The restaurant industry is one of the fastest growing industry verticals in the recent times, reason being, people prefer to dine outside due to taste, preferences and the changing lifestyle. Restaurant business is a lucrative idea but one must thoroughly investigate the prerequisites to avoid legal complications.
If you are in the process of setting up a restaurant then you need to check the following licenses/NOCs issued from different regulatory bodies in order to comply with the norms:
Food License: It is one of the primary requirements to a obtain a license under FSS (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011. Every restaurant owner has to first register their business with FSSAI as running a restaurant business without a license will be treated as a legal offense and this would invite penalties. One can check the eligibility criteria for Registration, State Licensing & Central Licensing. Please refer the following link for Central Licensing Procedure. http://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/UserLogin/Login.aspx?
Health Trade License: The restaurant owner has to obtain a health / trade license which is issued by the municipal corporation or the health department of the concerned state.
License for Eating House: The restaurant owner has to apply for the Eating House License under the city/state police headquarters and the police commissioner – Licensing.is authorized to grant this license. In most of the cities the applicant can apply online for grant of the registration certificate. For Example in Delhi, one can apply through: (http://delhipolicelicensing.gov.in/eating/eating-house.htm#section1)
Fire Security Certificate: The restaurant premises should have proper fire security arrangements and for this one has to acquire NOC from the fire department. Once you apply, the inspection would be carried out and the decision will be taken by the officials of the Fire Department for the grant of the NOC.
Liquor/Bar license: The Liquor license L-4 (L-17 as per new excise rule) is required if Liquor is served in the restaurant. The Liquor license can be obtained from the Excise Commissioner of the city/region of the state. (http://delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_excise/Excise/Home/Licences/)
Approval/Re-Approval of Restaurants: If restaurants are looking to acquire L-4 license then they have to take prior approval from the department of Tourism of the Govt. of India in the concerned state.
Lift clearance: The restaurants with multi story building premises shall have to get clearance from the electrical inspector of the office of the labor commissioner, to ensure that the lift operations comply with the safety norms.
License for playing music/video: If recorded music or video is to be played in the premises then one has to obtain a license in compliance to the Copyright Act of 1957 and the license can be obtained from Phonographic Performance Limited or Indian performing Right Society. The links for your reference: http://www.pplindia.org/licctg.aspx, http://www.iprs.org/cms/
Environmental Clearance: A NOC from the pollution board of the city/state is required by the restaurants for ensuring that their activities are not violating pollution norms.
Insurances required: The restaurants have to take insurance for public liability, Product liability, fire policy & for building & Asset. Insurance policies can be obtained from any insurance company providing such insurances.
Signage license: Restaurants can obtain this license from the local civic bodies like Municipal Committee or City Corporation.
Shop & Establishment Act: Restaurants have to obtain license under the prescribed Act as applicable to the concerned state.
Approval from the Weights & Measures Department: As per the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, you have to go for the Approval of models of weighing & measuring instruments from the Weights & Measures Department.
It is the responsibility of the owner of the restaurant to meet all the requisites like obtaining licenses and their timely renewal.
* It is important to note here that all previous food laws & orders have been repealed and have been consolidated under one Act i.e. FSS Act, 2006. So if you are carrying a license issued under previous food laws then you have to convert you license to the FSS Act and have to comply with the requirements & provisions of FSS Act, Rules & Regulations.