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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.


To open a restaurant in Kolkata is an exciting venture. It is the best way to showcase culinary expertise and cater to the diverse tastes of this culturally rich city. Kolkata, often dubbed the ‘City of Joy,’ boasts a vibrant food culture deeply rooted in history. With a population of over 4.8 million people, the city offers a diverse audience with varying culinary preferences. Kolkata, known for its love for food and a thriving culinary scene, offers a promising market for aspiring restaurateurs. West Bengal in general is itself a hub for food processing industries offering better leverage to access the required ingredients.  However, the process of establishing a restaurant requires meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and a keen understanding of the local food culture. 

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 that 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 ₹2 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 ₹12 lakh p.a and less than ₹20 crores 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 ₹20 crore p.a must obtain the FSSAI central licence. The FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill to obtain FSSAI central license 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.

Did you know that the restaurant industry in Kolkata is a significant contributor to employment, providing direct opportunities for 66,234 individuals? Surprisingly, it holds the fourth position in terms of employment generation, trailing behind Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.

In Addition to the Above Procedure, the FBO Must Meet the Following Conditions 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 standardized 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 labeled 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 depend 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 liters of milk per day – ₹5,000.
  • Manufacturer with a production capacity below 1 MT per day or 501 to 10,000 liters 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.

Types of Restaurants Business Models In Kolkata

Here are some of the restaurant business models that are famous in Kolkata 

Management Agreement Restaurant Business

In this arrangement, the business owner and a management company enter a contract where the latter oversees all operations for a fee, commonly a percentage of earnings. This model offers a viable option for restaurant ventures in India.

Franchise Agreement Restaurant Business

By signing a franchise contract with an established restaurant company, entrepreneurs operate under a recognised brand, paying fees to the brand owner. This model aids in expanding an established brand, albeit under the brand owner’s terms.

Owner Operated Restaurant Business

Considered the ideal format, the owner has full control over the restaurant, making all key decisions and bearing all costs, whether profits or losses. This model provides complete autonomy to the business owner.

Leased Restaurants Business

For those lacking capital to purchase land, leasing offers an alternative. Entrepreneurs can launch their restaurant ventures by leasing land for an extended period, eliminating the need for land ownership.

Key Legal Requirements to Start a Restaurant Business in Kolkata 

Key Legal Requirements to Start a Restaurant Business in Kolkata is as follows:

  • Ministry of Tourism No objection certificate (NOC) for hotels in India
  • Building permit or premises approval as per local laws
  • Fire safety permit to ensure safety standards
  • Public Performance License for hosting events
  • Eating house license for restaurant operations
  • Police license and signage for compliance
  • Trade license and health safety license
  • FSSAI license for food safety
  • GST registration if applicable
  • Certification under state shop statutes
  • MSME registration for benefits
  • Environmental clearance and bar license for specific requirements.

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 need 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 need professional managers, chefs, and service staff. You will be required 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 similar to income tax.

Shops and Establishment Certificate –  Before you set up a shop, you will need 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 cafe’s customers.

NOC from the Fire Department

Ensure your establishment is safe and equipped 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 licenses 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 provides clarity regarding the procedure to open a restaurant in Kolkata.

If you have any further queries with regard 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which license is required to open a restaurant in West Bengal?

FSSAI registration is must , however, based on the revenue generated you can file for State and central license.

What are the steps to open a restaurant?

Step 1: Decide the spot and the name of the cafe Step 2: Ensure proper FSSAI licensing and other licensing Step 3: Register your business Step 4: Invest your team Step 6: Promote your café effectively. permits and licenses Step 4: Design the menu, hire staff, and procure equipment Step 5: Market the grand opening to attract customers.

How much does a restaurant license cost in Kolkata?

The annual fee for an FSSAI State license in Kolkata differs. connect on call with Vakilsearch for more information.

How to open a restaurant with a low budget?

focus on a niche menu, choose a cost-effective location, and use second-hand equipment. Embrace DIY branding, lean staffing, and community partnerships while leveraging technology for efficient operations.

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