registration – FBOs having a turnover of less than Rs.12 lakh p.a must obtain FSSAI basic registration. The FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill to obtain FSSAI basic registration is Form A.
  • FSSAI State License – FBOs having a turnover of more than Rs.12 lakh p.a and less than Rs.20 crore p.a must obtain the FSSAI state licence. The FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill to obtain an FSSAI state licence is Form B.
  • FSSAI Central License – FBOs having a turnover of more than Rs.20 crore p.a must obtain the FSSAI central licence. The FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill to obtain FSSAI central licence is Form- B.

Documents Required for Basic FSSAI License

  • Photo identity proof of the FBO.
  • Address proof of business.
  • Proof of possession of business premises.
  • Business constitution certificate.
  • Nature of business details.
  • List of food products manufactured or processed.

Documents Required for West Bengal State FSSAI License

  • Form B duly filled and signed by the applicant.
  • Address proof of business.
  • The layout of the processing unit.
  • Proof of possession of business premises.
  • Business constitution certificate.
  • Name, record, horsepower used and installed capacity of machinery and equipment with the number.
  • List and contact details of directors, partners or executive members of society or trust.
  • ID and address proof of the proprietor, partners, directors or authorised signatory.
  • Analysis report of water used in food from a recognised or public health laboratory.
  • List of food items desired to be processed or manufactured.
  • Authority letter from the manufacturer nominated the responsible person with name and address details.
  • NOC from the manufacturer.
  • Food safety management system plan or certificate.

Documents Required for Central FSSAI License

  • Form B duly completed and signed
  • Plan of the processing unit showing the dimensions and operation-wise area allocation   
  • List of Directors/ Partners/ Proprietor with address, contact details, and photo ID
  • Name and list of equipment and machinery used with the number and installed capacity
  • Authority letter from manufacturer nominated a responsible person name and address
  • Analysis report of water to be used in the process to confirm the portability
  • Source of raw material for milk, meat etc
  • Recall plan wherever applicable
  • Ministry of Commerce Certificate for 100% EOU
  • NOC/PA document issued by FSSAI
  • IE code document issued by DGFT
  • Form IX
  • Certificate from Ministry of Tourism
  • Supporting document for proof of turnover and transportation
  • Declaration form

FSSAI Certification Process

  • Visit the FoSCoS portal.
  • Click on the option of ‘Apply Licence / Registration’ on the home page.
  • Select the state as ‘West Bengal’ from the dropdown list.
  • Click on the applicable option – ‘Manufacturer’, ‘Trade/Retail’, or ‘Food Services’ as per the nature of the business.
  • Select the applicable turnover or production capacity option. Click on the ‘Proceed’ button.
  • Click on the option of – ‘Click here to apply for Registration for all businesses’ or the ‘Click here to apply for State License for all businesses’ on the next page.
  • Fill the details in Form A or Form B, upload the documents and make payment. Click on the ‘Submit’ button.
  • The FSSAI registration application form will be submitted, and the FSSAI authorities will inspect it. They will issue the FSSAI Basic Registration or FSSAI State License when the applicant meets all the requirements of the FSS Act.

In addition to the above procedure the FBO must give meet the following conditions as well,

  • Access for licensing authorities to the business premises for inspection purposes.
  • Inform the concerned authorities of any changes in operations.
  • The FBO can only process the food products in their units as mentioned in the FSSAI registration/licence.
  • The FBO must maintain the standards of hygiene and sanitation as per the standards prescribed by the licensing authorities.
  • The FBO must use standardised raw materials with optimum quality.
  • The business premises of the FBO must be installed with a clean in place system for the cleaning of equipment and machines.
  • FBOs involved in the sale of cooked food must display a notice board of the nature of articles sold.
  • The FBO must not engage in the distribution or sale or offer for dispatch, sale, or delivery of edible oil that is not marked, packed or labelled in the prescribed manner.

The procedure to open a restaurant in Kolkata is as mentioned above and the fee for Basic FSSAI Registration in West Bengal is ₹ 100.

The fees for a State FSSAI License in West Bengal depends on the size of the business. They are as follows:

  • Manufacturer with a production capacity above 1MT per day or 10,001 to 50,000 litres of milk per day – ₹ 5,000.
  • Manufacturer with a production capacity below 1 MT per day or 501 to 10,000 litres of milk per day – ₹ 3,000. 
  • Three and four-star hotels – ₹ 5,000. 
  • Food service providers, including canteens (schools, offices, colleges, institutions), clubs, banquet halls with food catering arrangements, restaurants/boarding houses, caterers, food vendors, etc. – ₹ 2,000. 
  • Other food business operators – ₹2,000.
  • Distributors, retailers and wholesalers – ₹2,000.

Other Registrations

Business Registration & Trade License – 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.

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 know about the procedure to open a restaurant in Kolkata.

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.

Shops and Establishment Certificate –  Before you set up a shop, you will be needing permission to open a shop and employ workers. Get this done by registering for a Shops and Establishment License.

Liquor Licence – Liquor and alcoholic drinks must be regulated as they are only for adult consumption. If you will be serving alcohol at your café then a Liquor License is a must.

Eating House License – Because your café will function as an eatery, it will need to meet certain safety regulations and health standards. Getting an Eating House License should be your top priority to ensure a safe and lovely environment for your cafes’ customers.

NOC from the Fire Department

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


Getting a business registered is always a strenuous affair given the formalities and the regulations which require time and patience. And in addition to those formalities there are the local municipal permissions and licences that need to be acquired and many of these services are yet to be offered online. So it is always advisable to consult with a professional expert who has a clear understanding of how the process works and also understands the dynamics of the local administration in order to get things done. We hope that this blog provided clarity regarding the procedure to open a restaurant in Kolkata.

If you have any further queries with regards to food business registrations or require some other legal assistance, get in touch with us today so that our team of professional experts can understand your requirements and assist you in the process of fulfilling them.

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