BAR License in India

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What is a Bar License?

A Bar License is a license that permits the sale of alcohol for the purpose of consumption on licensed premises, excluding gaming and taking away liquor. This license permits a maximum of 100 persons over the age of 18 on the premises during trading hours. 

How to start a Bar Business?

A Bar business can be started by obtaining a bar license for which the applicant is required to fulfil the eligibility criteria and follow the prescribed procedure, which involves filling out an application, arrangement and submission and necessary papers for the grant of license. 

Benefits of Bar License in India

A Bar Licence Entails The Following Benefits To The License Holder 

Compliance with the relevant state excise authorities-

Any restaurant or bar taking such a license would comply with the state and local excise laws. Through such systems, excise duty would be paid on the liquor that is brought within the relevant state.


The license can enhance the reputation of the restaurant or bar in public along with the competitors.

Increase in Turnover-

The license would help enhance the turnover as more retailers and manufacturers in distilleries would provide more sales to restaurants and pubs having such licenses.

Various Bar Business Models 

There are various bar business models which can be chosen on the basis of the capital investment, ambience, and staff, among other factors, which are enlisted below –


A lounge is a high-end bar with comparatively high liquor prices, with comfortable seating arrangements that offer a serene ambience to the customers and various cuisines from around the world.

Tapas Bar 

This type of bar involves the serving of light appetisers along with drinks. This establishment generally deals with light appetisers with alcoholic beverages on the Menu.


The pub is an acronym for Public house, and as the name suggests, this is a bar category where people meet and socialise. This bar serves food and drinks to its customers with music and other social events.

Sports Bar 

These types of bars are famous for watching sports matches which are continuously shown to the customers, along with the serving of alcohol. Sports bars play live games, including cricket, football, F1 racing and many more. With the OTT platform, these bars also offer a screening of TV series at their venue, with pay per view option. 

Night clubs 

The differentiating factor of the nightclubs is the availability of various entertainment options, such as stand-up comedies, karaoke, live performances and specials. This establishment operates till late at night and is open till the early morning hours.

What are the types of Bar licenses in India?

The list of the most popular types of bar licenses is provided below; however, the list is not exhaustive.


This license permits the wholesale supply of Indian liquor to the other license holders, and these licenses are only given to the entities who have prior experience in the alcohol distribution business in India. 


The L3 license is granted to the hotels with the star classification and the Tourism Department's approval. This license permits the holder to serve foreign liquor to the residents residing in the hotel rooms.

On the other hand, the L5 license permits the holder to serve liquor in the exclusive bars and restaurants within the hotel's premises.


The L19 license allows the clubs registered with the Registrar of Firms or the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to serve foreign liquor to their members.


This is the most uncomplicated license to obtain compared to the abovementioned licenses. The permit allows the holder to serve liquor at any party or function, like a reception, marriage or any other event held at specific premises anywhere in the state. 

The specific class of Liquor License 

In some states, there is a need to apply for a particular class of license which depends upon the type of the business and the liquor the applicant intends to sell to its customers.

Tavern License

This license is needed in some states for businesses that offer food but earn half their profits by selling alcohol.

Beer and Wine

 As the name suggests, The bars and the restaurants shall be issued a license for selling "soft" liquors like wine and beer. After this license, the owner cannot sell hard liquor like spirits.


A restaurant license permits any type of alcohol to be sold on the premises. The percentage of the region of the alcohol is limited to 40%.

Brew Pub Liquor License 

This license type permits the license holder to brew or manufacture their own liquor.

Perfect location for Bar Business

 There is a need for a blend of keen research and dedicated time for opening a bar in a perfect location. The bar's location plays a vital role in attracting many customers irrespective of age. An area with a tricky location shall limit the guests to your bar.

Many states have their respective laws with respect to the selection of the location of your bar or pub. Some states have specific guidelines with regards to opening a bar near schools, colleges and hospitals. Hence, it is very significant to consult the state laws before choosing a bar location.

Eligibility Criteria for obtaining the Bar License in India 

Any person intending to acquire a bar license must fulfil the below-mentioned criteria for the obtainment of such a license

  • The applicant must not be a minor
  • If the applicant is applying for a personal license, he must have an accredited qualification in this regard. The primary purpose of such capability is to ensure that the applicant possesses the required know-how of the licensing laws and the social responsibilities associated with the sale of liquor.

Licenses to be obtained along with the Bar License

The following licenses must be acquired along with the bar License 

  • Food Service License 
  • Food Handlers Permit 
  • Sign Permit 

Essential necessary papers required to obtain a Bar License in India

  • Address Proof 
  • ID Proof 
  • Business Premises Address
  • The incorporation necessary papers must be provided if the business is a company. Such necessary papers will include the incorporation certificate, MOA  and AOA.
  • NOC is required from the fire department
  • Application with the Local Excise Department
  • Income Tax Return of the Company
  • Photographs
  • An Affidavit Stating the absence of any form of a criminal conviction against the applicant 
  • Detailed List of Board of Directors of the Company
  • in case of a partnership concern, the list of partners must be provided.

Procedure to obtain Bar License in India 

The applicant is required to adhere to the following procedure to obtain the Bar License in India.

Arrangement of necessary papers 

The applicant must arrange all the essential necessary papers required for obtaining the bar license. It is suggested to consult an expert who knows the necessary papers needed for this procedure.

Filing the Application 

An application must be filed with the Central Excise Department in the prescribed manner and with payment of requisite fees.

Submission of Application and necessary papers  

Further, the applicant must submit the necessary papers arranged along with the application for verification by the authority.

Verification of Application and necessary papers 

The necessary papers, along with the application, shall be verified by the authorities to check the authenticity and accuracy of the same, together with determining any discrepancies, which shall be communicated to the applicant at the earliest.

Public Notice 

Once the authority is satisfied with the verification of the application and necessary papers, it shall issue a public notice with the person or business address of the license holder with the motive of calling out any objections.

Grant of license 

In case of any objections, the applicant shall be provided with a chance to defend himself; otherwise, in case of no complaints, the authority shall grant the bar license to the applicant. The approval of the license can take 60 days approx, and the applicant shall receive the license after 30 approx in case the application for the license is approved.

Validity for the Bar license

The validity is usually for a period of 1, after which the applicant must renew the license by filing the application and paying requisite fees.

How can Enterslice play an important role in obtaining a Bar license?

Obtaining a Liquor or Bar License is a complicated task requiring many necessary papers for government approval. There have been several cases where hotels or restaurants have faced heavy penalties and have even been shut down due to not producing the correct license or submitting fringe necessary papers.

Furthermore, in countries like India, the government may change anytime and decide to issue a new license, wherein only the license holder will suffer because the value of the license may become worthless. License norms tend to differ with the location, like state or district in which the license holder will need to consult the professional for guidance per their requirements.

Enterslice provides proper guidance with the perfect blend of knowledge on how one should go for licensing and what is needed to be kept in mind while applying for the license to serve liquor in the hotel, bar or restaurant or bar. We completely understand the license requirements and have rich expertise in helping our clients to have a liquor license.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, therefore, it is vital to obtain the license for the same.

Alcoholic beverages contain alcohol, and anyone selling the same should have a valid licence.

There are different forms of licenses granted by the relevant state excise authorities, such as

  • Brewery License.
  • Beer License
  • Wine License
  • Hard Drinks License

The following departments are present in excise:

  • Laboratory for excise control requirements
  • Import and Export Branch
  • Administration and Vigilance Department
  • Accounts Department
  • Country Liquor Branches

The Import permits are provided to respective states for the import of liquor. The distiller issues an export permit to secure the form of an import permit. Through this process, there is no need to pay any forms of excise to the distiller.

A transport permit is obtained by an industry or manufacturing hub to transport liquor to various places such as clubs, bars, and other retail outlets.

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